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Polar Bytes - No. 5, April 1997

Polar Bytes - No. 5, April 1997

A word from our chairman Philippa Foster Back

On 21 January 1997, the Friends lost a great friend and Committee member: Sir John Wordie. His long time commitment to the Institute and his input will be missed.

We are fortunate that Dr Charles Swithinbank, a Friend of the Institute for many years as well as a distinguished member of staff, has agreed to join us. In addition, the Committee co-opted two members: Mrs Patricia Seekings and Dr David Walton. Mrs Seekings is the retiring Headmistress of Acremont House, King's School, Ely. Dr David Walton, Head of Terrestrial and Freshwater Life Sciences at the British Antarctic Survey, is returning to the Committee. We warmly welcome them to the Committee and look forward to their participation.

A date for your diaries is Saturday 15 November, when the Friends will hold its first official AGM following the talk (at 17:00) by Ann Savours-Shirley. We hope many of you will be able to attend.

Shackleton Memorial Library News

The Institute has achieved its fundraising goal for the building of the library - £1,192,000! This has come through both large and small donations, fund-raising events, and significant grants from various sources. This means that the building will begin on 15 July 1997.

During the March 1997 Committee meeting, the idea of a Friends' window was set aside in favour of engraving the new library doors. It was suggested that the view of the window may be blocked and that the UV coating on the windows would complicate and escalate the cost of the original plan. The library doors would allow both Sir Ernest and Lord Shackleton to be honoured and would make a greater impact on library visitors.

Upcoming events and lectures

RGS - These Rough Notes

On 15 October, the Royal Geographical Society will hold a performance of These Rough Notes as the opening event for the presentation of the Herbert Ponting photographs of Scott's last expedition. These photographs are available as limited edition prints and will be on display at the RGS prior to the reading. Lady Philippa Scott has graciously agreed to read for Kathleen Scott as has Keith Shackleton for Robert Scott. The remaining readers are yet to be confirmed. Tickets are £10 are available through Jonathan Jeffes, Discovery Limited Editions, Grasmere House, 17 Merton Hall Road, London SW 19 3PP, telephone 0181 543 4236. Proceeds of the event will benefit both the Shackleton Memorial Library and the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. Please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope indicating the number of tickets you would like to order.

Summer lunch/garden party

The Friends Committee thought it would be nice to have an informal summer lunch to chat and get a quick update on the building. Lunch this year will -be held at Hughes Hall (a University College having great food!) on 12 July from 12:30 until 2:30 pm. The College is just two blocks away from the Institute and has pay parking next door. A three-course lunch is offered, with sherry or soft drinks before lunch and a glass of wine with lunch. There is space for up to 40 people and the cost is £14.00 per person. We will be able to enjoy the gardens at Hughes Hall. To confirm your place at Hughes Hall, please write to Anne Millar, 37 Mill St, Isleham, Ely CB7 5RU. A map will be sent upon request. Please enclosed a SAE.

A New picture library for SPRI

Included in the work being done for the new Shackleton Memorial Library will be a provision for a new room to house the SPRI photographic collection. Friends may be aware that this collection has been run at the SPRI Picture Library, under the management of Philippa Hogg, since the beginning of the year. We have recently gained membership of the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies and, within our own limitation, are gradually building up a blooming business. The Picture Library will provide images to publishers, researchers, and private individuals. We have recently received Terence Armstrong's slide collection which has swelled the numbers in our stock and for which we are most grateful; and also a large gift of slides from Charles Swithinbank has formed the basis of what we should like to be an expanding number of marketable images.

If any Friends (scientist, artist or tourist) have collections small or large of photographs that you would like to donate,. or you would like to give someone a polar picture, please contact Philippa Hogg 01223 336547.

SPRI closings during building

Due to the building of the Shackleton Memorial Library and the necessary logistical arrangements, the Library, Archives, Museum and Museum shop will be closed at various times during the rebuilding (particularly August and September). Please call if you plan to visit. The Museum shop can be reached by mail! A catalogue of merchandise has been assembled and will be mailed to all Friends in early summer. You will still be able to order books, T-shirts (including a new SPRI Friends' sweatshirt), and postcards. This will enable the Institute to keep the shop open (by mail) during the building.

Sir John Franklin Commemoration

On 11 June, a special event commemorating the 150th anniversary of the death of Sir John Franklin will take place in London. This will include a small wreath-laying ceremony at Westminster Abby, a trip to Greenwich and a visit to the Royal Naval College chapel. This is just a small part of the day beginning at 12:00 midday. For further information, please contact Ralph Lloyd-Jones, c/o Hammersmith Library, Shepherds Bush Road, London W6 7AT.

Raffle News and an Announcement!

Apologies for the delay! Dr Pamela Davis and her husband Dr Gareth Marshall are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter Isabella Alexandra Marshall. This event and the following slight but minor complication has delayed the selling of raffle tickets. Peter Coker's lovely etching will be on view for the 12 July lunch and tickets should be available.


Saturday, 17 May at 8:00 pm, Scott Polar Research Institute, Greg Landreth and Keri Pashuk. The first ascent of Mount Foster, Smith Island, Antarctica. Bill Tilman was the first to try.