As many of you know, I have been lucky to travel to Antarctica and photograph many of the remote places where my personal hero, Ernest Shackleton, Britain’s greatest Polar Explorer, trekked during his illustrious career – places such as the Weddell Sea, South Georgia and Elephant Island.
Well imagine my absolute delight a few days ago when I attended a Royal Geographical Society event at Eaton Hall, outside Chester. After RGS President, Nick Crane‘s address, the society’s archivist showed us some of its most prized polar artefacts. We saw Shackleton’s balaclava from his Nimrod Expedition, letters he had written to HM Government and his various sponsors. There were also original Antarctic maps and other bits and pieces. Perhaps the most poignant object was Captain’s R F Scott‘s miniature copy of a Bible which had been recovered from his frozen body on 12th November 1912, some 10 months after they perished.
A most amazing evening and to see the personal belongings of one’s polar hero was quite emotive – and I did feel a bit closer to Shackleton and his achievements. Timing wise the event was perfect, as the next day I gave a school talk on Shackleton to 8/9 year olds in a local school, then last night, gave a talk on the great explorer to the Chester Grosvenor Club.
What a week!!