Work at Shackleton's Hut at the Cape Royds is now well underway.
In 2005, four experts (an archaeologist, a conservator and specialist carpenters) travelled to Antarctica and undertook work on-site. The hut's roof was repaired; a ventilator was sealed to prevent snow entering; lots of decayed stores were removed from the exterior and recorded/stored for later attention; preparations were made for next season, to include strengthening the sub-floor framing beneath the porch, stabilising the weather station & dog kennels, window cladding, felt lining, matting and drainage.
The International Polar Heritage Committee (IPHC) has a new website at www.polarheritage.com to which it invites visitors.
It would be appreciated if any sites with an interest in things Shackletonian or Polar might consider linking to the new site. Paul Chaplin, Secretary General of the IPHC, can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by post: Fjellveien 14, 1914 Ytre Enebakk, Norway.
The Antarctic Heritage Trust has issued its Royds Conservation Report. Changes to the internal layout of the hut are proposed. Some of the elements, lost in the 1960s, of the stables and garage may be reconstructed, but repair and maintenance remain the first priorities.
The Report can be ordered from the Trust at www.heritage-antarctica.org.
The Conservation Report was launched by The New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, in 2003. Fittingly, the Society's President, The Hon.Alexandra Shackleton, attended the launch as Guest of Honour. She presented a cheque for £14,500 which was raised at the Society's Grand Polar Dinner on 15th February 2003 (Sir Ernest's Birthday). The AHT is most grateful to the Society for this Contribution and for its decision to support the Trust's project.
The hut at Cape Royds (Ross Island) was built by The British Antarctic Expedition of 1907/09, also known as the Nimrod Expedition.
In September 2003 Shackleton's hut was included in the World Monuments Fund Watch List of the World's 100 Most Endangered Sites. (See the Conservation Report by Martin Williams, CVO.,OBE., former British High Commissioner to New Zealand, 1998-2001, and UK Consultant to New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust).
One of the world's finest libraries and archives relating to both Scott and Shackleton is located at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, where the award-winning Shackleton Library is housed.
The Shackleton Library was opened by Shackleton's granddaughter, the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, President of the James Caird Society. The library provides both a fitting tribute to one of the Twentieth Century's greatest explorers and a valuable resource for all those interested in Antarctic research and exploration
On the SPRI's extensive website it is possible to find full details of the Library, Museum and Archives; and of the SPRI's extensive Antarctic (and also Arctic) Photo Collection (including photos by Hurley andf Ponting) which has an invaluable new full search facility.
Bob Wallace, a 55-year-old ship's captain from Massachusetts, has been building replicas of Ernest Shackleton's famous open boat James Caird for a hobby. His first one was lost near Elephant Island in 1999 during filming for IMAX and PBS. Bob's latest creation has been displayed in Salem, Massachusetts, along with an exhibition of Shackleton photos.
The first known real-life replica was the Sir Ernest Shackleton, commissioned by Trevor Potts for his 1994 reenactment of the James Caird's 800 mile voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia. 'Replicas' of varying kinds were also used for the Irish Aris Expedition and for the reenactions in several films, including the Kenneth Branagh Endurance film.
Dr.Robert Ballard, who in 1985 located the Titanic (to the public enquiry into which Shackleton gave evidence) 4,000 metres below the surface of the North Atlantic, and also took part in the search for such historic ships as the Bismarck and the Lusitania, is reported to have abandoned his attempt, originally planned for the summers of 2001 and 2002, to locate and photograph the wreck of Endurance, the remains of which lie some 3,400 metres beneath the surface of the Weddell Sea.
Details of the Shackleton Scholarship Fund, established to honour the memory of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his son Lord Shackleton, can be found at the Fund's website.