SHACKLETON NEWS ARCHIVE
TUES 7 AND SAT 11 DECEMBER 2010
On Tuesday 7th December at 1.30 pm BBC Radio 4 will be airing a documentary programme about Leonard Hussey's Banjo.
The documentary is entitled Vital Mental Medicine - Shackleton's Banjo, and is narrated by the folk musician Tim van Eyken.
The programme will be repeated on Radio 4 at 3.30 pm on Saturday 11th December and will also be available on BBC iPlayer for a week after the broadcast, till Saturday 18th December.
Tim van Eyken tells the story of how on the 1914-16 Imperial Transantarctic Expedition Sir Ernest Shackleton instructed that the banjo belonging to meteorologist Leonard Hussey (1891-1964), which had given much enjoyment during the time when the Endurance was trapped, be rescued from the ship when was crushed by pack ice and sank in 1915.
The musician explains how Shackleton hoped the lively music and entertainment provided by the instrument might help preserve the sanity of his stranded crew, and examines the life of Hussey, whose songs helped his fellow sailors keep their spirits up both when encamped on the ice and on Elephant Island, and ultimately to return home safely.