SHACKLETON NEWS ARCHIVE
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FIRST 21 YEARS, 1994-2015
Some years later the boat was put on display at the Southampton Boat Show, and in 1993 the organisers of the London Internationml Boat Show, held at Earl's Court, approached the then headmaster, David Emms, and the governors for permission to display the boat for ten days as a special feature in the Earl's Court Exhibition Hall.
Harding Dunnett, who had worked closely with the Dulwich College Archivist, Margaret Slythe, in returning the boat to Dulwich assumed responsibility for displaying the boat, decked out with appropriate memorabilia and display material.
The occasion was a great success. People flocked to see the historic small boat, to ask questions and to read about it. Without doubt the James Caird was the event's star attraction.
By fortunate coincidence, this was exactly the time that Trevor Potts and three companions made the first attempt to reenact the James Caird's extraordinarily dangerous journey.
A link was set up and each day during the exhibition Trevor faxed messages to the Boat Show from his own 'Sir Ernest Shackleton' expedition. The messages were posted regularly alongside the James Caird and visitors were captivated.
After consultations with the College the idea of founding the James Caird Society was born. On 19 May 1994 the first Committee of the James Caird Society was welcomed to Dulwich for the initial meeting.
Following the sad death shortly afterwards of Lord Shackleton, the explorer's son, his daughter Alexandra Shackleton, who had contributed greatly to the Boat Show Display, accepted the role of President. John Bardell was elected Vice-Chairman and Margaret Slythe, Head of Archives,again played a major.
Pippa Hare, Harding's daughter, agreed to become Hon. Secretary.
The James Caird was subsequently displayed at the Arktis-Antarktis exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany; at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington; at the Exhibition of Ships and the Sea at Falmouth, Cornwall; and at the Te Papa Museum, Wellington, New Zealand, as well as at Dulwich's own exhibition Shackleton, The Antarctic and Endurance, which was curated by Dr. Jan Piggott and adjudged a major success.
The Society can proudly say that it now has between 500 and 600 members world-wide.