Saturday 31st March, 2012 – 11am-4pm
Princess Royal Gallery – National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
FREE Entry to Event (only)
The National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is hosting a special one-day event commemorating the centenary of Scott’s Antarctic expedition.
Throughout the event on Saturday 31st March, there is the chance to talk to members of the British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 team (BSAE), hear performances from Jake Wilson of his commemorative composition of All’s Well, see a sledge and skis used during the 1912 expedition and have a go at becoming a Polar scientist in a fun science lab. There will also be the chance to watch Herbert Ponting’s ‘The Great White Silence’ film of the 1912 expedition.
March 29th 2012 marks the 100th Anniversary of Scott’s final diary entry of his heroic efforts to reach the South Pole, during which he achieved an astonishing amount of scientific research, but ultimately led to his team’s tragic demise in 1912.
On display during this commemorative event will be skis and a sledge, which belonged to Petty Officer TS Williamson. He was part of the party involved in finding Scott’s tent and their bodies.
Adding atmosphere to the event will be the film ‘The Great White Silence’. On board the Terra Nova with Scott’s party, was official cinematographer Herbert Ponting, and the images that he captured have fired imaginations ever since. Ponting filmed almost every aspect of the expedition, used his footage in various forms over the years, and in 1924 re-edited it into this remarkable feature, complete with vivid tinting and toning.
Members of the BSAE 2012 expedition will be attending to chat to visitors about their very recent exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula, during which they followed the spirit of Scott and crossed an unexplored plateau, made first ascents of more than a dozen mountain peaks and carried out various scientific objectives, including the placement of two GPS units.
At 2pm there will be a performance from Jake Wilson, who has composed All’s Well, a cycle of five songs from the point of view of the men who died on their return journey from the South Pole 100 years ago: Edgar Evans, Lawrence Oates, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, and Captain Robert Scott himself. The songs aim to capture the different responses of these five men as they realise their deaths are inevitable, and are dedicated to the memory of Jake’s mother, and his friend, the writer Russell Hoban, both of whom died while he was working on All’s Well.
Jake’s interest in Captain Scott’s final Antarctic expedition was triggered when he discovered an edition of Scott’s journals in his parents’ house. After reading this gripping first-hand account of the expedition, he went on to immerse himself in the diaries, letters and biographies of Scott and the other members of the polar party.
All’s Well, will soon be released with the support of the Scott Polar Research Institute and relatives of the team members in Scott’s polar party.
Whilst visiting the event, intrepid explorers may also notice the statue of Robert Falcon Scott, by the main entrance to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Standing along with one of his trusty dogs, it was sculpted in loving detail by his widow, Lady Kathleen Scott, in 1915. The statue came to be in Portsmouth following its commission by the then Commanding Officer of HMS Vernon as a tribute to the great explorer, with all the ship’s officers helping to fund the project.
For full details of the extensive year-round events programme please visit www.historicdockyard.co.uk/events.
The ticket for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard includes entrance for 1 year (entry to the Mary Rose Museum is valid until 30th September 2012). Tickets cost adults £23.50, seniors and students £20.35, children £17.80 and a family ticket costs £69.50 (up to 5 members of the same family with a maximum of 2 adults or seniors).