Centenary Of Scott’s Antarctic Expedition To Be Marked In Scilly

Mary Cleveland

Mary Cleveland

Final preparations are being made for a three-day programme of Antarctic-themed drama and exhibits to mark the centenary of the visit of Captain Scott’s boat to Scilly.

The Terra Nova called into St Mary’s on its way back to Cardiff following the ill-fated expedition.

Mary Cleveland has held a lifelong interest in the continent, as a cousin of her grandfather was on Scott’s first discovery expedition. She has arranged the event, which will be held at the Methodist Hall, Church and the Museum from the10th June.

Mary has discovered that over thirty islanders have visited Antarctica. A former GP, Dr Macklin, had a son who served as surgeon on another of Scott’s trips, while more recent connections include the late John Hamilton, who flew back a chunk of Antarctic ice, which was sold off to regulars in drinks at Fraggle Rock for charity.

The Terra Nova

The Terra Nova

Bob Flood made international headlines when he almost drowned after the cruise ship he was travelling on as a tour guide in the South Atlantic started sinking. His story will feature in the museum exhibition.

Aside from the facts, the exhibition will also present some tales and legends. There’s a popular story that some sailors collected objects in Scilly to sell when they reached Wales, as souvenir hunters would pay over the odds for the items.

Mary feels it’s important that the islands mark the centenary. She’s arranged for talks from a member of the last dog team expedition, John Killingbeck, who will bring a sledge over to the islands.

And there’ll be a presentation from a Norwegian man, whose father found the bodies of Scott’s party.

For drama lovers, Jenny Coverack will perform as Kathleen Scott in ‘A Father For My Son’ on the Monday evening. The next night she’ll read letters and diary extracts left by the expedition party when they realised there was no chance of return.

The lectures will be held in the Methodist Hall with evening performances in the Chapel.

The event has been supported with grant funding from the Scilly Lottery.