Conference On Scilly’s Links To Antarctic Taking Place On St Mary’s

antarctic conference 2013A 3-day conference devoted to the history of Antarctic exploration and the connections between the continent and our islands started yesterday.

The first speaker David Wilson is the great nephew of Edward Wilson, one of Scott’s team, who documented and sketched birdlife during the ill-fated expedition trip.

The programme of events has been arranged by Mary Cleveland to mark the centenary of the visit of Scott’s Terra Nova ship to Scilly, 100 years ago this week.

David says the crew stopped at St Mary’s on the way back to Cardiff to refresh the ship before their arrival to a massive welcome in Cardiff.

Even though the returning party would have been met with massive popular and media interest comparable to returning astronauts in the days of the space race, David says only three images of the ship’s visit here have been found.

From Radio Scilly

David Wilson discusses Scilly’s links to the Antarctic expeditions

David told a packed Methodist Church Hall that science has a lot to thank Scott for and he de-bunked one myth. There was never a race to the South Pole.

Norwegian, Amundsen, was interested in the reaching the pole first and claiming the prize, but Scott refused to race. He was more interested in scientific exploration, taking samples and photographs along the way.

And many of those specimens are still used as baseline data for new investigations, such as climate change, he says.

David says Scott’s expedition was one of those wonderful stories from British history and most people don’t realise that Scilly was even a part of it.