Athy Atumn School


20th Shackleton Autumn School – cancelled this year

The Athy Heritage Centre’s Shackleton Autumn School is the only Polar School in Ireland and was established to commemorate the explorer in the county of his birth. It provides a forum for discussion and debate on polar exploration and the presentation of artistic works relevant to Shackleton and his time.

May updates

News from one of the projects the JCS is sponsoring

Shackleton the Penguin, the team mascot for ReQuest2021, has something to celebrate: the scout team of eight from Kent and two from Scotland have recently hit the halfway point with fundraising for their Antarctic Research Project! The team would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored them so far along the way… Please click here more information

20th Shackleton Autumn School – cancelled this year

The Athy Heritage Centre’s Shackleton Autumn School is the only Polar School in Ireland and was established to commemorate the explorer in the county of his birth. It provides a forum for discussion and debate on polar exploration and the presentation of artistic works relevant to Shackleton and his time.

It’s almost time to decide on the shackleton award …

The purpose of The Shackleton Award is to honour outstanding expedition achievements and to inspire today’s explorers to new expeditions into unknown territories or conditions. The award will be given annually to an expedition found to be ‘real and novel, un-motorized and within polar areas or conditions’. 

You have until 15th JANUARY 2017 to make your nomination. 

Please send to  explaining your reasons why

For more information, please contact Trygve K. Norman at

2016 AGM

The 2016 AGM took place on Friday 4 November at 6.00pm in the Lower Hall at Dulwich College, followed by drinks around the boat in the James Caird Hall.

Afterwards in the Great Hall Mr Tim Jarvis, leader of the successful Shackleton Epic Expedition, gave a lecture entitled ‘An Explorer’s Life’, followed by dinner.

The evening was a great success and will be more fully reported in the 2017 Newsletter.

Future dates for your diary:
May Dinner: Friday 5 May 2017
2017 AGM: Friday 17 November 2017 *Note the new date


16 October 2016
Lt Col Henry Worsley MBE (1960 – 2016)

Henry Worsley died in January 2016 and his ashes will be laid to rest in Grytviken, South Georgia. Henry was a great Polar hero, who was tragically taken ill having walked 913 miles across Antarctica unsupported and unassisted.

Ice Tracks Expeditions will be carrying the ashes on a special 18-night commemorative voyage to honour and celebrate the life of this much loved man who strode in the footsteps of Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton; the latter also, of course, buried in South Georgia. For more information on this trip, please contact Ice Tracks.

18th June 2016

An important new polar book, Polar Mariner, Beyond the Limits in Antarctica by Captain Tom Woodfield, OBE, has just been published by Whittles Publishing, Caithness.

In her Foreword, HRH The Princess Royal comments that ‘The Antarctic and its adjacent waters remain as hostile now as they were in the Heroic Age of Exploration…furthermore, throughout this valuable text we are reminded of even earlier courageous mariners and explorers.’

Initially working for the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, now the British Antarctic Survey, Tom Woodfield navigated Antarctic seas for 20 years in uncharted, ice-filled waters, often in ferocious and life-threatening weather. This is a dramatic story of exploration and endeavour in the footsteps of the early pioneers. 

The author also describes the majestic scenery and abundant wildlife with calls made to Patagonia, Tristan da Cunha and St. Paul’s Rocks.

For more details, visit

Film premiere of South 2015: an Antarctic voyage to remember

1900 Wednesday 14 June 2017
Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR

A spectacular and moving film about the work done to commemorate Britons who lost their lives in British Antarctic Territory gets its first showing at a special event introduced by Polar explorer, Felicity Aston MBE.

The British Antarctic Monument Trust created the Antarctic Memorial in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral as well as Antarctic Monuments in both Cambridge and the Falkland Islands. The film explains the project: there’s an account of the 2015 voyage of MV Ushuaia to the Falklands, South Georgia, Signy and the Antarctic Peninsula with 85 Antarctic veterans, relatives, friends and supporters aboard; Antarctic Memorial designer, Graeme Wilson, and stone letter cutter, Fergus Wessel, share their work in St Paul’s; Oliver Barratt, sculptor, describes his vision of the Antarctic Monument and why he designed it in two parts, a theme that is taken up by Professor Julian Dowdeswell, director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, and by Professor Dame Jane Francis, Director of British Antarctic Survey. The film covers the dedication of the Southern monument in Stanley by the Bishop for the Falkland Islands, Nigel Stock, and follows the voyagers landing at South Georgia. Most significantly, it celebrates the spectacular landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula where those commemorated lived, worked and died.

Bar opens 1800. Question and answer session follows the film showing.

Tickets £14, available from Eventbrite


All profits to The British Antarctic Monument Trust, Registered Charity 01123064
For further information, contact
Roderick Rhys Jones: 02078400480 07768680006
Brian Dorsett-Bailey: 01923447422 07711654876

South Georgia Association

New and future science
Saturday 10 November at the Aurora Cambridge

A chance to discover more about the groundbreaking scientific research being done in South Georgia and the surrounding seas.

This full day event will consist of presentations by scientists who are currently actively involved in the area, and will be of particular interest to anyone with relevant knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for the topic – scientists and non-scientists alike.

The event will be held at Aurora, Cambridge, the British Antarctic Survey’s state of the art new Innovation and Conference Centre. The programme will include an exhibition of art work and photographs related to South Georgia and the event will end with a drinks reception followed by supper in the Icebreaker.

Full details of the event, including the registration form, are at
Deadline for registration is 20 October 2017

An enduring story… from every point of view

News of another take on the famous Endurance Expedition, this time on stage in Germany.

Author and director Christoph Busche looks at the well-known story from ship’s carpenter McNish’s perspective in a production that has its world premier in Kiel on 27 January 2018. For more information on this production, entitled Verloren im Packeis, please see here

Coming up soon…

Sale of Shackleton-related books

10 January 2019

A private library of Polar exploration, assembled over many years by Roger Casson, is coming up for auction in Yorkshire on 10 January 2019 (viewing on 9 January).


Tennants of Leyburn, an eminent auction house in the North, have a unique collection which is attracting huge attention from Polar/ Shackleton experts around the world.

Full details on the Tennants website:

The Stolen Elephant Theatre Company

The Stolen Elephant Theatre Company had a big hit with their play, Shackleton’s Stowaway at Edinburgh Fringe last summer, receiving a 5-star review from Edinburgh Guide plus a special award for selling 97% of their tickets!

In April 2019 the company will be doing a week’s run in Cervantes Theatre, Southwark, London: 23 April to 28 April . For more details,, please go to

BBC 2 are currently running a series

BBC 2 are currently running a series entitled Icons, featuring national icons. On Wednesday 9 January, the theme is famous explorers and naturally Sir Ernest is in the running. The Grand Final will involve a vote for viewers to select their  preferred icon. Full details via

Julian Dowdeswell of SPRI

Julian Dowdeswell of SPRI is heading up a team of scientists on board SA Agulhas II currently en route for the Weddell Sea. One of the most ambitious Polar expeditions in recent years, the scientists will try to discover why a trillion-tonne iceberg the size of Northumberland broke off the ice shelf and floated 28 miles (45km) last year. They also aim to search for the wreck of Endurance, crushed in ice more than 100 years ago.