Is that the Caird Christmas shopping?

J Caird in Sloane SquareVisitors to one of London’s trendiest shopping streets must have feared they had been overdoing the Christmas spirit when the world’s most famous lifeboat trundled past them on the King’s Road earlier this month.

What on earth was the James Caird doing in Sloane Square?! It turned out not to be the plucky 23-footer herself (the original is still safely berthed at Dulwich College) but a faithful replica created by Seb Coulthard, JCS member and veteran of the 2013 Epic Expedition.

Seb’s replica J. Caird, until recently a resident of his garden, has now taken pride of place in an Endurance-inspired shop, opened on 2 December by JCS President, The Hon Alexandra Shackleton.

Caird in shop windowThe shop, simply called ‘Shackleton’, is the brainchild of Ian Holdcroft and Martin Brooks, long-time admirers of Sir Ernest and his optimism and courage.

‘Shackleton’ sells a huge range of outdoor expedition-ready gear, as well as knitwear, sweaters, gloves, scarves and beanies – perfect Christmas presents for anyone planning a trip to the South Pole, or even no further than South Kensington.

You can find out more on the website. Or pop along and pay the Caird a Christmas visit.


Kent Scouts ReQuest2021 Antarctic Research Project

Shackleton’s Scouts Online Presentation

A fundraising talk for this expedition (which is being supported by the James Caird Society) will be held via zoom on Sunday 6 December 2020. Further details and how to buy tickets can be found here.


Shackleton poster: eye-catching and informative

We are delighted to announce that the Shackleton poster, as described in our 2020 Newsletter and shown here, is now available to order.


All proceeds from the sale of these posters will go towards our charitable work – which is to support projects, usually expeditions, which emulate the spirit of Shackleton, especially of the Endurance Expedition.

The poster is A2 size (24″ x 16″/ 610mm x 407mm) and is extremely informative, as well as being a wonderful work of art: either way it will make a perfect present this Christmas. It was created by American artist, designer and illustrator John Hyatt, an ardent admirer of Sir Ernest’s achievements. We are very grateful to John for allowing us to use his work in this way.

To order a poster, please contact Tony Parker at with your name and full postal address.

We are asking for a minimum donation of £15 please to cover production costs, plus Postage and Packaging of £5.00 (UK) or £9.00 (overseas).

Payment details

By cheque, made payable to ‘The James Caird Society’ and sent to

Mr A J Parker, 29 Pemberton Road, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9LG

Or by bank transfer to: Account Name: The James Caird Society,   Bank: BANK OF SCOTLAND,   Branch: London Chief Office,    Sort Code: 12 01 03    Account Number: 00447400   BIC: BOFSGB21254   IBAN: GB84 BOFS 1201 0300 4474 00

Please note: If paying by Bank Transfer, please use the reference ‘POSTER’ and ensure that your bank includes a reference that clearly identifies you as the transferor.

Gift Aid: If you are a UK taxpayer and have not completed a Gift Aid form, please download this from our website, complete and send it to Tony Parker at the above address.


Newsletter feedback

The 2020 Newsletter has now been distributed to all members, hard copies to UK addresses, digitally to overseas members. We hope you all enjoyed reading the somewhat shorter than usual issue, and were not too flummoxed by the crossword. We are always grateful for comments, suggestions and contributions; this issue inspired several!

Guy Story’s discovery of an ‘unknown’ photo of Shackleton in Stanley is questioned by Robert Burton: ‘About 20 years ago I obtained a scan of a print held by Geoff Selley. It is clearly not in such good condition but on the reverse is written: Photo taken of Sir Ernest Shackleton the day after he landed in the Falklands by Mr Johansen whose boots Sir E is wearing. There are several such photos to be found, most in an album held in the Jane Cameron National Archives in Stanley.’ More of this tale will undoubtedly appear in next summer’s Newsletter and we are indebted to Guy Story for starting the discussion.

The James Caird replica article also attracted attention, including from our President. Several members of the Endurance Expedition were not awarded Polar medals, not just McNeish. We will never know exactly why this decision was made.

We do know that there are several more JC replicas than those listed. Seb Coulthard (one of the members of Tim Jarvis’s Epic Expedition) has one in his garden, and James Norton has created a beautifully detailed Caird model complete with crates, supplies and sleeping bags. We hope all these replicas (and more?) will put in an appearance in summer 2021.

And finally (so far) Jim McAdam draws attention to an error in his piece on the Stanley Museum: ‘I said that James Clark Ross visited the Falklands in 1838. This is, of course, incorrect. His expedition and great voyage only departed from the UK for the Antarctic in  1839 and overwintered in Stanley in 1842. A historian friend has kindly (and gently) pointed out the error.’

Please keep up the correspondence.

November Dinner

Sadly, the traditional November dinner at Dulwich College has now been cancelled. This decision was driven by the government guidelines relating to Covid-19 and the events policy adopted by Dulwich College.  In a positive light, we plan to view this as a mere postponement – and intend to restart our activities in 2021. If gatherings like those hosted by JCS are permitted, our postponed May Dinner will take place on Friday 21 May, with Skip Novak as our guest speaker.

The formal 2020 AGM will be a virtual affair of some kind, details of which will be posted here when finalised. JCS members will be informed by email.

Athy Autumn 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