Included here are notices of exhibits, lectures, conferences and other gatherings or events of Antarctic interest. Current and closest to the present usually listed first. Go to PAST EVENTS for those that have already happened.

The best polar gathering of the year is the Shackleton Autumn School, held each October in Athy, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Have a look at photos and commentary on the past ten gatherings excerpted from trip reports on my personal webpage.

Last updated: 2 September 2017.

Accessed at least many times since 17 April 2007.

Events associated with the centenary of Shackleton's Endurance expedition 2014-2016
Current & Continuing Antarctic Events
Upcoming Antarctic Events

Events associated with the centenary of Shackleton's Endurance expedition 2014-2016:

[Numerous events, mostly in the UK, are being proposed and planned during 2014-2016 to commemorate Shackleton's Endurance Expedition. The
Shackleton 100 website has now been launched that will act as a central information clearinghouse for these events and once up, much of the information will be duplicated here or possibly just a link will be included.]

Current & Continuing Antarctic Events:

Upcoming Antarctic Events:


Saturday, 9 September 2017, 2-7pm. Discovery Point, Dundee, Scotland.

A Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of William Lashly
This half-day event will explore William's life through his letters, diaries, and the writings of other explorers on Captain Scott's expeditions. It has been arranged in partnership with the Dundee Heritage Trust and Discovery Point. Dundee is where the RRS Discovery, on which William sailed with Captain Scott on his first expedition, was built and, in recent years, fully restored.

The day will include a presentation based on several years of research, including William's letters and Antarctic diaries, by George and Valerie Skinner, authors of The Life and Adventures of William Lashly.

There will also be an opportunity to see and learn about original artefacts held by the Dundee Heritage Trust relating to William including his kit bag and the inscribed Book of Prayer he gave to his wife-to-be, Alice Cox.

Time has been built into the event to allow participants to explore the Discovery Point's award-winning, family- friendly exhibition centre about polar exploration. If you are a relative of William Lashly there will be plenty of opportunities to meet up with other family members.

There will be a full guided tour of the ship, when it will be possible to see where William plied his trade as stoker for 10 months at sea on the round trip to the Antarctic, and where he lived with the other expedition members for two years, locked in the Antarctic ice. The afternoon will finish with a private drinks and canapˇ reception on the deck of the Discovery.

The charge for attendance at the half day event is £30. This includes the presentations, entrance and full access to the award-winning Discovery Point Exhibition Centre, a private drinks reception and guided tour of the ship, and a signed copy of the new, revised edition of The Life and Adventures of William Lashly.

For those wishing to stay overnight there are several hotels within walking distance of the venue.


2.00 Welcome

2.15 Stoker William Lashly. Illustrated talk by George and Valerie Skinner, authors of i>The Life and Adventures of William Lashly.

3.15 Questions and discussion

3.30 i>Discovery Point and its resources with particular reference to William Lashly. Louisa Attaheri, Curator, Dundee Heritage Trust.

4.00 Free for viewing William Lashly display and individual visits to the Centre exhibitions.

5.30 Guided Tour of RRS Discovery.

6.30 Private Reception, with drinks and canapés on the deck of RRS Discovery.

7.00 Close

Contributors: Valerie Skinner, who is William Lashly's first cousin (3 times removed) was a Primary School Headteacher. Her husband, George, was a researcher and teacher at the University of Manchester. Both have visited the Antarctic and in retirement have been researching the life of William through his letters, diaries and other historical records. They run a website about him and give talks to schools and groups.

Louisa Attaheri is Curator for the Dundee Heritage Trust's collection and has a particular interest in the contributions made by the ordinary crew members of Scott's expeditions.

G Skinner William Lashly Celebration,
The Rowans,
3 Church Street,
Belmont Village,
Bolton, BL7 8AB.

William Lashly was born into a Hambledon farming family on Christmas Day, 1867. At the age of 21, he decided to join the Royal Navy as a stoker. He was an exemplary seaman and in June 1901 was invited to join the crew of the Discovery for Captain Scott's first expedition to Antarctica. He proved to be a strong and courageous Antarctic explorer and on one occasion was responsible for saving Captain Scott's life. When in 1910 Captain Scott set sail on the Terra Nova for his second Antarctic expedition he took William with him. In October Scott set off to try to get to the South Pole. William was part of his support team and was the last person to see Scott and his four companions alive when they made their final attempt to reach the pole. During their return journey to Base Camp, William and Tom Crean risked their lives to save their leader Lt. Evans, for which act of bravery they were awarded the Albert Medal by George V on their return to Britain.

Further information about William Lashly may be found at our William Lashly, Antarctic Explorer website:


Friday-Monday, 27-30 October 2017. Athy, Ireland.

Click here for a registration form.


Friday 27th October

7.30pm - Official Opening in Athy Heritage Centre Museum.

8.00pm - Book Launch. In association with the publishers, the South Australian Museum, the school is delighted to host the launch of Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909. This unique publication gives real depth to the stereo photographs drawn from the Douglas Mawson collection and a remarkable insight into Shackleton's Nimrod expedition.

Exhibition Daily Exhibitions - Athy Heritage Centre - Museum
    Saturday & Sunday 10am - 5pm
    Bank Holiday Monday 10am - 2pm
Ushering in the Age of Mechanical Exploration: Richard E. Byrd's First and Second Expeditions to Antarctica.
The exhibition focuses on Admiral Richard Byrd's pioneering expeditions to the Antarctic 1928-1930 & 1933-1935. It tells the story of the ambitious plans to map Antarctica and to establish…
The exhibition text was developed by the Byrd Polar Research Center and is complemented by artefacts from the Center's own and private collections.

Saturday, 28th October Lecture Series, Athy Library
10.00am The Ross Sea Party 1914-1917. Joe O'Farrell
Admission €10.

10.50am TEA/COFFEE

11.20 The Norwegian Polar History, the basis of National Identity. Ambassador Else Berit
Admission €10.

12.10 Two Men in the Antarctic. Robert Burton
Admission €10.


2.15pm - Book Launch. Brad Borkan & David Hirzel will launch When your Life Depends on It

2.30pm - The Third Man Factor: Surviving the Impossible. John Geiger
Admission €10.

3.30pm - Living on the Edge: In the Wake of Shackleton. Enda O'Coineen
Admission €10.

4.30pm 'Icebreakers' A series of short presentations on topics relevant to the Shackleton Autumn School, presented by those with a passion for their subject.
Admission Free

8.00pm - Autumn School Dinner in Kilkea Castle Hotel, preceded by drinks reception at 7.30pm. Tickets €55

Sunday, 29th October Lecture Series, Athy Library

10.00am - The Endurance Photographs Like You've never seen them. Shane Murphy
Admission €10

10.50am TEA/COFFEE

11.20am - 'Shackleton's Foreigners': Douglas Mawson, and his Eventual Supremacy, 1909-11 Mark Pharoah
Admission €10

12.10pm - Ushering in the Age of Mechanical Exploration: Richard E. Byrd's First and Second Expeditions to AntarcticaLaura Kissel
Admission €10


2.30pm - An Exceptional Letter and it's Mailbox: Roald Amundsen at the South Pole, December 1911 Anne Melgård
Admission €10

3:30pm - Film: Byrd 1933.

The film tells the story of Byrd's 1933-1935 expedition to the Antarctic drawn from ten surviving reels from Byrd's Discovery Lecture Film Series. The filmmaker and artist Pamela Theodotou, Media Specialist at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at The Ohio State University directed the film. The film is introduced by Laura Kissel. Admission €10
5.00pm Open Forum - Chaired by Bob Headland
Admission Free

8.30pm - Drama - Athy Church of Ireland Community Centre. Tom Crean Antarctic Explorer.

Tom Crean (1877-1938) the intrepid Antarctic explorer and one of Ireland's unsung heroes is brought to life in this dramatic and humorous solo performance by Aidan Dooley. A welcome return to the Shackleton School for this iconic show.
Admission €10

Monday, 30th October 2016
Field Trip Assemble at The Heritage Centre Museum 10.00am Bus tour through Shackleton country. A Visit to Ballitore and the home of Mary Leadbeater, writer and ancestor of Ernest Shackleton and Quaker Meeting House. Fare 10

Information on Contributors

Bob Burton
Bob Burton is a natural history writer who has been involved with South Georgia for many years. He visited the island for the first time in 1964 and returned in 1971 to study albatrosses and fur seals. From 1995 to 1998, he was director of the museum at Grytviken and started to collect information on the island's history. This included researching the time that Shackleton spent on South Georgia. Bob now visits annually as a lecturer on cruise ships.

Ambassador Else Berit
Her Excellency Else Berit Eikeland is the Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland, having taken up office in September 2016. Her career in the Norwegian Foreign Service has spanned administrative, policy and ambassadorial roles, with postings to the Philippines, San Francisco, London and Canada. Prior to arriving in Ireland, she was the Polar Ambassador for the Arctic and Antarctica where she represented Norway's considerable interests in these regions.>br> The Shackleton Autumn School has built strong relations with Norway over the years and Ambassador Eikeland is keen to further develop these and more general Norway/Ireland relations based on the many areas of common interest.

Joe O'Farrell

John Geiger
John is the Chief Executive Officer of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. He is the international bestselling author of seven books, including Frozen In Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition, The Third Man Factor: Surviving the Impossible, and most recently Franklin's Lost Ship: The Historic of HMS Erebus. His work has been translated into fourteen languages. He has appeared on many television and radio programs, and has been featured in major documentary films including 'Arctic Ghost Ship' on PBS Nova, 'The Angel Effect' on National Geographic Channel's Explorer, and 'Flicker' on Bravo. He is the former chair of the Editorial Board of The Globe and Mail newspaper. In 2015 John received the Polar Medal.

Brad Borkan
Brad's interest in polar history started when he picked up an Antarctic exploration book at the local Public Library at the age of eight years old. He has a graduate degree in Decision Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania and has a fascination in how people and businesses can make better decisions. He is based in London.

David Hirzel
David a Californian native, is an author, historian and small business owner. He has written a three-part polar biography of the Irish explorer Tom Crean, a key player in Scott's and Shackleton's expeditions. The final book of this series, Antarctic Voyager, was launched at the SouthPole-sium conference in Scotland (May 2015). David's book, Sailor on Ice: Tom Crean with Scott in the Antarctic, has been optioned for a documentary.

Enda O'Cioneen
In November 2016, Enda O'Coineen crossed the starting line on the Vendee Globe challenge, becoming the first Irish person to take part in this gruelling single handed round the world race. Two months later, a squall in the Southern Ocean dismasted his yacht 'Kilcullen Voyager,' leaving him to limp into Dunedin on New Zealand's South Island. Enda's early life was a combination of youthful rebelliousness, sailing, budding entrepreneurship and hard work, with a BComm from NUI Galway along the way. Soon after, he attempted an Atlantic crossing in a rubber dinghy. He capsized 300 miles short of the west coast of Ireland—a few years later he completed the trip for a world first. As well as a serious commitment to charitable activities, and in particular the Atlantic youth trust Enda is executive chairman of Kilcullen Kapital Partners with interests in a range of businesses worldwide.

Shane Murphy
Shane (in his own words) can do nearly anything except elementary math equations and simple plumbing projects at his home near Sedona, Arizona. He has led 130 Grand Canyon river trips, authored several river guidebooks, and recently completed a biography of an historic Arizona character named John Hance, "the greatest liar on earth" according to Teddy Roosevelt. Since 2008, Murphy has lectured on polar history and driven Zodiacs around Greenland, Arctic Canada, the North Pole and Antarctica. He has transcribed several Endurance diaries and traveled widely in search of expedition images.

Mark Pharoah
From the U.K., but South Australia-based, he curated Douglas Mawson's personal Collection, initially at Adelaide University. Collaborations with the South Australian Museum led to Mawson-related exhibitions (1995, 1996, 2001-17, 2009-11), and both the Collection and its curator founded the Museum's Mawson Centre. Since 2003 his senior managerial role widened when he established an Australian Polar Collection, adding Wilkins and Rymill material.
Mark has written widely on Mawson, editing a CD-Rom, the Adelie Blizzard facsimile, and recently a stereoscopic book. He was coordinator of the 2014's centenary Aurora Symposium; lecturer/guide/marshal on Antarctic cruises, and 500m bicycle Outback Odysseys; also numerous smaller trips, one camel-supported.

Laura Kissel
Laura Kissel is the Polar Curator for the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Archival Program (Polar Archives), a position she has held since 1996. She has a bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University and a master's degree from Kent State University (Ohio). While the Polar Archives holds hundreds of collections, the cornerstone of the repository is the Papers of Admiral Richard E. Byrd. Laura's primary responsibilities include assisting the many researchers and scholars who use the collections, as well as donor relations, exhibitions, and other education and outreach activities.

Anne Melgård
Anne is a Research Librarian/Curator at the Section for Private archives, National Library of Norway in Oslo. She is an Ethnologist & cultural historian and was awarded a Master's of Art from the University of Oslo in 2000. Since 2001 she has been a permanent employee at the National Library of Norway, where for the last 10 years she have been responsible for archives connected to polar history.

Bob Headland
Bob is a senior research associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute of the University of Cambridge. He specialises in the history and geography of both polar regions. His work with the Antarctic Heritage Trust involves the preservation of the historical huts and other aspects associated with the exploration of the discovery of the Antarctic. His most recent publication is A Chronology of Antarctic Exploration.

Aidan Dooley
From Galway, Aidan trained at Guildford School of Acting London and works as a freelance Actor, Writer and Director in London. Highlights include 'Philadelphia Here I Come' Wyndhams Theatre London. 'Elegies for Angels' Criterion Theatre London. 'DA' White Bear Theatre London. 'Players and Painted Stage', 'Last Apache Reunion' SOS Theatre Bristol. National Tours of 'Tales of the Lost Formicans', 'Julius Ceasar' and 'Romeo and Juliet' Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company. He worked for many years developing various performance pieces and historical characters for all the National Museums in England including the National Maritime Museum Greenwich where the idea of a story on Tom Crean originated. He has won the prestigious Fringe First at Edinburgh and the Best Solo Performance award winner at the New York International Fringe Festival.


Friday, 10 November 2017, 6pm, Great Hall, Dulwich College, London. Preceded by the AGM at 5:30pm in the South Cloister. Dinner will be served at 7pm in the Great Hall.
NOTE: As of 26 August the date of the fall dinner has yet to be confirmed. Some sources give it as 17 November not 10 November. Stay tuned.


11 November 2017. Cambridge.
NOTE: This date is unconfirmed. Nothing appears on the SPRI website as yet.


Wednesday, 6 June 2018. Duke of Cornwall Hotel, Plymouth. Web:

Commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Captain Scott's Birth in Plymouth.


0930 Coach from Duke of Cornwall hotel to St Bartholomew's Church, Milehouse (site of Scott's birthplace)
1000 Church service to commemorate life of Captain Scott
1130 Coach to National Scott Memorial at Mount Wise
1200 Wreath laying ceremony Mount Wise
1230 Coach to Duke of Cornwall
1300 Buffet Lunch - Duke of Cornwall
1400 Talk by David Crane on Captain Scott
1500 Tea/coffee
1530 Talk by Lloyd Peck on Science in Antarctica
1630 Close
1830 Music by Edwardian trio in bar
1930 Gala dinner with guest speaker - Falcon Scott
Booking: Download the Booking Form for the events on 6 June 2018 here. For further details please contact the Vice Chairman and Secretary of DCPS Julie Ellis: 01752 767753.

For details of community and school activities planned from 2-9 June 2018 contact: Fr Richard Silk at St Bartholomews and St Marks Church, Outlands Road, Plymouth, PL2 3BZ
Tel: 01752 518030

Note: St Bartholomews Church was built in 1958 on the site of Outlands House, the boyhood home of Robert Falcon Scott.