As one of the events planned to celebrate the reaching of the South Pole by Robert Falcon Scott and his party, the first members’ meeting of 2012 of Kirriemuir Heritage Trust was very well attended with around 50 members and guests enjoying a beautifully illustrated talk by Brian Kelly, education and community outreach officer for Dundee Heritage Trust.
With the help of wonderful images, including a beautiful one of the Aurora Australis by Dr Edward Wilson, an expedition member and accomplished artist, he told the story of Scott’s first expedition in 1901 on the Discovery built in Dundee.
The second expedition was partly planned at Burnside Lodge, Glen Prosen, where Wilson was living to study the health of the grouse population.
Another local connection is that Scott was a friend of J. M. Barrie.
This time their ship was the Terra Nova which was almost lost in a storm before it got to the Antarctic. The 800 mile trip to the South Pole proved very difficult. 5 men made the final journey. On January 17, 1912 they reached the Pole only to discover Amundsen had arrived there on December 14, 1911!
They did not make it back but we learn much from their diaries which were found in their tent. Duncan Henderson thanked Brian Kelly for his most informative talk on behalf of the audience.