Plymouth to remember Antarctic explorer Captain Scott with 10-month programme

PLYMOUTH is marking the centenary of city hero Captain Scott’s South Pole expedition with a ten-month programme.

A weekend of science, history, exhibitions and plays from June 4-6 next year is the Plymouth centrepiece in a series of national and international commemorations for the Antarctic explorer.

The weekend includes the 100th anniversary of Scott’s last birthday and begins a programme of remembrance ending with the rededication of the national Scott memorial at Mount Wise on March 25, 2012.

Events outside the city include a service in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, and an international expedition to the Antarctic, being led by Plymouth-born explorer Antony Jinman.

Plymothian Robert Falcon Scott and his four companions died in March 1912 on their 1,600-mile return journey on foot from the South Pole.

They battled to the southernmost point only to discover they had been beaten in the quest to be the first to the pole by Norwegian Roald Amundsen’s party.

But the story of their bravery and spirit remains one of the greatest tales in the history of human exploration.

Denis Wilkins, the chairman of the Scott 100 Plymouth organising committee, said the aim was to involve the whole community and inspire a new generation of Plymothians.

“This can be a huge success, akin to the way Plymouth celebrated the 400th anniversary of the Spanish Armada in 1988,” he said.

“Scott was a true hero. Setting off to the Antarctic 100 years ago was like setting off for the Moon today.

“Despite his demise, his expedition advanced our knowledge of this silent brooding wilderness. But above all he was an inspiration to thousands of young people.

“Through this celebration we have the opportunity to show how our nation has developed the heritage of science, history and culture to which he made such a great contribution.

“Above all, this centennial provides an opportunity to inspire the young people of Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall with the ideals of endeavour, achievement, curiosity and selfless embodied by Captain Scott, his men (many of whom had Plymouth connections) and their expeditions.”

The Scott 100 committee is a group of volunteers which has been planning the commemorations for over a year. All the leading institutions in Plymouth are represented, including the university, the city council and the Royal Navy.

Scott 100 will also highlight the city’s continuing links with the frozen continent. Among those is the British Antarctic Survey Medical Unit, which is based at Derriford Hospital.

Mr Wilkins, a surgeon, is a former director of the medical unit. The director of the survey, Professor Nick Owens, was previously the chief executive of Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Prof Owens will be a key speaker at a conference at the university, one of the events in the city’s Scott 100 weekend in June.

Full details of the Scott100 Plymouth commemorations were being unveiled today at the City Museum and Art Gallery.

For more information about the Scott 100 commemorations, contact Joanna Murphy at the University of Plymouth on 01752 588959.

Original article here

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