The Polar Postmaster
Tudor Morgan from Monmouthshire reveals what life is like working at the world’s most southerly public Post Office at Port Lockroy, Antarctica, in a BBC Radio Wales Documentary due to air this Saturday.
Tudor works with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, which manages and runs the restored World War II buildings on Goudier Island on the Antarctic Peninsula as a Post Office, museum and gift shop. Surrounded by sea ice for much of the year, the Post Office comes to life in the summer as the Port Lockroy team arrive and prepare to welcome 15,000 visitors from around the world. As Tudor says, "everyone wants to buy a postcard and a stamp with a penguin on from the Post Office".
The programme begins as Tudor and the Port Lockroy team make the treacherous journey south across the Drake Passage in a yacht. Along the way they experience the wildlife of this remote part of the world, as well as the dramatic weather and stray icebergs that characterise Antarctica and make this such an adventurous journey.
Reopening the Post Office, museum, shop and living quarters at Port Lockroy for the new season, we follow Tudor and the team as they welcome tourists from as far afield as Germany, Iran and Taiwan to this part of Antarctica. Tudor also shares the magical moment when a colony of Gentoo penguins arrive on the island, and how he and the Port Lockroy team live in harmony with their noisy neighbours.
From walking across the sea ice to reach the base at Port Lockroy, to spotting wildlife on the ice and sea, to welcoming tourists to the Post Office, Tudor provides a unique insight into life in the Post Office at the bottom of the world.
The Polar Postmaster will be broadcast on BBC Radio Wales at 13.30 on Saturday 13 December. It will be available to listen to on BBC iPlayer for 30 days following the broadcast via bbc.co.uk/radiowales
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New UKAHT Christmas Advent Calendar
With Christmas fast approaching, the UKAHT has created a digital advent calendar to mark the season. From 1st December, a new image will be released everyday to celebrate the countdown to Christmas.
New films for Port Lockroy and Deception Island
The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust is pleased to announce the release of two new films introducing two of the most important and charismatic sites in Antarctica; Port Lockroy and Deception Island.
Port Lockroy film
Filmed by AGB films, who also made the BBC Natural World’s ‘Penguin Post Office’ documentary, Port Lockroy ‘Base A’, Antarctica introduces the history of Port Lockroy as well as offering a taster of what visitors to the historic site can see today. Featuring footage shot from the 2013/14 season, as well as archival images, this introduction to Port Lockroy gives an insight into why Base ‘A’ remains the most visited historic site in Antarctica.
Whaler’s Bay Deception Island film
The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust has also produced a film for Whaler’s Bay in Deception Island. With its varied history and remains this site is notoriously challenging for visitors to interpret. The film ‘Whalers Bay Deception Island: A Brief History’ provides an overview of this fascinating and historically important part of Antarctica and provides a useful means of interpretation of the site. Created by Kirk Watson, the film uses rare archival footage as well as more recent images to bring the story of Whalers Bay to life.
The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust has produced these films as informative guides to be screened to cruise-ship passengers before they visit Port Lockroy and Deception Island. As a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), UKAHT uses these films as part of its commitment to promoting responsible tourism in Antarctica.
Both of these films are now available on YouTube through the links found on our website here, with additional subtitled versions of the Deception Island briefing film in English, French, German, Mandarin, Norwegian and Spanish.