#PortLockroyDiaries

This season, we are sending four experts to help us take stock of the site and all it contains. Keep up to date with their progress here.

Conservation assessment – context and aims
27 March 2020

For any historic collection, knowing what you have, where it is, and what condition it is in are the fundamental components of the object database. We are using a collections database called MODES, and into this go the objects’ dimensions and description along with a rating of one to four depending on  its condition, with one being ‘as new’, and four being extremely unstable.

Antarctic Twitching
26 February 2020

It seems like the more time you spend observing wildlife, the more there is to observe and the more interesting you find them. I frequently found myself hypnotised by the penguin tableaux at Port Lockroy, although naturally mostly I was far too busy working to dilly dally watching penguins. Still, sometimes you had no choice but to stop and watch, as the rules of the island are ‘give way to penguins’.

Life and work in sub-zero temperatures
19 February 2020

Working for hours at a time in sub-zero temperatures when you are cataloguing means you move very little. Consequently, no matter how good your warm clothing – and trust us, Rab is as warm as it gets – or how much porridge you had for breakfast, at a certain point you become aware of getting very cold. Fingers and toes are always the first to suffer.

Tutti Frutti
12 February 2020

As part of a multiyear support agreement with UKAHT, Artefact Conservation Programme Manager Lizzie of NZAHT and UKAHT's conservator, Sophie Rowe, travelled to the Antarctic Peninsula to survey and assess artefacts at Bransfield House, the main building of ‘Base A’ at Port Lockroy. The two were suprised on their journey South by the art of fruit sculpting... Looks like they made themselves some vegti-pals! 

 

 

The Return to Port Lockroy
9 February 2020

After successfully completing all of their survey work at Wordie House, the conservation team returned to Port Lockroy hoping for better weather in order to finish their survey and maintenance work. Nathan’s prayers were answered when we were given some dry and almost calm conditions, enabling him to complete his terrestrial laser scanning of Bransfield House and the boat shed.

Logistics and Delays - Lizzie Meek of NZAHT
5 February 2020

Sometimes getting to Antarctica is as simple as getting on a plane in New Zealand and stepping off 5 hours later into sub-zero temperatures. This year’s work expedition to Port Lockroy, (the British base on the Antarctic Peninsula managed by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust) was a whole other story... 

Together at last
1 February 2020

UKAHT are particularly excited to be surveying Wordie House this season as within the month prior to departure Geoff was able to locate and meet one of the team who built Wordie House back in the early months of 1947.

Take two!
29 January 2020

During the five days that Geoff spent at Port Lockroy he conducted a number of health and safety related tasks including asbestos mitigation, measuring how radioactive some old sledging compasses were, as well as supervising the rewiring of the Nissen hut accommodation building.

A Surprise in the Pantry
11 December 2019

Flour, herrings, pickle, baking powder, pickle, oats, peas, more pickle, ice cream powder…..wait a minute – ice cream powder?  Yep, buried in the line-up of the more expected and somewhat ordinary household tinned goods in the kitchen at Port Lockroy is a tin of Snovilla Ice Cream Powder. Of course, you say, Antarctica being a giant freezer -  ‘make your own’ ice cream is a must for any self-respecting expedition...

Spring has sprung
04 November 2019

It is definitely a lot warmer now and the snow is softening so much that sometimes on our daily commute from the Nissen hut to the museum one leg sinks in up to the knee leaving a ‘post hole’ in the snow.  We have to fill these holes in straight away so they don’t become ‘penguin traps’ – and this means getting around on a warm day can be surprisingly time-consuming...

Kia ora
27 November 2019

We are now well underway with cataloguing all the artefacts in Bransfield House and getting to know the rooms in turn...

Damoy, Ahoy!
19 November 2019

So close and yet so far! From Damoy Point on the deck of the Fram, we could see our goal - Port Lockroy - it's bay full of thick ice impassable by boat. Some of the crew joked that they could drop us off at nearby Damoy Hut instead, where the water was calm, ice-free, and full of Gentoo Penguins ducking and diving...

 

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We love to talk about the important heritage work that we do, telling the story of life in Antarctica both past and present. If you are interested in running a story about us, would like to arrange an interview, use our images or films, or want to discuss an opportunity to collaborate then get in touch.

For all press enquiries, please contact ukaht@89up.org or +44 (0) 203 411 28 89. For urgent press enquires out of office hours, please call +44 (0) 203 2 89 89 01.