RRS Discovery keeps it in the family with new exhibits from Scott’s Antarctic trip

When geologist Hartley Ferrar took part in Captain Scott’s Antarctic voyage on the Discovery, little did he know his personal artefacts would mean so much to the public, or that they would reunite two family members in Dundee more than a century later.

Hartley was one of five scientists who joined Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s famous expedition in 1901. Yesterday his granddaughter Virginia Forbes donated some of Hartley’s personal effects to Dundee Heritage Trust and RRS Discovery, which is docked at Discovery Point in Dundee.

Virginia, born in Kenya and now resident in London, handed over eight bound and signed copies of Punch magazine, which Hartley enjoyed on board the ship, and a set of cutlery engraved with ‘Discovery 1901′, used on board at formal officers’ dinners. Dublin-born Hartley Ferrar was responsible for geological surveys on the Discovery expedition, which included frequent sledging trips.

Also present at the handover of items was Virginia’s cousin, Sheena Anderson Barrow, whose grandfather Gibson Anderson was on the Terra Nova, the Dundee whaling ship which helped rescue RRS Discovery in 1903 after it was trapped in ice.

Gibson was the brother of Virginia’s grandmother Gladys Anderson, who Ferrar met and fell in love with when the Discovery crewmen were entertained by the Anderson family in Merchiston, Christchurch on their 1901 journey to the Antarctic.

Louisa Attaheri, Curator with Dundee Heritage Trust, said:

“We are extremely grateful to Virginia Forbes and her family for this donation. The use of formal cutlery and specially commissioned Royal Doulton crockery on RRS Discovery displays the Edwardian sensibilities of the time. Even though they were in the middle of the Antarctic, it was important for the scientists and officers to have their meals in a formal setting and to follow etiquette.

“Reading and writing was an important form of entertainment for those on board. We know that crew members read books and magazines and also produced a monthly newspaper. These signed and bound copies of Punch will join several other magazines and books already in our exhibition.”

Dundee Heritage Trust, formed in 1985 to preserve and interpret Dundee’s industrial past, operates RRS Discovery and jute museum Verdant Works, both five-star rated attractions and winners of numerous awards.

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com