Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Museum's ex-Chairman complimented on polar heroes' show

Roger Kingwill at work on research into the Scott 1910-13 Antarctic expedition

Experts on Antarctica visiting Fairlynch's 'Survival!' exhibition have rated it first-class and complimented the organisers on a job well done.

Rachel Morgan, Director of the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust, who called in at Budleigh Salterton while participating in the Scott100 conference in Plymouth, was impressed by the hard work put in by Fairlynch volunteers involved in the project.

Special mention was made by Mrs Morgan of former Fairlynch Museum Chairman Roger Kingwill. As conceiver of the exhibition he created what she has described as a "fantastic" scale model of the snow cave in which Antarctic explorer and former Budleigh resident Murray Levick spent seven uncomfortable months during the winter of 1912.

Inside the ice cave. Local modelmaker Neil Rogers contributed the figure crouched over a model of the stove which was the explorers' vital source of heat

The Trust's website at now features a picture of the model snow cave on display in the Fairlynch exhibition.

The United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust was set up in 1993, inspired by the need to recognise and conserve Britain’s long and distinguished history of exploration and scientific research in Antarctica.

A grant from the Trust has helped to publicise the 'Survival!' exhibition.

This year's Fairlynch project has also been praised by a former member of the British Antarctic Survey. "A first-class exhibition full of interest," is how John Killingbeck described it following his visit to the museum. "It's so good that the life of Murray Levick has been recorded in this way. A remarkable man and part of a remarkable survival party - definitely one of the greatest stories of survival in the Antarctic."

Mr Killingbeck has the distinction of being the last person to drive a team of huskies in Antarctica. He worked for two and a half years as Base Leader in the South Shetlands and was invited by the British Antarctic Survey to undertake a last sledge journey on the continent as the representative of hundreds of past drivers.

Sales of a Fairlynch publication Surviving the Antarctic Winter in a Snow Cave have proved so popular with visitors that a reprint has been ordered. The 22-page booklet is based on Levick's account of his experience and includes illustrations and a biographical sketch.

Fairlynch Museum and the 'Survival!' exhibition will remain open daily from 2.00-4.30 pm except Saturdays until 30 September 2011. For more information about the Museum click on

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