Saturday, 21 July 2012

Survival! continues to thrill

Above: On show in Fairlynch. (L-r) Harry Dickason, Victor Campbell, George Abbott, Raymond Priestley, Murray Levick, Frank Browning.  

These six men, the northern party of Captain Scott's last expedition, stand outside the entrance to the snow hole in which they have just spent the 1911-1912 Antarctic Winter in darkness. Photo taken 24 Sept 1912. Photo credit: Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge

Half-through the final year of Fairlynch Museum's exhibition about the epic story of Scott's Northern Party it seems an appropriate moment to record some recent enthusiastic comments from visitors, made since this season's opening in mid-April.

Free admission is bringing in many more of them than in previous years, and 2012 being the centenary of Scott's death - as well as that of  R.F. Delderfield's birth along with the Year of the London Olympics and the Royal Jubilee - may see even more in the coming months.

The 'Survival!' exhibition really will be the last chance to see some of the rare artefacts and personal belongings on display in Fairlynch which give such an insight into the extraordinary bravery of these Antarctic pioneers.

It's especially gratifying to see how the Museum has been praised for its part in bringing Levick's story to light.

"What a wonderful, informative exhibition!" wrote Dr and Mrs Kurt Ebner from Kansas, USA. "Levick's and companions' story has been overshadowed by Scott's story, and it is very impressive to see it told so well here at Fairlynch Museum. Thank you."

Equally pleasing have been comments from visitors like Pauline Young, a former member of the Committee of Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. "A wonderful find, having worked with SCOTT 100 for three years," she wrote in our visitors' book. "Fantastic exhibition which told me a lot I did not know!!"

Further comments are below:  

"I particularly enjoyed the polystyrene ice-cave - very innovative!"
Mable, Budleigh
"Extremely interesting exhibition with excellent displays. Shows a different side of the known story."
M. and T. Rowlands, Sheffield
"Brilliant, fantastic to see some of Levick's photos and original equipment. Very well laid out and very absorbing."
"Very interesting and very informative."
"So pleased you have been able to mount this exhibition. We need to learn about such great people. Much enjoyed."
"What courage and tenacity! Such bravery."
Penny Turner
"Very interesting exhibition. Thank you for the display."
"Their story is well known but still fascinating and touching."
"Excellent exhibition. Good to have detail of the Northern Party and their amazing story of survival and achievement, thanks mostly it would seem to Budleigh Salterton's Levick."
"Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope to come back."
Peter White
"Superb. My congratulations and thanks for the thought and effort that has gone into this exhibition!" "Came here especially to see Antarctic display re Levick and Inexpressible Island because we actually visited this Island in January this year during our expedition to the Ross Sea area."
Phil and Karen Tempest
"Loved the Antarctic display."
Rosie and Adrian Bower.

Visitors' experience of the Museum in general have been excellent judging by the following comments:

"I would find it hard to say which section is my favourite!"
S. Targett
"We have all said we could spend a whole week in here!"
The Mann Family, Birmingham
"I'd like to live in the museum! Fantastic collection and family history."
J. Kennard
"Lovely looking at the Royal Folder."
S. Davies
"Amazing museum - thank you!"
Archie and Jerry Smith
"Loved all of it and the school records."
Gill and Terry Day
"Very enjoyable."
Sue and Colin
"Very interesting. Well displayed artefacts."
Ron and Lesley Turner.
"Lovely. Thank you."
Julie Faber
"A very interesting museum! Thank you."
H. White

Comment from Dave Pearce, outdoor survival expert :
"This is an amazing story of survival and true grit which is so well laid out by the museum for all to enjoy."  Dave Pearce

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