We have had many guest speakers give talks at the museum over the years on a wide range of subjects. From Shackleton to geology, the 1982 conflict to Chinese ceramics. No subjects are off limits.
They are a great chance to learn about specialist subjects, recent projects or specific areas of history.
Falkland's Veteran, Stan Darbyshire was kind enough to give a talk at the Museum on the 15th September on his time in the Islands during 1982. Stan told the story of his deployment south from the UK with 11 Field Squadron Royal Engineers, who were the harrier support squadron. Stan also highlighted some of the other tasks the Royal Engineers carried out during the time between the 25th May until the ceasefire. Stan also touched on the additional works carried out post conflict on the Airport up to mid-August. All in attendance thoroughly enjoyed Stan's talk, especially the Islanders who got to see the 1982 war from a different perspective. A huge thank you to Stan for taking the time to share his story with us.
Not technically a talk however, guests had the pleasure of watching a documentary which followed Mensun Bound on his expedition to find Shackleton's ship, the Endurance which was lost in the Weddell Sea over a century ago. The documentary followed the trials and tribulations encountered during the search which, due to many difficult circumstances, turned out not to be fruitful. However, this is not the end of the search. This year will see Mensun continue the search, this time with more up to date technology.
To learn more about the expedition visit: https://endurance22.org/
Cathy gave our first ever virtual talk all the way from north Wales. Thankfully technology was on our side and Cathy was able to tell us the incredible story of the Criccieth Castle, an iron sailing ship, which sank over a hundred years ago off Cape Horn. The captain, his wife, their four-year-old son and crew had to fight for their lives for eight freezing days in an open boat before reaching salvation on the Falkland Islands. It's an amazing story. Many thanks to Cathy, the talk was thoroughly enjoyed by all those who attended.
Our new friend, Joe, Member of the Board of Directors of the Shackleton Museum in Athy, gave two talks during his visit to the Islands in February. The first was on 'Shackleton's Forgotten Men'. Joe told the amazing story of the 10 brave men who ended up stranded in Antarctica for 10 months after the loss of their ship. Out of the 10 men, only 7 survived.
Joe also gave a fascinating talk on the project of finding and conserving the cabin in which Shackleton died and it's eventual display in the explorer's birth place.
Dr Jim McAdam made a welcome return to the museum to give an update on the Ilen project. Jim showed the audience many pictures of her re-build and a short film of her 'maiden' voyage to Greenland in July 2019.
During Conor O'Brien's famous circumnavigation in the yacht Saoirse in 1924, he broke his homeward journey to stop in Stanley. His visit led to the F.I.C. commissioning a larger version of his yacht – the auxiliary ketch Ilen.
The Ilen served 60 busy years in the Falklands, before being returned to Ireland in 1997. Here the ketch was extensively repaired and has been born again as the inspiration for a not-for-profit school run by the A.K. Ilen Company. Learn more about the project here: http://www.ilen.ie/
Bailey returned to tell the incredible story of the wreck of the Isabella, her rescue by the Nanina, the betrayal of the Nanina's Captain, Charles Barnard and his eventual rescue after being marooned on New Island for over a year. It is a difficult story to fit into an hour however Bailey just about managed it.
Bailey then gave his second talk on the Battles of Coronel and the Falklands, detailing the disastrous defeat of the British at the Battle of Coronel. Then Britain's retaliation and triumph against Von Spee's fleet in the Battle of the Falklands.
Alan Hinkes OBE is an English Himalayan high-altitude mountaineer from Northallerton in North Yorkshire. Alan visited the Islands in December 2019 and took time out his busy schedule to visit us here at the museum and gave two talks on his adventures climbing the highest mountains in the world including Everest and K2. Alan is the first Briton to climb the world’s 14 highest mountains (those above 8,000 metres), being one of only 12 people alive who have achieved this challenge – the same number of people who have stood on the moon!
Cathy Woodhead gave our first ever virtual talk! She told a captive audience the amazing story of the Criccieth Castle, an iron sailing ship, which sank over a hundred years ago off Cape Horn. The captain, his wife, their four-year-old son and crew had to fight for their lives for eight freezing days in an open boat before reaching salvation on the Falkland Islands.