This arch was erected in 1933 to mark 100 years of continuous British administration in the Falklands. The land which forms Arch Green (formerly Cathedral Green) was given by the Falkland Islands Company to the Falkland Islands Government for the enjoyment of the people of Stanley.
The double arch consists of two pairs of large jawbones from blue whales which were brought down to the Islands from the South Shetland Islands in 1922 by the Hektor Whaling Company, as a gift for the Falkland Islands Government. For some years, two of the bones lay on Victory Green and the others were kept in the Government Dockyard (now the site of the Historic Dockyard Museum.) The original intention was for them to form part of an exhibition in a proposed whaling museum but instead they were used to create this monument to the centenary.
Before 2017, it had been several years since any restoration work had been carried out on Whale Bone Arch. The arch had been yellowed by the Sun and was beginning to suffer water damage so restoration was desperately needed.
Even though the arch is not under National Trust care, we undertook the necessary work to stop any further deterioration.
We enlisted the help of Steve Cartwright who assessed the bones to see what work would need to be done. He then took on the massive challenge of working on each bone to restore the arch to it's former glory.
The arch was covered to protect it from the elements and to give it time to dry out. After a months work and £5,600 spent, the arch was finally unveiled.
When Steve carried out the work in 2017 he found that with the bones being three or so feet deep into the ground the bones are absorbing moisture meaning that they are not getting the opportunity to dry internally. He suggested, and we have agreed, that the best course of action would be to cut the bones at the base and sit them on a plinth to stop this from happening. Unfortunately, we do not have the funds to complete this work as yet.
Because this work has not been able to be completed the bones have blistered. Hugh Marsden replied to an advert in the Penguin News to assist with the ongoing preservation work. Hugh managed to deal with the blistered areas and applied a coat of varnish to protect the arch from the elements and the harsh UV rays.
We will continue to keep an eye on the arch and carry out as much work as means allow as and when it is needed.