The granddaughter of legendary polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton was the guest of honour at the launch of a new experience and exhibition that celebrate his most famous Antarctic adventure at Charletown’s Shipwreck Treasure Museum.
Over the last three months, the award-winning attraction has transformed the former clay transport tunnels beneath it into the immersive Shackleton experience. Visitors will step into an atmospheric polar world and learn about the Endurance expedition, the ultimate story of human survival.
This is followed by a striking exhibition of images and excerpts of film captured during the infamous expedition that highlight the stark and harsh realities of the crew’s desperate plight. It is staged in association with the Royal Geographic Society with IBG and is on display in Cornwall for the very first time.
Alexandra Shackleton didn’t get a chance to meet her grandfather. His untimely death in 1922, while leading the Quest expedition to Antarctica, happened when her father was only 10 years old. However, she grew up inspired by the stories of his incredible life of discovery and adventure.
During her speech at the event, she commented that her grandfather’s legacy stemmed from his leadership skills. Motivating his crew of 27 stranded in the hostile Antarctic environment for nearly two years and subsequent survival against the odds.
She added that the explorer’s mark on the world is still felt more than a century later. Highlighting American football coach Bill Belichick’s use of Shackleton’s story to inspire his underperforming New England Patriots team to glory in the sport’s World Championship in 2001. Even craters on the Moon and Mars have been named after him.
When museum owner, Sir Tim Smit, asked if she was cold at the event, Alexandra quipped, “Of course not, I’m a Shackleton!”
Lynné Raubenheimer Visitor Experience Manager at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum said:
“We were pleased that Alexandra Shackleton was able to visit us and see our new features about her grandfather that we are very excited to share with our visitors. It is a truly inspiring story of human resilience and endeavour that we are pleased to be celebrating during 2022.”
The new Shackleton experience and exhibition are open daily as part of the Shipwreck Treasure Museum offering, home of Europe’s largest private collection of fascinating shipwreck artefacts, until Sunday 30 October 2022.
Learn more by visiting www.shipwreckcharlestown.co.uk
Image: (l to r) Alasdair MacLeod (Royal Geographical Society with IBG), Alexandra Shackleton, Lynné Raubenheimer (Shipwreck Treasure Museum)