Sunday, 9 October 2011

Geography and History

A crowd of Marketors and guests were given a masterful education in both geography and history during a memorable trip to the Royal Geographical Society. We were treated first to a fascinating talk and slide show explaining the role of the Society. Founded in 1830 the RGS is the UK's pre-eminent learned society and professional body for geography in all its dimensions. We were shown how the Society through research, education, fieldwork and expeditions advances geography as a leading discipline. With an illustrious history the Society holds one of the world's greatest geographical collections of artifacts and historical photos. which spans over 500 years of discovery and geographical science. It also holds the world's finest map collection some maps going back to the 15th Century.

After the presentation given by Alastair Macleod, Head of Collections and our guide and mentor for the evening we were taken down to the Foyle library where an amazing array of historical artifacts had been laid out for us. These ranged from Livingstone and Stanley's hats to Darwin's pocket sextant, Mallory's goggles and other possessions found on his body, the shopping list from Harrods for an attempt on Everest which, unbelievably included items such as sauce boats, and superb photographs taken on the many expeditions round the world including Scott's and Shackleton's----and much more besides. Here are a couple of photos. On the left Hillary and Tensing Norgay on the way down after conquering Everest. Below on the right we can see the unfortunate members of Scott's fated expedition; left to right Scott, Evans, Oates, Wilson, Bowers. These pictures give only the merest glimpse of the treasures in the Royal Geographical Society

At the end of the evening we were privileged to be the first to use the newly refurbished members area for drinks and canapes. Finer fare than that consumed by the early intrepid explorers whose expedition rations and cooking pots we had just seen.

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