Simon Stephens, Curator of the Ship Models and Ship collection of the Royal Museums Greenwich, recently visited the Historic Dockyard Museum to look at the Museum’s ship model collection and provide advice on their care, display and possible restoration. Whilst he was in the Islands he also gave a talk on the James Caird, the boat that Shackleton and his men used to get from Elephant Island to South Georgia, which entailed a perilous sea trip of 17 days, Simon explained how the ship was adapted for this hazardous sea journey by Shackleton and his men ; and continued the story of the ship after they successfully reached South Georgia. The ship is now on display at Dulwich College, but has been loaned out for various exhibitions around the world and Simon illustrated the problems faced in transporting this unique ship to other maritime museums for display.
It was really useful to us at the Historic Dockyard Museum to have Simon in the Islands, looking first hand at our models and for us to be able to draw from his years of working with ship models - building, maintaining and recording them etc. He is pictured in the Museum alongside the model of an Elizabethan merchantman, made by Simon for the Museum, and representing the “Desire”, sailed by John Davis when he first sighted the Islands in 1592, and with Brian Summers looking at the builders half ship model of the SS Falkland (on loan from the Falkland Islands Company).
Falkland Islands Museum & National Trust
The historic heart of Stanley
Visit by Simon Stephens
Curator of the Ship Models and Ship Collection, Greenwich