GOOD ON YOU, MATES. THE PRIDE OF THE (VERY) SOUTH IS BACK THERE.
The Antarctic Heritage Trust has recently returned a reconstructed beer barrel to Shackleton’s hut at Cape Royds.
The barrel was donated in 1907 by the Speights brewery to Shackleton, making the journey south before being consumed, in all likelihood on the trip down.
From there the barrel was probably repurposed and used outside the hut. The original iron hoops and wooden staves were pulled from the nearby Pony Lake back in the 1970s but left in the ice outside the hut.
These materials would later find there way back to New Zealand where the Antarctic Heritage Trust would begin the complicated task of reconstruction. The Trust worked with one of NZ’s only practising coopers, Jurgen Voigtlander, whose experience with traditional techniques was valuable during the careful rebuild project.
The barrel now proudly sits in the storage area outside Shackleton’s hut. Together with the other storage boxes on site it paints a picture of the huge amount of supplies needed to support the 15 men, dogs and ponies on the ice over an Antarctic winter.
Photo credit: Antarctic Heritage Trust