The Arts Society Alton

Heritage Volunteers

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In the past The Arts Society Alton has helped the Royal Green Jackets Museum in Winchester, at Rotherfield Park in nearby East Tisted and Chawton House Library. At the present we are supporting Gilbert White's House and Museum at The Wakes in Selborne and if you are interested in joining us please contact Niven Baird for more details.

Gilbert White's House and The Oates Museum, Selborne, Hampshire

2012 marked the centenary of the Scott Terra Nova Expedition to the Antarctic and the 100th anniversary of the death of Captain Oates. Thanks to a National Lottery 'Your Heritage' grant, match funding by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust, generous donations and fundraising, the Lawrence Oates Gallery at The Wakes was redesigned. The galleries tell the story of Oates's early life, his distinguished service in the Boer War and the story of the Scott Expedition of 1910-12. A completely new section reflects the scientific importance and legacy of the Scott Expedition.

Captain Oates (18801912) was chosen to be part of Captain Robert Scott's team to undertake the epic journey of discovery to the South Pole a hundred years ago. The ill-fated expedition turned into a race for the pole when the explorers learnt of the presence of the Norwegian team led by Amundsen. Scott's team suffered inadequate food supplies, severe weather conditions and failing health so Oates sacrificed his life in the hope of saving his comrades, leaving the tent in a terrible blizzard with the famous last words "I am just going outside and may be some time." His body was never found.

The arts society volunteers help to conserve our heritage both in Britain and in parts of Europe. Conservation and preservation of our heritage are tremendous burdens on the limited resources of museums, National Trust properties, historic houses, libraries and gardens. Volunteers help them in non-specialist but vital ways by caring for collections, recording documents and stewarding for visitors.