Capt Scott’s Antarctic Legacy in Cardiff

There was a public auction today, of memorabilia and documents from the British Antarctic Expedition 1907–09, also known as the Nimrod Expedition.

A ‘hat-tip’ to former colleague, Matthew Teller, for spotting it and posting it on Twitter.

The Lots 1-6 being sold off in Golding Young & Mawer Grantham’s Collective Sale, include several autographed menus from celebratory dinners help for Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team members on the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909¹.

It reminded me of similar items on display in Cardiff.

The Royal Hotel in Cardiff² was the setting for a formal farewell dinner held on 13 June 1910 in honour of Capt Robert Falcon Scott and the Officers of the Terra Nova who were leaving two days later on the British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913.

An annotated hand-written letter displayed behind reflective glass
The Williamson letter
A typed sheet behind glass
Transcript of Williamson letter

The display cases in the Scott Room have various bits of memorabilia including autographed menu cards – clearly a ‘thing’ in those days – newspaper clippings and a rather poignant letter written by one of the team who found the frozen bodies of Scott and his team. Some of these items are photocopies.

Apologies for the quality of the photos. I took them over 2 years ago, before this site was launched, as simple reference images for written copy.


Speaking of interesting auction lots, this one was pretty special but nobody seemed to make much of a fuss at the time, and they certainly didn’t recognise its value!


¹ There were four pioneering British Antarctic Expeditions in 1898, 1901, 1907 (Shackleton) and 1910 (Scott).

² The Royal Hotel is a splendid hotel, well worth a visit. In addition to the Scott cabinets in the breakfast room, you should ask to see the bees on the roof. Any hotel that keeps beehives (I’m looking at you The Chesterfield, St Ermin’s and The Ritz, in London!) is ok in my book!


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