Your guide to a season of extreme explorers at Torquay Museum
FEATURING FILMS, TALKS, EXHIBITION AND EVENTS. IMMERSE YOURSELF IN GRUELLING ADVENTURES FROM THE AMAZON JUNGLE TO SIBERIA AND THE POLES.
The theme for the forthcoming season at Torquay Museum comes from what has been described as “the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century" and the inspiration behind the most recent Hollywood biographical adventure film 'The Lost City of Z'.
Torquay-born Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett made seven gruelling expeditions to the Amazon Jungle, a place he called “the last great blank space in the world”. This is a man who has inspired cult fiction characters from Tin Tin to Indiana Jones with his quests to uncover a lost civilisation.
In 1925, he disappeared with his eldest son Jack, during an expedition searching for an ancient lost city in the uncharted Amazon Jungle. More than one hundred people died trying to rescue Percy Fawcett and many others left the jungle nearly starved to death, suffering from disease and parasites; the Brazilian government eventually had to ban all rescue attempts.
This sense of extreme exploration is the hook for all museum programming. From the 25 October 2017 - 17 February 2018, Torquay museum reveals more about Fawcett's obsession with 'The Lost City of Z' with an exhibition bringing together stories of adventure and extremes.
The exhibition includes genuine objects donated by Fawcett's family from his compass to diary and letters; alongside exclusives from film company - Plan B Entertainment - with props from the set, Charlie Hunnam's costume and photos of Sienna Miller. Interactive displays will provide a further sense of the dangers and hardships of being an Edwardian explorer in the Amazon. You can also catch a special screening of the critically acclaimed Hollywood film in the museums 130-seater theatre on Saturday 13 January, 2pm.
A temporary display of Ann Daniels polar expedition equipment can also be seen on the top floor of the museum. This is a person described by The Daily Telegraph as one of the top 20 Great British Adventurers of all time and one of only a handful of women in history to reach both the North and South Poles. See Daniels' immersion suit, skis, sledge and cooking equipment and imagine her transformation from mother of triplets to someone who has now sledge hauled for over 400 days and over 3000 miles on ice.
There is also a series of incredible Saturday talks from other explorers who have set out to uncharted lands. The Shorely's picks for October and November include:
Saturday 14 October, 2-3pm
with Antony Jinman, the 12th Briton to ever reach both the Geographical North and South Poles polar and an educational entrepreneur who uses pioneering technology for "live learning".
Saturday 28 October, 2-3pm
with explorer, writer and filmmaker, Jacki Hill-Murphy, who replicated Kate Marsden's epic 1892 journey across Siberia by horse, sledge and cart to take relief to the lepers.
Saturday 11 November, 11am-12noon
presents Jessica Pearson, a South West filmmaker who went on a 4 year adventure documenting women explorers. The talk will be followed by a screening of the award winning short film, The Space Outside.
Saturday 18 November, 11am-12noon
features Belinda Dixon, a Lonely Planet travel and adventure writer, BBC broadcaster and Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion with an 'Always Exploring' mantra to life.
The Explorers' Season runs from October 2017 to February 2018 at Torquay Museum. Exhibition tickets are £6.45 for adults, £3.95 for kids, £4.95 concessions. Group and family discounts available. Talks cost £5 per event with a special 50% discount on museum entry (which by the way, gets you free entry for a year!).