Following the success of last year’s reunion, the organising committee decided to offer their services to the Trust in order to develop and promote trust activities. It also provided Tony Dutton, Ollie Shepard, Sally Traverse- Healy, Simon Gault and myself an opportunity to gather regularly and enjoy refreshments while pondering the merits of our adventure 25 years ago. The concept of this forum was based on the original 1730 Club which gathered each evening on board the Benjamin Bowring in either Oliver’s or Charlie’s cabin in order to debate the issues of the day. This took the form of interesting gossip or scandal as well as a critical analysis of everyone else on board. Mostly in a good natured way – but not always!
Today, the 1730 Club is tasked with significant responsibility. We gather each month to consider ways of promoting the Trust and raising funds. We are keen to develop more reunions and start a “Friends of the 1730 Club” so that we can widen the circle of supporters. And, most importantly, we are tasked with the search for worthwhile causes for the Trust to support and the procedures by which selection can take place and be generally promoted.
In recent months, we have also enjoyed the company of Arabella Macintyre Brown, Maryclare Foà and Nigel Cox who have all brought valuable ideas for onward development to the gatherings. In future we plan to invite younger participants (offspring of TGE team members) to join in an effort to remain young at heart and secure the long-term future of the Trust.
The 1730 Club is not exclusive. If you want to join, or, if you want to help in any way, let me know. We usually meet at the Commonwealth Club (where the last reunion dinner was held) in London. Although it is great fun, it is a serious attempt to make TET an effective charity while keeping the memory of TGE alive.
Activities during 2005
During the past year, new energy has helped to spur the Trust into greater activity. Simon Gault joined the Board and has been active in a number of ways to help the Trust achieve its goals. The appointment of the 1730 Club as an ‘executive’ committee has also increased the efforts to develop the worth of the Trust both in its underlying financial strength and in the practical issues of supporting worthwhile causes. It is worth restating the purpose of the Trust. It exists…
“…to establish, develop and maintain a trust fund from the income of which periodic grants will be made to humanitarian, scientific or educational projects which, in the opinion of the trustees, reflect the spirit, dedication and inspirational values of the Transglobe Expedition and which would enable those benefiting from such grants to achieve worthwhile ambitions and inspire others to do likewise.”
This gives us a wide scope and does not restrict us exclusively to “Expeditions”. Any project which starts out as the vision of an individual or group with little or no resources to achieve their aims (much like TGE), who can display the sort of determination and persistance which would result in the achievement of a nationally significant event, is eligible for a grant. Our problem is that, despite fundraising efforts, interest rates are so low that income generated by Trust funds is still modest to say the least. Also, finding suitable causes worthy of support is surprisingly difficult.
This year the Trust made two awards. They were given in memory of Charlie Burton
. Each was for £2,500. Charlie’s award went to the Scientific Exploration Society
) for an expedition down the Beschillo and Blue Nile rivers which undertook a number of scientific and humanitarian projects. It was led by Col. John Blashford-Snell (who Charlie had worked with on a number of projects since TGE). It was felt by Trustees that, had Charlie still been alive, this expedition was exactly what he would have supported. To read more about it, you can follow this link: www.ses-explore.org and click on the Ethiopia button.
The second award was made to The Wild Camel Protection Foundation
. This seemed most in keeping with Ginny’s love of animals and her interest in desert regions. The Foundation has an on-going project to study the distribution and welfare of the endangered wild Bactrian (two humped) camels of the Lop Nur region of the Chinese Gobi in Xinjiang Province. Our award helped finance an expedition during the past few months which was led by John Hare with a team of Chinese and Mongolian zoologists. You can read about the Foundation athttp://www.wildcamels.com/
. John Hare will be recounting some of his experiences on the BBC Radio 4 programme Midweek with Libby Purves on Wednesday 28th
December. If you live overseas, you can hear BBC programmes on the internet by going to http://www.bbc.co.uk/
and clicking the appropriate links.
Thanks to a couple of generous donations, the ‘master’ footage and worldwide rights to the historic masterpiece To the Ends of the Earth now belong to TET. It is intended to use the film for fundraising purposes and we are hoping to have a digitally mastered DVD available in the near future. If you would like one or more copies, could you let me know as soon as possible so we can gauge the numbers we might require? We anticipate them costing (a donation of) £20 each. Despite regular attempts to have the film screened on television, we have had no success so far. If you know anyone from a TV company who might broadcast it (for a donation to TET – of course!), please do let me know let me know.
Thanks to Dave Peck’s mammoth efforts to get the story of TGE onto the internet, it is possible to view an original and now out of date version at www.transglobe-expedition.org. You will see it is very comprehensive and interactive! However, it has developed a fault and Nigel Cox through his company Quest Design Ltd has given it a complete makeover which will soon be accessible to all. If the web address is different to the one above, I’ll let you know as soon as it is up and running.
I noted with interest recently that a set of the ‘official’ TGE philatelic covers which were produced by J Arlington & Co with one or two members signatures (including Ran’s and Charlie’s) was up for sale on E-bay for £395. Other items, which are beginning to appear in the collectors’ market, are the two prints (Benji B at Sanae and Ran and Charlie at the South Pole), the commemorative goblets and the Scientific report. I saw a scientific report for sale at a book dealer a couple of years ago with a £30 price tag on it! These artefacts are gaining in value. If you have any unwanted TGE memorabilia which you would like to bequeath to TET, we will sound out the market and do our utmost to get the best prices. By the same token, if you hear of any interest in memorabilia, do pass on the information. I recently had an e-mail from a girl in France who wanted to buy a ‘Bothy’ toy but sadly, they are very rare. For those of you who didn’t know it, the ‘Bothy’ toys were marketed by the parents of the TV presenter and motor enthusiast, Jeremy Clarkeson. Jeremy was at the premiere of the TGE film where he had a stall promoting the toys. How times have changed!
Talking of memorabilia, I understand from Ran that the Royal Geographical Society has offered to store the TGE archives which will ensure their preservation for posterity. If you have any documents or material that you think might have a historical significance, do let me know and I can put you in touch with the relevant person at the RGS.
Plans for 2006
The 1730 Club has much to do for next year. Apart from the fundraising initiatives above, we are planning an event next autumn probably at the Royal Geographical Society. The plan is to have John Blashford Snell, John Hare and Ran giving talks about their respective projects (in Ran’s case it will mainly be about the Trust). We are planning to have the event hosted by a recognised and competent interviewer so that instead of simply having a series of brief lectures, the format will be more along the lines of a chat show. Questions from the audience will be encouraged and the event will be followed by refreshments (as at Charlie’s and Ginny’s memorial events). We hope to coincide this with a weekend in early September so that we can have another TGE reunion (if you can bear it!!). The aim of the RGS event will be to promote TET, the Scientific Exploration Society and the Wild Camel Foundation as well as raise money for TET. With the combined mailing lists of all three organisations and help from the RGS, it should encourage a good turnout and be very enjoyable. If you have any thoughts on the matter, do let me know.
Finally, if you know of a project worthy of support from TET, we would be interested to hear from you. We shall probably only make one award in 2006 and it is likely that the funds available will be less than in 2005 (which, because of Charlie’s and Ginny’s memorials, was treated as an exceptional occasion).
Send me your news
This Newsletter is intended to provide news, not only about the Trust, but also about members of TGE. So please send me your news and I’ll include it next year. Until then, best wishes for 2006 from us all at TET.
It is six months since Christmas and therefore time to send you news of the Trust and our plans for the immediate future. Whilst I still refer to you as ‘Friend’ (and, of course, I like to think you are) constitutionally you are not – until, that is, we have fulfilled one of our plans which is to create a ‘Friends’ organization. More of that below. Also, the 1730 Club has been extremely busy planning the forthcoming RGS lecture /discussion entitled “Expeditions – What’s the Point?” which will feature John Blashford-Snell (whose expedition down the Beschillo & Blue Nile rivers received the Charlie Burton Award) and John Hare (whose survey of the critically endangered Bactrian camels in the Gobi desert received the Ginny Fiennes Award) along with our own Ran Fiennes and host Libby Purves. The point of this entertainment is not only to learn about the projects of those the Trust has supported, but also to dig beneath the surface of established notions and find out what constitutes a contemporary expedition and why it is of value. We hope to have some notable young expeditioners in the audience and everyone is encourage to submit pithy questions. This event will coincide with a TGE reunion and, although we had one in 2004, we feel that any excuse to have another is not to be missed. This year we may be partying at Edwin Martin’s Stoney Street Café in London’s Borough Market (he hasn’t yet given his full approval – perhaps he’s worried about the loutish behaviour of the Trustees!) Anyway, if you have the stomach for more of this, read on…..
As you may know, the 1730 Club is named after the evenings spent aboard the Benjamin Bowring usually in Oliver Shepard’s or Charlie Burton’s cabins when members would discuss issues of the day or criticise each other while enjoying not insubstantial quantities of the many gallons of alcoholic refreshment generously provided by sponsors. While much of the general ethos remains the same, today the 1730 Club meets monthly at the Commonwealth Club (where we had our last reunion dinner) and attempts to develop new, exciting and lucrative activities in support of the Transglobe Expedition Trust.
Anyone is welcome to join us and in recent sessions, those participating have included Oliver Shepard, Sally Traverse-Healy, Tony Dutton, Ant Preston, Janet Reynolds (Cox), Nigel Cox, Arabella Macintyre-Brown, Maryclare Foa, Simon Gault, and myself. In addition, a whole new generation of young Transglobers is joining in and we now have Susannah Gault, Alexia Traverse-Healy, Gini Bowring and Alex Preston in the team. Our next two meetings are at 7pm on Monday 17th July (possibly at the Stoney Street Café) and Tuesday 15th August. If you want to join us, let me know (see contact details below). Beware, the next two meetings will be focussed on the RGS event and a clear head is needed!
At last we have made significant progress with the production of a DVD of the Transglobe filmTo the Ends of the Earth. Having obtained the physical film material and the world copyright, with the help of Tony Dutton, the Trust has managed to produce a full-length version of excellent quality. Although 25 years old, the film is still an ‘epic’ and a wonderful record of the TGE achievements. Also, it is the last film Richard Burton appeared in. Copies will be available later this year and will certainly be for sale at the RGS. Price £20 (but we will be tying it in with a ‘Friends’ subscription). If you can’t come to the RGS, let me know if you want a copy and I’ll arrange for its despatch to you.
Janet Reynolds (Cox) has very kindly agreed to set-up and coordinate the Friends. In exchange for a modest donation each year, we shall ensure that you get notification of any TGE/Trust related functions and lectures; that you receive the Newsletter; that you get a copy of the DVD and that you are included in all reunions and other celebrations. We are still working on other ‘benefits’ which will make the Friends a highly desirable association to join.
TGE Members’ News
Ran is currently trying to learn how to rock and ice-climb. He hopes to persuade a top climber to guide him up the north face of the Eiger in March. Perhaps not surprisingly, he is working with Marie Curie Cancer Care with the specific aim to raise £1.5 million for their new project giving people a choice of dying in an (often impersonal) hospital or in the known security of their own home. As you will have read, Ran had a heart problem last June on Everest and failed to make the last 300 metres to the summit ridge. The next night a climbing colleague 20 years younger, Robert Milne, had a similar attack and died at the same altitude (28,500 ft). However, Ran’s original aim (to raise £2 million for the British Heart Foundation) has now nevertheless raised £1.8 million. So it certainly wasn’t a waste of time.
Following my search for news, Bryn Campbell tells me “I fully intend to have a haircut soon and that’s about it I’m afraid. We are slow-moving folk here in Godalming”. He sends his best wishes to all.
However, Abbs Macintyre-Brown had this to offer: “Do the Timewarp…..
Any Transglobers who fancy a sojourn in the Carpathians with Count Dracula as a neighbour might like to visit Ginny’s sister Arabella (Abbs) at her house in Transylvania. Bought in 2004 with Ginny’s legacy, and named Orchard House after their childhood home in Sussex, the house is on a hill 4,500 ft up, surrounded by wildflower meadows with 360 degree views of mountains. Part of a small village, the house is only five minutes’ walk from the village pub but about 50 years behind modern life. Summers are pleasantly hot, winters are cold (-38C in Feb) with lots of snow. Ski resorts are about an hour away, but the slopes outside the back door are at hand, and cheaper. Dracula’s castle at Bran is three hours’ gentle walk or a one-hour run down the hill, and the next village along has its own bat cave. A pretty 2.5 hour drive from Bucharest Airport (2.5 hrs flight from London) it’s easy to reach. Lots of work still to do on the house, so all energetic visitors very welcome! Unenergetic ones welcome too – local wine very drinkable, and local hooch very potent.” Contact email@example.com
for more details.
Bill Kronick was due to visit the UK this summer with his 11 year old son Max. However, this has been postponed until next year. In the meantime he writes: “besides wishing my best wishes to all and looking forward to hearing the status of the DVD, would it be inappropriate to notify all recipients that Uncle Bill has recently sequed from filmmaking to novel writing? And that the first three books are available through AuthorHouse.com, where a synopis of each epic is available should the TGE alumnus be interested in fiction and reading one or more of my efforts in particular?! And that readers’ reactions are available on Amazon (although none may’ve emerged yet on the third, which just came out.)”
I can report that the books are titled The Cry of Sirens, Cooley Wyatt and NY/LA. They are a great read [Ed].
, when he’s not designing the TGE and other websites, is a prolific artist. Forthcoming attractions include: Solo show “Destinations and the Green Room” at the GX Gallery, 43 Denmark Hill, Camberwell, London SE5 8RS : 15-27 July 2006 (private viewing at 7:30 on the 14th
July for anyone who is interested – All welcome). .
And, a 2 person show “Duality” with his sister Sandra Bell (Sculptor) at Gallery 27, Cork Street from September 25 – 30th inclusive. Evening events to be confirmed. Details will be on Nigel’s website soon www.njcox.com
Finally, last Summer I received this e-mail which came from Elizabeth Pereira who had found the TGE website via a link with the Tokelau Islands’ website.
“I came across your web- site by mistake today and was overcome when I found the account and photos of the South pacific charter. I have kept in touch in a desultory kind of way with the achievements of the major protagonists in the Transglobe expedition over the years , but have always had a special corner of my heart tucked away with two blokes, in particular, Dave and Ralph – mad blighters who infected us with their joy of living. What wonderful memories you have brought to mind today. I travelled to Tokelau, specifically to Fakaofo on the Benjamin Bowring from Samoa in 1980 with my 3 young children and handsome husband …we never forgot the guys who made our voyage as trouble – free as possible and who provided us , more than they will ever know, with some companionship as we journeyed to one of the most totally isolated islands in the world to forge family links and establish a lifestyle that changed our lives forever. We spent 8 years in Tokelau altogether and Dave and Ralph still have pride of place in my photo albums and memories; so thank you guys, (very belatedly 30 years later) for the brandy and for the pot of Marmite you left for us as a gift , but more significantly , for touching our lives- albeit ever so briefly.”
The Royal Geographical Society at 7pm on 4th September
You will have read above about our plans for the evening. If you want to come and join us, you can get tickets (£20) by writing to me at: Walnut Tree Farm, Benhall, Saxmundham, Suffolk IP17 1JB with a stamped addressed envelope and cheque made out to Transglobe Expedition Trust. Please do put your name and daytime telephone number on the back of your cheque. You can apply for tickets anytime but we shall not be sending any out until 17th July. Apart from hearing some of the finest speakers on the lecture circuit being grilled by Libby Purves (of BBC Radio 4 Midweek), it will also be a great chance to meet old friends and have a drink at the two bars which will be operating both before and after the show. In addition, we shall be selling copies of the DVD “To the Ends of the Earth” and we are very keen to sell any TGE memorabilia which we can gather together. If you have any philatelic covers, prints, goblets, T shirts or other collectables which you don’t really want, do bring them along so that we can sell them in support of the Trust.
We are hopeful that we shall get a good turnout and it will be an excellent opportunity to promote the Trust’s work. I know that some of you will be in some doubt as to what the Trust’s aims actually are. The following are the guidelines we prepared for the un-initiated:
Described by Patron, HRH Prince Charles, as “mad but marvellous”, the Transglobe Expedition came about as a result of Ginny Fiennes’ initial idea to attempt to circumnavigate the world longitudinally via both North and South Poles. This ‘idea’ resulted in 7 years of planning before the 3 year expedition could begin in 1979. The fact that it was successful was in large part due to the voluntary dedication of all 30+ expedition members (whether in the London office, on the ship, in the aircraft or at basecamp and on ice) as well as the many Committee members. The expedition received no public funding and remains one of the most financially ambitious ‘private’ expeditions in modern times thanks to the generosity of 1800 sponsor companies. Many of the achievements have not been equalled or surpassed despite the Transglobe Expedition inspiring a wave of global and, in particular, polar exploits ever since.
The Transglobe Expedition Trust was set up to help and encourage others to succeed in ambitious projects through financial ’Awards’. These will be made to projects (not necessarily ‘expeditions’) that reflect the same spirit as demonstrated by the Transglobe Expedition members. Award winners could be individuals or organisations who, for example, through dedication and sacrifice produce a means of relieving famine or countering environmental disaster. Inventions are eligible, so too is exploration (under sea, in space or on land). Science, medicine, physical endurance…and so on. It is a wide remit!
Applications for a grant will be considered for any humanitarian, scientific or educationalprojects which follow in the Transglobe Expedition’s tradition of adventure and perseverance. In assessing an application the trustees will take into account the project’s uniqueness of purpose, pioneering nature, inspirational qualities (particularly those which appeal especially to a young audience and those from disadvantaged backgrounds) and humanitarian, scientific or educational by-products (eg. in science, geography, history, archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, engineering etc.).
Applicants for a Transglobe Expedition Trust Award should view the Transglobe Expedition website: www.transglobe-expedition.org where full application procedures and details of contacts are displayed on the ‘Trust’ page. Alternatively, you can write for details to the Trust Secretary at: Walnut Tree Farm, Benhall, Saxmundham, Suffolk IP17 1JB
Reunion 2nd/3rd September
Plans are still being formulated and, at this stage, the only certain thing we can say is that it would be best to keep the weekend of 3rd/4th September free!
The reunion will be in London. Anyone wishing to stay in town on the Saturday night should let me know and we shall try and secure a good deal with a hotel. This is not intended to be the grand affair that we celebrated at the Commonwealth Club in 2004 but rather more an ‘interim’ gathering for those who can, and are interested in meeting up.
It is likely that the Saturday will be completely un-planned and friends can get together as they choose. We could suggest a pub for lunch or supper for anyone interested. On Sunday, we are hoping to persuade Edwin Martin to play host at his highly acclaimed café in Borough Market,. I understand that Edwin specialises in sausages (6 types), fresh soup, home-made bread and food from the grill is sourced from the neighbouring market. If you want to visit in advance of the reunion, it is called Stoney Street Café and it is at 8 Stoney Street, Borough Market, London SE1. Access is by London Bridge underground (Jubilee, Northern lines). There is parking in Southwark Street and in a nearby Ibis Hotel car park.
If you are interested in taking part in the reunion, please let me know so we can work out how many we need to cater for. E-mail ABowring@aol.com
or home tel: 01728 602938.
The 30th Anniversary of the start of Transglobe will be in 2009 and in 2012 we shall be able to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the successful conclusion of the expedition. Bearing in mind we are all getting a lot older and it takes longer to plan anything when one’s mind is less agile, I have been looking into possible activities which would be an appropriate way to celebrate past endeavours. As many of you may know, before becoming Benjamin Bowring, the ship was called Martin Karlsen and owned by the Karlsen Shipping Company in Halifax Nova Scotia. Well, sadly the old Benji B is no more – but Karlsen Shipping Company do have another vessel, the Polar Star. This fine ship carries up to 100 passengers in reasonable comfort on cruises to remote parts of the world including Antarctica.
I contacted Karlsen Shipping Company (Martin Karlsen, after whom our ship was named, is now President of the company). I asked whether we could discuss the possibility of a cruise south specifically for the TGE team members, offspring and friends. They were most encouraging and, although it would be expensive, if we are able to somehow charter the ship, it may cost a lot less than the normal tourist rates. Clearly it is a few years off and anything may happen between now and our 30th
Anniversary (Antarctica might melt!), but I am hoping to visit Halifax in the next few weeks and I am going to meet the relevant people and discuss the matter. It is likely that we would probably cruise the Peninsular (so as to tie in with the ship’s existing routine). If you think you might be interested, do let me know. If no-one is, then I shall not pursue the matter – but it might be fun! You can see the Polar Star
and Karlsens’ details on: www.polarstarexpeditions.com
The RGS – “Expeditions, What’s the Point?”
On Monday 4th September, the 700 seat Ondaatje Theatre at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) was full to bursting. But then the line-up on stage was pretty impressive. Ran was joined by the two winners of the 2006 TET Awards: John Blashford-Snell who won the Charlie Burton Award for his Beschello Blue Nile Expedition and John Hare who won the Ginny Fiennes Award for his extraordinary work in helping to protect the heavily endangered wild Bactrian camels in the remote Chinese and Mongolian areas of the Gobi Desert. Whether your interest is in personal/physical achievement, adventure, science or the environment, the reasons for the existence of contemporary expeditioning became pretty obvious and the speakers had compelling evidence to support the justifications for their activities. Introduced by TET Chairman, Peter Bowring and hosted by well-known broadcaster Libby Purves, the audience was treated to an often hilarious but underlyingly serious account of adventures from all corners of the world. In the audience were other travellers, both young and old, who joined in the debate and shared their views. Finally, Libby had to draw the show to a close which she did with a question to the audience. By show of hands, it seemed that adventure was justification enough for most that evening. The event raised around £12,000 for TET and we are hugely indebted to The team at the RGS and of course the speakers, especially Libby Purves, for their support. Also to Lodge Catering for providing refreshments and to Silver Editions Ltd., for giving a discount for the actual engraved awards which were a pepper mill for John Blashford-Snell so that he can continue to put the spice in life and a salt mill for John Hare because wild Bactrian camels are the only land mammals to consume salt water as a regular part of their diet. I could add that the condiment theme was decided on because Ginny’s maiden name was Pepper and Charlie, not unlike pepper, did get up one’s nose a bit from time to time – but no one could say that of Charlie !
Earlier this year we welcomed two new Trustees to the Board. Alan Britten CBE, will be well known to many readers. He was responsible for much of the support we received from Transglobe’s largest sponsor Mobil Oil. Alan was a member of Transglobe’s Executive Committee and was responsible for the wonderful full-time participation of Jim Peevey (see below: Farewell). Richard Jackson is a chartered accountant and senior partner of haysmacintyre. Richard has been involved since the inception of the Trust in an advisory capacity and is, himself, a sailor and traveller (most recently to Tibet and Patagonia). For the full list of Trustees, see the bottom of page 4.
1730 Club News
The 1730 Club is widening its membership (although called ‘Club’ it is more like a noisy talking shop than a members’ Club). Recently, I took on the unenviable role of Chairman and it has been an extremely difficult forum to control. As a consequence, I am looking for someone to take over. The successful candidate will need a megaphone. The meetings at the Commonwealth Club are wonderful and occur approximately every two months. Recently, we have had the following attendants: Tony Dutton, Kevin & Sally Traverse-Healy, Anto Birkbeck, Ollie Shepard, Janet Reynolds (Cox), Arabella Macintyre-Brown, Maryclare Foa, Simon Gault, Ant Preston, Nigel Cox, Gini Bowring, Alexia Traverse-Healy and Susannah Gault. Others are keen to join us – so Heaven help anyone who takes over as Chairman!
It is with great sadness that I pass on the news, received last summer from Sheila Peevey that her husband James Peevey (Jim to many of the Transglobe team) died on 31st December 2005. Jim not only represented the expedition’s biggest sponsor, Mobil Oil, but he also took a very personal interest in the day-to-day running of Transglobe. Jim took over from Lord Hayter as Chairman of the Export Promotion Advisory Committee.
In March 2006 Dr John Heap, Director of Scott Polar Research Institute from 1992 to 1997 very sadly died. John was a great supporter and friend of the Transglobe Expedition when he was at the Foreign Office, Polar Region Section. He was an active member of Transglobe’s Executive Committee and did so much to facilitate access to Antarctica when private expeditions were frowned upon by the authorities. He is greatly missed.
Also, I understand that very sadly Jack Willies died last year. Sqn Ldr Jack Willies was in charge of Cove Radio Station at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough. When Ginny Fiennes took on the daunting challenge of setting up and operating the expeditions communications network, it was to Jack that she turned for lessons in radio-telephony, telex, morse and related subjects. Throughout the Transglobe Expedition, Jack was on hand with advice and practical support which resulted in a scientific paper on high frequency communications which he and Ginny wrote up as part of the expedition scientific report.
Following the evening at the RGS, we have enrolled several new “Friends”. Membership is just £5 per annum (or £25 for a DVD of the TGE film + membership). This helps us with the costs of keeping the Trust in touch with everyone. If you feel you can help with ‘overhead’ costs, it would be much appreciated. We hope, in due course, to hold Friends functions and you will get the newsletter and advance notification of Transglobe events. To subscribe, drop me a line with a £5 note or cheque (payable to Transglobe Expedition Trust) see address at the bottom of page 4
Help us find causes to support
Slowly our funds and our ability to support worthwhile causes are growing. Last year we spent £5,000 on the two projects. In 2007 we could spend more. However, most of the applications we receive are from students asking for support to help with ‘gap year’ travel. Thousands of youngsters each year set off on organised expeditions and, while this is to be applauded, these are generally not the sort of causes we would support. The Trustees are more interested in projects that show a determination to achieve significant challenges with unrelenting pursuit of the aims even if the odds are stacked against them. At the RGS, Ran Fiennes brought the evening to an end with these words: “The Transglobe Expedition took 10 years to complete. 7 of those were spent planning and training and just 3 for the expedition proper. During that time over 50 people gave up their time and salaries to join the team and help achieve success. 25 years ago, none of us thought we were starting something that would catch on and have lasting values. But here we are quarter of a century later celebrating and supporting the achievements of others in the name of the Transglobe Expedition Trust. The Trust was set up to support projects (not necessarily expeditions) which have that determination and strength of will to achieve their goals – often against the advice of professionals always facing what seem like insurmountable obstacles. This was the Transglobe spirit which we all shared (and still do) and which our patron described as “Mad but Marvellous”
Today the Trust is looking to support extraordinary people with extraordinary ideas that might lead to something and make a positive difference to our world.
All forms of exploration, creative, scientific, physical or humanitarian open up the discovery and extension of knowledge. Who knows, the next plant round the track might be the one that holds the cure for Aids. We are looking to support people who dare go round that corner not knowing what’s there but who sense there’s something that can be found or achieved to enable positive change.
Finding applicants is not as easy as it might seem. We need your help. If you know someone who is doggedly working away at some seemingly madcap scheme which it is generally assumed will fail, ask them to contact us…”
We are still looking for projects to support in 2007. Whether it is under the sea, in space, providing an answer to problems associated with global warming or seeking a solution to hunger or disease – we need to make contact soon with appropriate individuals or groups who aim to go somewhere to do something nationally or internationally significant in order to encourage them to apply for a grant.
In exchange for the support, all we ask is that the successful candidates will take part in an event similar to our recent evening at the Royal Geographical Society. By doing this, we are able to continue to raise funds and increase the amount of support we can give in the future. Do give the matter thought. Any ideas are gratefully received and if you contact the Trustees either via the Transglobe Expedition Trust’s e-mail addressTGExpedition@aol.com
or by writing to us (see address – page 4) we will follow up your ideas.
The DVD of the expedition film To the Ends of the Earth is now available (£20 + £1.95 p&p). It is the full-length version which runs for about 105 minutes. Despite being 25 years old, it is still an extraordinary record of the Transglobe Expedition. With Richard Burton’s appearance and narration (it was the last film he made) together with John Scott’s music score (he also wrote the scores for Greystoke, Antony & Cleopatra, The Final Countdown, King Kong and many other films) not to mention the real stars Ran, Ollie, Charlie, Ginny, et al, and the distinguished makers, Kronick, Hoover, Dutton and the Armand Hammer Productions team, it remains a true epic. There is also a rare CD of the Transglobe film score (released in 1988, published by Promethus Records, catalogue number PCD 102) but it’s very hard to find.
We still have sew-on badges, posters, signed Prints of Ran and Charlie at the North Pole and the Benjamin Bowring
being unloaded at SANAE, philatelic covers, cut glass goblets, scientific reports (part 2 only) and greetings cards (of Nigel Cox’s painting of the ship alongside the ice at SANAE). If you want any of these original items, they may well prove to be a sound investment and every penny goes to the Trust. For prices and details, contact me at TGExpedition@aol.com
or at the address on page 4. But hurry while stocks last!! If, on the other hand, you have old Transglobe memorabilia that you don’t want and would like to sell in support of the Trust, if you send it to me, I can try and sell it. Soon the updated website will carry full details.
TGE member’s news
In March 2007, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 62, who has suffered from vertigo all his life, will aim to raise £1.5 million for the Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme by climbing the North Face of the Eiger- a 6,000 ft sheer face of rock and ice. Eiger means ogre in German and its huge, gnarly North wall has one of the most daunting reputations in the climbing world… (taken from the Marie Curie official website www.mariecurie,org.uk.) Currently Ran is practicing on any vertical surface he can find. For the climb he is teaming up with top UK climber Kenton Cool [that’s his real name! – Ed] and photographer Ian Parnell. What next?
Bill Kronick tells me he thinks he is pregnant. Living in Los Angeles, I imagine anything is possible. However, I do know that Bill is working on his fourth novel. His recently released NY/LA forms the third volume in his trilogy (see also The Cry of Sirens and Cooley Wyatt). Although I haven’t yet read NY/LA I have no doubt it is every bit as gripping as his earlier works. They are all available from publishers www.authorhouse.com.
Margaret Davidson had a very unfortunate fall in early November and broke her hip. She is recovering well in a nursing home near Greenwich but, at her age the healing is frustratingly slow. It is particularly sad as Margaret only recently bought herself a new car and was keeping very active. If you want to get in touch with Margaret, let me know and I will pass on her contact details.
is now a grandfather. His son Dylan Ran has a daughter Lara (aged 2) and son Toby (4 months). Martin’s other son Joshua has recently been accepted into the New Zealand army as 2nd
Lieutenant. Martin is now married to Glenda who he met in 2002. Together they worked in Martin’s produce marketing business (Pole to Pole Produce Ltd) until they decided to sell the business. Together they have a son Cian (aged 2½) and Ryan (aged 1) – [Phew! –Ed]. Martin and Glenda are currently looking for a property in New Zealand’s far north near Kerikeri where they want to set up a golf park with driving range. As a result they have no fixed address yet but Martin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
. He sends best wishes to all Transglobe friends and hopes that the family will get to UK before too long.
Simon Grimes reports that he recently had a visit from Karl Zberg (who has retired from flying for Bradley Air Services). Karl visited Simon and Shane in Sydney last November. Simon writes:” in three weeks he [Karl] pretty much covered the Eastern seaboard, from the Barrier Reef down to Tasmania. We ate and drank and retold improbable tales. Shane quietly remarked that she didn’t think there would be any other person who would have two such reprobates in her kitchen discussing the respective sizes of their Polar Bear skins!” Simon continues: “ Antony is in his 2nd year at the University of NSW doing Industrial Design. Nicholas is in his final year at school, doing his HSC (the equivalent of A levels.)
Last February (2006) Simon and Anto Grimes mounted a minor expedition: Lands End to John O Groats via the Three Peaks. Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis in perfect clear weather in one week, which must be some sort of a record, even walking up the tourist tracks. En route they stayed with Ran and Louise at Greenlands.
Ant Preston, who is now a highly acclaimed performer in a local am-dram theatre company, recently played the lead role, Ebenezer Saltmarsh, in a performance of the spoof horror play A Dark & Stormy Night in Aldeburgh, Suffolk (a town noted for its cultural excellence). What can one say? He looked the part and played it with natural, effortless ease. Meanwhile, younger son Sam entertained millions living alongside the likes of George Galloway MP, Rula Lenska and Michael Barrymore in Celebrity Big Brother at the start of 2006. As guitarist and front man for the group The Ordinary Boys ‘Preston’ has established himself at the forefront of popular music. In the summer, he and fellow Big Brother participant Chantelle Houghton got married in London. Elder son Alex, whose first TGE appearance was at the Farnborough launch in the presence of our Patron HRH Prince Charles and later got locked in a bedroom at the Beverly Wiltshire Hotel in Los Angeles during a dinner given by Armand Hammer, has become very successful in the City while also writing his first novel. He, too has recently married. Lucy Preston is still at university, doing very well, and enjoying it very much.
Ken Cameron tells me that his elder son, Sandy, is a dab hand at the bagpipes and can puff his way through 12 tunes but, in the recent windy weather he’s been practicing indoors. This must have been a blessing for Mosside Eileen Dhu – a grey Highland mare, recently acquired to join a growing menagerie and replacing the guinea pig Piglet. [My question is, what killed Piglet? Could it have been the unrelenting sound of bagpipes? – Ed]
On the subject of horses, I can reveal that Chris McQuaid is a keen horseman when he is not being Professor of Zoology at Rhodes University. Lesley McQuaid apart from being an applied mathematician and housewife also works at the university organising a winter school [I imagine that is a southern hemisphere version of a summer school – Ed]. Their eldest, Finn (aged 20), has just completed his 2nd year at Rhodes University studying chemistry, maths and biochemistry. He is a keen oarsman and rowed at the Schools World Championships at Barcelona and reached the semi-finals in the schools championships at Henley. Daughter Kirsty (aged 18) wrote matric this year and is an enthusiastic horse rider and pianist. She’s about to become an au pair in France in the New Year. And youngest is Isla (16) who plays piano, violin and sings in the school choir. She’s also quite a sports woman and tends to win the 200m and 800m races.
Boy, I feel so old! – Incidentally, if you don’t know all the characters mentioned above, their biographies are on the Transglobe website www.transglobe-expedition.org. The website will be updated soon. Keep in touch. If you have lost contact with anyone and want to communicate with them, let me know as I have a pretty comprehensive database of everyone’s latest contact details. Next newsletter will be in June. Best wishes for Christmas and 2007 to you all from the Trustees.