Shetlander reopens ‘world’s most remote museum’ in South Georgia

Shetlander Helen Balfour has arrived in South Georgia to reopen the “world’s most remote museum” after an 8,000 mile journey to the island.

A small all-female team has travelled to South Georgia to open its museum for the first time since the Covid pandemic.

The team is from the South Georgia Heritage Trust, a Dundee-based charity which looks to conserve the island’s fragile ecosystem and heritage and runs the museum on behalf of the island’s government.

Ms Balfour will join as a museum assistant, and is connected to South Georgia – with both of her grandfathers and one great-grandfather whalers on the island.

Her grandfather, James Balfour, first visited South Georgia in 1952 and after a decade of whaling was onboard one of the last whale catcher vessels that worked out of Grytviken.

Her other grandfather, Alan Leask, started whaling as a 16-year-old and did two seasons, as did her great-grandfather Thomas Balfour twenty years before.

She will be following in their footsteps, as the now abandoned Grytviken whaling station is where the South Georgia Museum now stands.

Around 15,000 visitors are expected to visit the island during the tourist season.


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  • Stephan Czornyj

    • October 31st, 2022 20:17

    I spent 4.5 months in Shackleton house looking after everything mechanical,generators,boats,boilers,snowcat in 1982.Great time for me.


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