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Vital Mental Medicine: The Story of Shackleton’s Banjo

Vital Mental Medicine: The Story of Shackleton’s Banjo
© Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge

Date: Wed, Jan 25th 2012

Time: 6:30pm


In November 1915, as Endurance was sinking through the Antarctic pack-ice, Ernest Shackleton risked drowning to rescue a musical instrument, saying, "We must have that banjo. It's vital mental medicine."

As Shackleton sailed for help, the 22 men left behind lived for months under an upturned boat and some old sails. They maintained morale with a weekly concert where Leonard Hussey would compose songs and play the banjo, whilst the men sang. 

Using audio archives of members of Shackleton’s crew, including Leonard Hussey playing the banjo, the Sony Award winning BBC radio producer Julian May tells the story of the banjo that saved lives in Antarctica.

Lecture £8 (Members £7),
with two-course buffet £18 (Members £16).

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Doors & bar open from 6pm.

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