Scott expedition hut finds new home
Wednesday 27 Feb 2013 12:40 p.m.
The hutt is lifted off the Sumner site with a crane
A cabin once built for Antarctic explorer Captain Robert Scott has been salvaged from one of Christchurch’s earthquake damaged properties.
The hut once travelled from England to Antarctica as part of Scott’s ill-fated South Pole expedition, and is now being relocated and restored by the Department of Conservation (DoC).
The hut was built for Scott to use on his last trip to Antarctica – the 1910 British Antarctic expedition – but for the last 45 years it's been a prized part of David and Valerie Crichton’s property.
“Early neighbours were able to tell us some of its story and little by little more of its story has emerged,” says Ms Crichton.
But unlike the huts that still remain on the ice today, this one was never unloaded. And after the expedition failed, in 1913 it sailed back on the ship to Lytellton and has been located on the hills above Sumner ever since.
Amazingly, unlike the house it's adjoined to, it survived the Canterbury earthquakes. This morning’s relocation means it's now also safe from demolition.
“The amount of heritage Christchurch has lost, this was just one of those opportunities that was offered to the department and we thought, ‘yes, we've got to make this work’,” says Grant Campbell of DoC.
Lifting it off the property was a slow and steady task, and once on the truck it was carefully manoeuvred down one of Christchurch’s steepest and narrowest streets.
It's now en route to its new home on Godly Head, where once it’s been restored it will be opened to the public.