Operation Raleigh’s 30th Birthday!

 Calling Scouts, DofE participants, Guides, Students and all young people interested in adventure, teamwork, building confidence, helping others - and making a difference.

Join us for an afternoon’s lecture on EXPEDITIONS AND EXPEDITIONING especially tailored to inspire, and given by of one of the world’s greatest living explorers COLONEL JOHN BLASHFORD-SNELL


The Date: Saturday 18th October 2014

The Place: Baden Powell House, London SW7

The Plan: Lunch: If you would like to bring a picnic, arrive at 1.15pm

The Lecture: The talk will be from 2.15 - 3.15 with time for questions


John Blashford-Snell has been an explorer for over 45 years. He started, and led, one of the world’s greatest ever Youth Expeditions: Operation Raleigh.

It is Operation Raleigh’s 30th anniversary and to celebrate John would like to inspire and enthuse the next generation - telling them how it is possible to put together a four-year circumnavigation of the world involving 4,000 young people from a starting point of: No money, No staff, No office, No telephones, No laptops nor mobiles (this was 30 years ago...) and not a single form of transport, let alone a boat.

It is a great tale of endeavour, hardship, excitement, teamwork, enthusiasm and goodwill; involving sailing, diving, caving, climbing, river-running, desert crossing; gathering scientific data, initiating numerous conservation projects, bringing aid to hundreds of remote communities; and generating extraordinary life-changing experiences.

The stories are inspirational, many and varied - John wants to show the audience that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

FOR TICKETS (at just £5 per head) AND FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT 01747 853353 or use the contact page.


On Thursday 28th March 2013, The Scientific Exploration Society welcomed Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and over 700 members and guests to the Royal Geographical Society in London.  HRH has been a member of The SES for many years.  Colonel John Blashford-Snell gave a fascinating and entertaining lecture to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of David Livingstone.  John recounted Livingstone’s travels, challenges, achievements and family life in remarkable detail, with wonderful illustrations and images to capture the hardships encountered.

The evening ended with Garry Batt auctioning lots ranging from an elephant to a fabulous holiday donated by Mantis group, who kindly supported the evening.  Over £10000 was raised, and a contribution from these funds will be used towards the restoration of the Livingstone Memorial at Chitambo, Zambia. 

So many people worked so hard to ensure a successful and thoroughly enjoyable evening, and it is dangerous to name any at the risk of missing others.  But we must of course mention John and Judith Blashford-Snell, Alan Campbell, Lucy Thompson, Dave and Val Smith, Jim Masters and Mel Hyatt-Steel from The SES, Paul and Ian Gardiner from Mantis, Garry Batt from Dukes Fine Art in Dorchester and Charlie Morison and her Campbell-Bell team, the staff of the RGS and the army of volunteers who worked so hard behind the scenes. 

Andrew Mitchell, HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, John Blashford-Snell, Mrs Andrew Mitchell.  Both photos courtesy of Sam Thompson.