On Thursday 28th March, 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.