Relative ‘emotional’ at popular Captain Oates exhibtion

RICH HISTORY: From left, Andy Craig, Roger Goldsmith and Ben Hoogewerf take a look at exhibits showing Gestingthorpe as Captain Oates would have known it.
RICH HISTORY: From left, Andy Craig, Roger Goldsmith and Ben Hoogewerf take a look at exhibits showing Gestingthorpe as Captain Oates would have known it.

AN exhibition showing what life was like in Gestingthorpe when its most famous son was alive proved popular at the weekend.

The village hall displayed photographs of Captain Lawrence Oates and his family, who lived in Gestingthorpe Hall, on Saturday and Sunday, with talks by Lord Phillips and Gestingthorpe History Group president Ashley Cooper on Saturday evening.

Andy Craig, who helped arrange the event, explained that Captain Oates’ great niece made the journey from Salisbury to see the exhibition.

“We had a long chat and she was absolutely delighted and quite emotional to see a lot of pictures she hadn’t seen before,” he said.

Captain Oates, whose family home was Gestingthorpe Hall, surrendered his own life in Scott’s Antarctic expedition in 1912 by going out in a blizzard with the words: “I’m just going outside and I may be some time.”

His attempt to relieve his group of the burden of his injuries was in vain, however, as the three other explorers all perished. His body was never found.

Co-organiser Peter Nice said: “We had pictures of the family and the village at that time, and Antarctic pictures loaned from the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.”

Around £140 was raised for St Mary’s Church and a collection was made for Help For Heroes.