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William Smith

1790 – 1847

William Smith sends a postcard home

Here is a picture of Blyth, as it looked when William Smith set sail:

And here are some extracts from William Smith’s Journal, about Antarctica, which he wrote in 1820:

‘Land was discovered, partly covered in snow’

‘the shoreline was brown sand and ooze’

‘Unconcerned chains of rocks…in remarkable shapes’

‘Rocky and barren’

‘Thick fog caused some danger’

‘The headland resembles a mass of ruined fortifications’

‘Shores covered with penguins, whose awkward

movements had the most strange appearance’

‘From the penguins arose the most intolerable stench’

‘The elephant seals are the undisputed monsters of the whole bay’

‘31 icebergs were counted at once’

‘The streams on the island were very fine-tasted’

‘Streams fell in cascades from the hills’

‘an island of barren, uncomfortable appearance,

[we] named the Island of Desolation’

‘dismal black rock’

‘coarse sand and black gravel with some mosses’

‘dreary and inhospitable’

Now write a postcard in the voice of William Smith. Send it home to Blyth. Write about Antarctica, your feelings about it, and what you’ve left behind.

What do you miss most about Northumberland?

What to do next?

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Take a look at the next workshop

The next workshop is entitled: Putting your hero on the map

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