A SET of original blueprints of Scott’s Polar exploration ship Discovery which turned up more than a century after the vessel set sail have been loaned to the port where she was built.
Thought to be one of only two sets still surviving, the blueprints, which recall the golden age of polar exploration, were rescued by draughtsman Harry Smith when Goole Shipyard closed in the 1980s.
They were kept in his attic and passed to his daughter Jean Cannon after his death. She realised their historical importance when she embarked on a course in regional and local history at Hull University. They have been valued at £4,000 by Bonhams.
She said: “They are on loan initially for five years but they are interested in purchasing them. We took them to Bonhams earlier this year – they were quite keen to have them in their Polar sale – but we declined because we couldn’t guarantee that weren’t going out of the country. It was Dundee where Discovery was built and that’s where we felt they ought to be.”
The documents came to Goole, the sister yard, when the Dundee shipyard closed down in the 1970s.
The Discovery expedition of 1902 was the first official British exploration of the Antarctic since James Clark Ross’s voyage 60 years earlier and launched the Antarctic careers of Scott and Ernest Shackleton.
Her tutor, Dr Robb Robinson, said there were strong links with the area – one being that much of the money to build Discovery came from Llewellyn Longstaff, the owner of Blundells Paints in Hull.