Main Store

The Main Store at Grytviken, dating from c. 1920, was used to store spare parts, nuts, bolts, pipes and fittings for the whaling station operations. The Main Store and its contents remain largely unchanged from the mid 1960’s (when the whalers left Grytviken, expecting to return for another season of whaling.) These artefacts represent a moment frozen in time and on all sides the walls are lined with the tools and equipment of the whalers — left exactly as they were when the whalers departed for the last time. The opening of the ground floor of the Main Store will involve a collaboration between the Government of South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands and SGHT’s Museum Curator Jayne Dunn and South Georgia Director Sarah Lurcock. This programme will enable SGHT to convey the historic, cultural and social context associated with the whaling era (1904 to mid-1960s) on the ground floor, while also highlighting the discovery, exploration and exploitation that took place at South Georgia. Jayne and Sarah will use their expertise to create displays and interpretation for the ground floor, ready for its grand opening in 2020, revealing walls of shelves lined with the tools and equipment left behind by the whalers when the industry ceased to operate at Grytviken in the mid-1960s.

Left: Original stores on ground floor, Right: Original stores on ground floor shelves.

In contrast to the sense of stepping back in time when entering the ground floor of the Main Store, the upper floor of the Main Store will be home to an exciting Visualisation Centre, the creation of the Centre for Remote Environments within the University of Dundee. It will showcase the pioneering role that science at South Georgia plays (both past and present), in addressing contemporary issues of regional and global significance such as marine biodiversity and climate change. Through visual art and design, visitors will be able to explore the scientific research undertaken at South Georgia, how it is carried out and its real-world implications.

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Examples of the type of display space that might be created by CRE, University of Dundee in the upper floor of the Main Store