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British Antarctic Territory - Painted Ladies at Bransfield House, Port

Port Lockroy is a sheltered harbour off the coast of Wiencke Island at
the meeting point of three seaways which offer some of the most dramatic
mountain and glacier scenery on the west side of the Antarctic
Peninsula. For more than a century Port Lockroy had been a home for
explorers, whalers, scientists and sailors who have made vital
contributions to Antarctic history and the harbour has become one of the
most popular visitor destinations in Antarctica today. Base ‘A’ which
stands on Goudier Island in the east of the harbour was the first
permanent base to be established on the Antarctic Peninsula. It was
built in February 1944 as part of a wartime mission code-named Operation
Tabarin to establish wintering bases in Antarctica, and was occupied
until January 1962.

Following a comprehensive conservation survey in 1994, Port Lockroy was
recognised for its historical importance and designated as Historic Site
and Monument No. 61 under the Antarctic Treaty. In 1996 the base was
restored to its original condition and is now managed by the UK
Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT). Port Lockroy is opened each summer as
a living museum, post office and gift shop. Proceeds from the gift shop
and post office support the ongoing conservation and protection of this
and five other historic sites on the Antarctic Peninsula.

A little piece of Hollywood at Base A

The main base building is Bransfield House constructed in 1944 and named
after the ship originally chartered for the expedition, which in turn
was named after Edward Bransfield, the first Briton to sight Antarctica.
All the men at Port Lockroy shared the bunkroom and each bunk was
supplied with mattresses, pillows, sheets and blankets. With no personal
space available it was understood by all men that a man’s bunk was
equivalent of his private bedroom.

During the restoration programme, murals were discovered on the walls of
the bunkroom. Carefully hand-painted images of Hollywood stars including
Diana Dors, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, Doris Day, Jayne Mansfield,
Sophia Loren and Jane Russell adorn the walls. They were painted in 1960
by Evan Watson the diesel mechanic who also painted the mural of Marilyn
Monroe on the back of the generator shed. Records show that these murals
were painted over in the 1980s after the base had been abandoned but it
is a mystery who covered them up and why.

Painstaking work to remove the paint layers have revealed these
fascinating images and the UKAHT continues to ensure they are kept in
good condition for visitors to enjoy.

Technical details:-

Photography UKAHT

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Lithography

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size 42 x 28mm

Sheet Layout 10

Release date Expected mid-November 2017

Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

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