Charlotte Baron, one of the conservators, cleaning the surface of the model. Image courtesy of Eugene Rae.
Specialist restorers have recently undertaken conservation work on the Society’s scale model of Mount Everest to return this piece of mountaineering history to its former glory.
The large model of Mount Everest and its surroundings was constructed in 1952-53 by Cockade Limited, a local model design company, to illustrate the accumulated knowledge of Mount Everest. It incorporated the latest information gathered by the British reconnaissance expedition of 1951 and by previous expeditions in the 1920s and 1930s, as well as from flights over the mountain in 1933. The 2m2 model is made from fibrous plaster on a timber internal structure and is on a scale of 10 inches to one mile.
Over the years, the model has been damaged by inappropriate use and had become very dusty and discoloured. Earlier this year, the conservators Plowden & Smith were engaged to clean, stabilise and repair the model, to integrate loss and previous repair, and to prevent further deterioration. Their plan involved undertaking a thorough vacuum with a soft brush to remove loose surface dirt, followed by dry cleaning trials with a variety of conservation sponges and testing of limited aqueous cleaning methods. Once they had decided on the best method, they removed heavy soiling and dirt within the textured surface whilst limiting moisture exposure, before removing any residual accretions. The work was completed by consolidating any broken edges, loose flaking paint, damage and hairline cracking.
The restored model has been relocated to the Society’s Education Centre and interpretation provided on its significance.
The cleaned model. Image courtesy of Eugene Rae.
A recent Society event showcasing the careers available as a geographer attracted over 1,500 students from 60 schools across the UK.
The Society is updating its digital infrastructure, and some website functionality will be unavailable from the afternoon of Friday 11 August to the afternoon of Wednesday 16 August.
The Society’s open access journal Geo: Geography and Environment has been relaunched with a renewed and refined scope.
We caught up with some of this year’s Society-supported researchers and school groups to hear what they’ve been up to in the field.
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