A FORMER Rugby School pupil has been offered an opportunity of a lifetime running the world’s most southerly post office in Antarctica.
Florence Barrow, 22, will live in the coldest, windiest and most isolated continent in the world for four and a half months, amongst a colony of 4,000 penguins, where she will run the post office.
Florence, who went to Rugby School from 2002 to 2007 and was head of her house, said it was a dream come true to be offered the jobs, despite the prospect of working in a building with no central heating, mains electricity or running water.
Florence said: “I’ve grown up with stories of my great-great uncle Hartley Ferrar, a geologist onboard the Discovery and similarly my great grandfather who was a deckhand on the Terra Nova, so I feel I have a real connection to the continent. I’ll be working for the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, a charity which works to conserve historic buildings in Antarctica.
“Working in the Antarctic is a privilege that very few people get to experience and to be there in 2012, the centenary year of Scott’s expedition to the South Pole, will make it even more special.”
Florence, who has just graduated from university, will live with three other team members at Port Lockroy, a former British research station on the Antarctic Peninsula, now managed by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.
The building, which is only accessible by ship, operates as a living museum and has been restored to its former 1960s appearance to give tourists to Antarctica a glimpse of what life was like for early explorers and scientists. It is only open during the Austral summer when the ice is thin enough for ships to reach the area.
Florence said: “The landscape looks incredibly beautiful. Antarctica is such an important place politically, scientifically and historically.
“Despite its isolation, it really matters to the wider world and I feel honoured to have a chance to help protect its heritage for future generations.”