19th February: Sea Wonders and Champions


The Kraken


We have three fantastic speakers next week speaking on our sea theme.   Jon Ablett, curator of Mollusca at the Natural History Museum will be coming along to talk to us about tales of kraken, the legendary sea monsters so large that they could bring down whole ships!

For many years the giant squid was thought to be a myth. Sailors told stories of giant tentacled monsters destroying their ships. Some of these legends were exaggerated but these monsters from the deep do exist. How they live, however, still remains a great mystery. Until very recently no one had ever seen one alive and most of the specimens found are either washed up dead on beaches or found in the stomachs of sperm whales. In 2004, Jon arranged the transfer of the Natural History Museum specimen ‘Archie’ (one of the best examples of giant squid found anywhere in the world) from where it was caught in a fisherman’s net off the coast of the Falkland Islands to the NHM and putting it on display to the public. Unfortunately, Jon’s unable to bring (the 8.62m long!) ‘Archie’ with him, but he will be showing us some of the other specimens from the collection!

Emily is a member of Borough Belles and also a sea champion for the Marine Conservation Society. She often escapes the city to help out nearby beachcleans. Frustrated by the volumes of plastic litter she collected, Emily started to question how is this getting here? Where it was coming from and why so much of it? From this the ‘plastic challenge’ was born! Emily decided to reduce her plastic footprint and live plastic free in an experiment during Lent! The challenge investigated how easily a consumer can live without plastic, what items we can replace and what are the benefits of doing so. Living without plastic means avoiding pre-made meals, last minute supermarket shops and eating and drinking on the go.  The challenge was a big success raising £700 and was covered on National TV and radio. Emily is looking forward to telling us all about it at the February meeting. We talked about it briefly at social bingo and it sounded fascinating so we can’t wait to hear more. So come armed with some plastic free living tips to share!

Emily will be joined by a speaker from the Marine Conservation Society, a fantastic UK charity who work hard to raise awareness about marine pollution.  They will be giving a presentation on the work they do, which ranges from beach cleans, protecting biodiversity and promoting sustainable seafood.


We will also be updating about our partnership for this year with the Garden Museum and also launching BBWI Baker for 14/15. At our usual home at the Welsh Borough Chapel, 90 Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0EX. Guests very welcome if you would like to come and try us out! Meetings run from 7.30-9.30pm with the doors open from 7.15pm. Guests pay £4.