Early April 1921
On Saturday 2 April, Shackleton arrives in New York City on RMS Mauretania, to travel onwards to Canada, in another attempt to secure funding for the Arctic expedition.
Quest is being refitted at the JI Thornycroft yards at Southampton. Work is slow because of ongoing strikes and so it is decided to retain the original coal-fired steam engines, rather than converting to modern diesel which Amundsen’s Fram had pioneered in polar expeditions but which will take too long to meet the deadline for a departure to the Arctic this year.
Also in April, work begins on new buildings for The Rowett Research Institute at Bucksburn, Aberdeen. The institute, for research into animal nutrition, had been formed by the University of Aberdeen and the North Scotland College of Agriculture. It is named The Rowett Institute after John Quiller Rowett bought over 40 acres of land and added an endowment of £10,000 enabling the construction of state-of-the art purpose-built scientific laboratories and associated facilities.
Rowett, a keen amateur farmer who runs a model farm adopting modern animal husbandry practices at his estate Ely Place in Sussex, was introduced to the institute via a Dulwich College school friend, Robin H A Plimmer, who was Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Aberdeen. Plimmer had introduced Rowett to Dr John Boyd-Orr, the Institute’s first director, and this leads to Rowett’s decision to make the endowment.
Rowett stipulates that “when, in the course of investigations, there were indications that work in certain directions might throw light on human nutritional disorders, this work might be allowed to be carried on even though it had no direct bearing on the feeding of farm animals.” The Rowett Institute thrives in 2021: http://abdn.ac.uk/rowett