Falklands Islands Museum
© Falklands Islands Museum
- When visiting Stanley, make sure you go and enjoy the informality of this beautifully kept and remarkable museum. There is a deliberate policy of having no set layout or directional arrows. You are left to rummage and discover in an atmosphere of fascinating serendipity. The building was constructed in 1981 for the Argentine Air Force, who at that time maintained a twice-weekly air service to mainland South America. After the events of 1982 the Argentines no longer required the house, which was then occupied by the various Commanders of the British Forces in the Falklands until Mount Pleasant Airfield was completed in 1985. The Museum was officially opened by former Governor Sir Rex Hunt, CMG on 13 February 1989. Even Holdfast Road where the Museum is located has important historical significance. It was here on 14 June 1982, that Maj Gen Sir Jeremy Moore, KCB, OBE, MC ordered his land forces to ‘Hold Fast’ until he had negotiated a surrender with the Argentine General, Mario Menendez. It is the Museum’s objective to present a taste of the many aspects of the Falklands’ rich and varied history covering domestic, maritime, social, military and natural history. If you have a specialised interest, or wish to go more deeply into a particular subject the staff will be pleased to assist. First time visitors are amazed at the amount there is to see. Second time visitors are amazed at how much they missed the first time. Ask to hear a tune on the Orpheus Mechanical Zither made in 1870, or stand back in awe listening to the Symphonion of 1896; a giant of German mechanical music. Examine closely the carefully prepared skulls of are whales including Hyperoodon planifrons (southern bottle-nosed), and a Meoplodon layardii (strap toothed), or a 6 week foetus of a fin whale. Look into the General Store of 70 years ago; memories come flooding back which might make you feel quite old. Many visitors are surprised at just how British the way of life is in the Falkland Islands. The main aim of the Museum is to show, in a well managed, organised, and indeed comfortable manner that the Falkland Islands did exist before 1982. For a tiny and fragile community, the history of the Islands has a truly remarkable depth and range.