Woman trains for Antarctic posting at Abergavenny Post Office

POLAR POSTIE: Florence Brown

POLAR POSTIE: Florence Brown

First published in News

A POSTAL worker is being trained in Abergavenny for an extra special post in Antarctica.

While Florence Brown won’t be avoiding the cold, her nine to five and every other hour of the 24 in the day will be in complete sunlight as she heads off to become postmistress of the world’s most southerly post office. Twenty-two-year-old Florence will brave an average annual temperature of -57 degrees Celsius (-70 degrees Fahrenheit) as well as the phenomenon known as polar day when she heads out to Antarctica to help Usk-based charity the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Florence will be working in a former British research station at Port Lockroy on the Antarctic Peninsula with three other team members.

The historic building, which is only accessible by ship, operates as a “living museum” and has been restored to its 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.

She has been training at Bryn post office near the charity, whose patrons include Sir Ranulph Fiennes, headquarters with postmaster Norman Lewis showing her the ropes.

Florence, a Bristol University graduate from Suffolk, said: "I'm really excited it is an amazing opportunity.

"As a history graduate I am really interested in that side of Antarctica so get wait to get there.

"We leave on November 1 and are there for four months of 24 hour daylight. That is going to be so different I can't really imagine what it's going to be like.

"The cruise industry is booming too, they had 15,000 visitors last year in just 4 months and everyone wants to send a postcard from the world's most southerly post office so I think we'll be busy!

"The training in Usk was great and the UKAHT seem a really impressive organisation who I'd love to work with again."

Rachel Morgan, Director of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust in Usk, said "Any Post Office plays a special role in connecting its local community with the wider world, whether it’s based in Antarctica or Bryn and we're delighted Florence trained in our local post office."

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