Bonzer Can Opener Defeated 70 Antarctic Winters

Bonzer Can Opener Defeated 70 Antarctic Winters

Everyone knows that the Bonzer brand name is synonymous with quality, efficiency and above all durability, but even we were a little surprised to hear that one of our signature Bonzer Can Opener products had spent the last 70 years stranded in the Antarctic!

The story of this castaway can opener first came to our attention when we received a phone call from a former Antarctic Scientific Research Base worker named Alan Carroll. Mr Carroll had been stationed at a British base on the western side of the Antarctic peninsula from 1954 to 1957. The base had originally been established in 1944 to confirm territorial claims and to watch for German armed raider ships. Scientific work continued from 1945 until 1962 when the base was abandoned and the scientific equipment was moved to a more modern base further south.

In 1994, the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust commissioned a survey of derelict British Bases and in 1996, the Port Lockroy conservation team of four experienced British workers and an Architect began restoring the base back to its former condition with a view to it becoming a replica museum and visitor centre. Alan Carroll returned to Port Lockroy in 2006 as Historical Advisor to the UKAHT to work on artefacts.

Everyone knows that the Bonzer brand name is synonymous with quality, efficiency and above all durability, but even we were a little surprised to hear that one of our signature Bonzer Can Opener products had spent the last 70 years stranded in the Antarctic!

The story of this castaway can opener first came to our attention when we received a phone call from a former Antarctic Scientific Research Base worker named Alan Carroll. Mr Carroll had been stationed at a British base on the western side of the Antarctic peninsula from 1954 to 1957. The base had originally been established in 1944 to confirm territorial claims and to watch for German armed raider ships. Scientific work continued from 1945 until 1962 when the base was abandoned and the scientific equipment was moved to a more modern base further south.

In 1994, the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust commissioned a survey of derelict British Bases and in 1996, the Port Lockroy conservation team of four experienced British workers and an Architect began restoring the base back to its former condition with a view to it becoming a replica museum and visitor centre. Alan Carroll returned to Port Lockroy in 2006 as Historical Advisor to the UKAHT to work on artefacts.

Everyone knows that the Bonzer brand name is synonymous with quality, efficiency and above all durability, but even we were a little surprised to hear that one of our signature Bonzer Can Opener products had spent the last 70 years stranded in the Antarctic!

The story of this castaway can opener first came to our attention when we received a phone call from a former Antarctic Scientific Research Base worker named Alan Carroll. Mr Carroll had been stationed at a British base on the western side of the Antarctic peninsula from 1954 to 1957. The base had originally been established in 1944 to confirm territorial claims and to watch for German armed raider ships. Scientific work continued from 1945 until 1962 when the base was abandoned and the scientific equipment was moved to a more modern base further south.

In 1994, the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust commissioned a survey of derelict British Bases and in 1996, the Port Lockroy conservation team of four experienced British workers and an Architect began restoring the base back to its former condition with a view to it becoming a replica museum and visitor centre. Alan Carroll returned to Port Lockroy in 2006 as Historical Advisor to the UKAHT to work on artefacts.

The fully restored original Bonzer Can Opener – still going strong 70 years on.


If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a virtual tour of the restored Port Lockroy British Base, with 360° videos which make you feel like you are actually there yourself, if a little less cold! Can you spot the Bonzer that made it back to base? The ‘living museum’ received over 18,000 visitors last year.

Perhaps this story of extreme survival has inspired you to clean up your old can opener, or maybe you think your Bonzer can opener is even older or more well-travelled. Why not share your story with us or send us a photo of your vintage can opener. Contact Us!

We still make the Bonzer Can Opener in the UK to this day, so if your family catering business needs a reliable gadget that your grandchildren will be able to use in decades to come, email or call today to find out more about this classic product that time and tide seem happy to wait for.

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