Suffolk: Polar explorer Henry Adams tells his story at Ipswich Building Society AGM

MEMBERS of Ipswich Building Society attending its annual general meeting last night were given an insight into the experiences of two polar explorers, a century apart.

Henry Adams, who trekked to the South Pole as part of an expedition marking the 100th anniversary of the record-breaking attempt on the pole led by Sir Ernest Shackleton, was guest speaker at the society’s AGM, held and Trinity Park, Ipswich.

Mr Adams, who lives in Suffolk, is a great-grandson of Jameson Boyd Adams who was among Shackleton’s companions on the 1908 Nimrod Expedition, which set a record by getting to within 100 miles of the South Pole.

Together with two other descendents of members of the Shackleton crew, Mr Adams successful completed a journey across the Antarctic, first following the original route and then pressing on from the point where their forebears had been forced to turn back to succeed in reaching the South Pole.

The AGM confirmed details of an outstanding year for the building society which defied the gloom elsewhere in the financial sector by growing its total assets by 3.4 per cent to nearly �517.9million. Savings balances invested with the society increased by 4pc compared with 2010 to a record �480m, taking growth over the past three years to almost one-third, while its mortgage balances grew by 8.6pc to nearly �398.2m. This included total new lending of around �91m, which the society said had been achieved without compromising its “rigorous” lending criteria.

Profit for the year after taxation and the levy paid by the society towards the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (to cover losses suffered by investors in failed institutions) grew from �364,000 to �1.38m.