Jan Meek is the lady behind this expedition and was in charge of recruiting each of the Maidens.
Once it became known that Jan wanted to mount the expedition to the South Pole, she was approached by many adventurous friends and contacts from her Ocean row and North Pole trips.
However, her mission when recruiting was to ensure she had an all ‘ordinary’ female team of different ages.
It took Jan just over two years to recruit three of her Maidens, Caroline, Tanvi and Madhabilata.
The next step was to put out a public announcement via The Evening Standard and ITN. As a result over 200 women approached her about becoming part of the team!
Jan was contacted by Aileen Crean O’Brien, Tom Crean’s granddaughter. She was very interested in Jan’s desire to complete her grandfather’s journey and wanted to become a Polar Maiden. Of course, she was perfect. Not only was she part of the Crean family, she was also the right age.
Jan named her team the ‘Polar Maidens’ because Maidens mean women, and a Maiden voyage of a ship is the first voyage. And Jan feels this is the first expedition of ordinary women.