Reunion for 1977 Halley Bay winterers - 2017

by Ken Lax

40th Anniversary Reunion

Shrewsbury, 16 September 2017


The 1977 wintering team meets every two years and this year's reunion coincided with the 40th anniversary, so we invited some guests to celebrate with us.

For the third time in succession we met at the Lion Hotel in Shrewsbury. An informal lunch gathering on the Saturday lunch time was followed by a dinner in the evening .

Our special guests this year were Andy and Rosy Smith (of ZFIDS website fame), Genghis Wright and Hwfa Jones (last doggy men at Halley Bay), Gerry Nicholson (Twin Otter crew). We also invited Jenny Agutter (Railway Children), Mike Harding, Stuart Lawrence (Bransfield Captain), Gary Stud (Twin Otter pilot), Pete Clarkson (HQ) and Keith Gainey (BAS Club magazine editor) but they were unable to attend - maybe next time.

From the wintering team we had (in alphabetical order) : Pete Anderson-Witty (Diesel Mech.), John Bradford (Geophysics), Michael Davies (aka Honk. Diesel mech.), Steve Emery (Electrician), Tom Hardie-Forsyth (Radio Op.), Phil Hart (Met) and Linda Hart, Ken Lax (Base Commander), Ian Levack (Doc.), Phil Marsh (geologist and honorary member after forced winter in Belgrano), Harry Matthews (VLF), George Morgan (Met) and daughter Rachel, Mike Pinnock (Beastie), Ian Somerton (Geophysics) and John Wright (GA).

Phil and Linda live in Canada, as does John Wright, so it was especially pleasing that they had made the effort to travel to Shrewsbury and it was great to see them. They were only outdone by Tom Hardie-Forsyth (Fosdyke), who had travelled from Kurdistan to be at the reunion (via a depot stop in Yorkshire).

Steve Chambers (Beastie), Mike Houlcroft (Tractor mech.), Andy Quinn (Geophysics) and Barry Gardiner (Met.) were unable to attend this year. We have still not been able to locate Jim Oliver (Cook) and Dave Hogg (Beastie).

To celebrate the 40th anniversary a special cake was commissioned with a picture of the Bransfield at the Low Shelf and this was kindly sponsored by George Morgan. Rosy agreed to cut the cake after Andy had calculated the angle required for the slices.

A great time was had by all and the grip show was the cause of much hilarity. The presence of our guests made a big difference to the get-together.

The wintering FIDS were all most impressed that Harry has had an article published in a naturist magazine. Not quite so impressed when we learned it was only Nature magazine and not Health and Efficiency. It was good to see Harry after such a long time because for the last three reunions he has been in japan and we have had to make contact by telephone.

On the Sunday we trooped off to the nearby Shrewsbury Museum, where they were on the final day of their Antarctic exhibition. They had pyramid tents, food boxes , Nansen sledges and the like. Several group photos were taken in the museum and much comment on the luxurious contents of the food boxes were heard. A virtual reality of the new Halley was on show too.

We resolved to have the next reunion in 2019 at the Lion, but may try a different venue for 2021.

2017 Reunion

2017 Reunion

2017 Reunion

2017 Reunion

2017 Reunion

More pictures here.


30 Oct 2017
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