Z-fids Newsletter No.5

July 2005

      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No. 5   19 July 2005 

Editor: Andy Smith  (email andy@smitha.demon.co.uk)
Website: www.zfids.org.uk

The result of the design competition for Halley-6 was announced
today; the winning bid was that produced by FaberMaunsell and Hugh
Broughton Architects. Like Halley-5, it will be an above-surface
base, with the buildings supported on legs. Unlike Halley-5 however,
the legs are mounted on skis, enabling the whole base (which is in
several connected modules) to be towed in sections to a new site and
reassembled. This will enable it to avoid the inevitable fate of all
previous bases, i.e. floating away when the part of the Brunt Ice
shelf carrying them calves. Construction should begin in January
2007, with the base being handed over to BAS in December 2008. For
more details, click the Halley-6 link near the bottom of the zfids
website home page.

Halley 50 Year Celebration weekend, Northampton, 14-15 October 2006
Bookings are now coming in, as can be seen on the website. If you
haven't reserved your place yet, why not do so now? It's going to be
a great party. Booking forms were sent out with the May BAS Club
Newsletter, or you can download one from the website.

Keith Yearby asks "Does anyone know what happened to Halley's
Synchronome master clocks? During my first winter (1983) the
Synchronome was still working at Halley 3, I think mainly as an
ornament, or possibly as a backup for the observatory clock. It was
initially abandoned when Halley 3 closed, but I recovered it to
Halley 4 at some point during 1984. Unfortunately, a jewel in the
mechanism was lost and I was not able to get it working again.
During the 84/85 summer, or possibly the next one, a second
Synchronome arrived at Halley which I think was salvaged from the
BAS base at South Georgia by some incoming FIDs. I didn't see them
again, so wonder if anyone did ship them out, or if they ended up on
the gash dump. That would be sad as they are much sought after by
collectors now." Does anyone have any information for Keith?

Lansing snow plane
This fine machine was supplied in 1964, but never used seriously I
think. Clive Sweetingham wondered if anyone rescued it from
Halley-2. I don't think they did, according to a report by Dale
Heaton of a visit to the abandoned Halley-2 base in 1985. Check
under "Lansing snowplane" in the general index and picture index of
the website. Does anyone have any good anecdotes about this vehicle?
When was its last outing?

Smoko: A Fids Internet Forum
There is now a discussion forum for fids on the Cool Antarctica
website, called predictably "Smoko". The address is:

Rita's Bar
According to Larry Butterworth (see the 1990 page on the website)
the bar at Halley-5 was originally called "Rita's Bar" after a
blow-up doll. There must be any number of tales about blow-up dolls
at Halley, especially from before the days of wintering women. Does
anyone want to volunteer any? Please say if you want to remain

Sledging flags
The current BC, Simon Coggins, forwarded me a query about whether
BAS/FIDS used the type of distinctive sledging flags which Scott and
other early explorers had on their sledges. I don't think this was
ever done at Halley, and Keith Holmes tells me it was not the
practice for dog sledges from Stonington in the 1960s either. Do any
former dog sledge travellers have anything to add? I know the
Muskegs used to fly the Union Flag when on a tractor journey, and
this can be seen in some of the pictures on the website.

Shaun Burkey described the construction and commissioning of the
observatory in 1993 (link from 1993 page or look up "observatory" in
the general index). He wondered what happened to it. I understand
that the telescope which it housed got damaged and was removed, but
what happened to the observatory enclosure?

Halley-5 model
It was mentioned in the last Newsletter that the large Halley-5
scale model was saved from the tip and is now at Dave Brown's house
near Budapest. Some pictures have been placed on the website (look
up "model" in the picture index).

The six bases
A web page has been put together summarising the beginnings and ends
of Halleys 1-6 (link from the bottom of the home page). Any comments
or corrections would be welcome.

Streaking Misprint
Unfortunately the date of Graham Chambers' "streak" at Halley,
supposedly the first ever to take place, was mistakenly given as
1984 instead of 1974. This led to a number of claims of priority,
but none before 1974, so Graham's "first" still stands!

As usual this newsletter is being sent out by email. If you are on
email but have not received it by that route, please register or
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N.B. It seems that some spam filters (e.g. Hotmail) have been
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the Newsletters you won't see this note, but someone might tell you.

All the best, Andy

30 July 2005
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