Z-fids Newsletter No. 8

June 2006

      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No. 8   12 Jun 2006 

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

Midwinter is approaching, and we send greetings to all those South
and particularly the crew at Halley.

Halley 50 Year Celebration weekend, Northampton, 14-15 October 2006
Bookings for this unique event are coming in steadily; at present
we have 245 attending. The names can be viewed on the Z-fids
website and are from all eras of Halley's 50 year history, from
members of the IGYE Advance party in 1956 to the most recent
returned winterers of 2005. People wishing to attend are asked to
get their bookings in by 31 August at the latest, but preferably
sooner. This would help the committee as we have to make staged
payments to the hotel. At present most of those who have booked are
past winterers, but remember that this event is also open to all
who have visited Halley in the summer, or who have a special
interest in it. We have not yet had any bookings from ships'
officers and crew who have done such a good job in keeping the base
supplied over the years, with the Bransfield and latterly the
Ernest Shackleton. They are very welcome, though we realise some
will be at sea in October. All details about the weekend will
continue to be posted on the website. In case of difficulty, or for
more information, email me at the address above or phone Gordon
Devine on 01793 344186 or mobile 07887 955057. Whilst there are
still a good number of places left, we understand that there are
only a few rooms left at the Park Inn. If you want to be sure of
one, you are advised to make your reservation soon. Don't miss it;
it's going to be a great party.

News from Halley
It is very interesting to read the weblogs of the present wintering
team at Halley. Links to these are to be found on the 2006 page of
the Z-fids website. There are also some excellent photos posted on
the blogs, including aurora but also more mundane items such as a
ladies pee-funnel, and the "rocket bog", alias incinerating
'Incinolet' toilet installed the Piggott building. Recent events
have included the flag-down ceremony and barbecue, temperatures
down to -50C, a storm which blew off the steps to the optical
caboose, a "Club Nido" party in the garage, and visits to local
various cabooses. Plus the greater than usual use of workshop
facilities and materials for the making of Midwinter presents.

The Rebuild of Halley
Progress report by Karl Tuplin, Halley-6 project manager at BAS.

Halley V has been the longest running and most successful of the
Halley Stations. However, after 2010 there is an increased risk
that the Brunt Ice shelf will undergo a significant calving event
potentially taking Halley V with it. This predicted calving event
has set the deadline for the design and build of a new station fit
for the 21st century, Halley VI.

The brief for the new station has been derived from the lessons
learned from the past and from the experiences of current BAS
staff. The concept for Halley VI was achieved through a design
competition; you may have seen snippets in the media. Hugh
Broughton Architects and the engineering consultants Faber Maunsell
have led the design, producing a very functional, modular station
yet also making it a very comfortable place to live. We can't
totally escape having to shovel snow, but the new station has many
more mechanical features making it less labour intensive than in
the past, will be more energy efficient and is unique in that it
can be easily split-up into separate modules and relocated to a new
site in a summer season.

If you are interested in finding out more about Halley VI there
will be a talk given on the 24th June at BAS Cambridge, during the
BAS Club visit. 

New on the Z-fids website
The website development has continued. The last Newsletter sparked
a number of contributions, including reminiscences from Jack Temple
(1975 page) and Pat Lurcock (1986 page) who commented on the film
"The Last Tram" which used to be popular viewing on base. Doug
Finlayson sent in some pictures of the cats Strom and Kista who
used to hang around the geophysics office. Hwfa Jones responded
with some information about a later feline resident, Dillon. Hwfa
also provided more notes about sledging flags on the Muskeg
tractors, including that of the Black Hand Gang. Other
contributions were on the Aer Lingus hostess, the loo pit, and the
naked skidooer. All these may be found using the General Index
and/or the Picture Index. An amusing example of cloning was pointed
out in the "Drewry Gazette"; see link on the 2006 page which also
has link to the diary of Gemma Clarke of Faber Maunsell, who
visited Halley in the last summer season ('05/'06) in connection
with the Halley 6 project (see below). 'Doc Ron' Lloyd provided a
set of photos which gave a good impression of life at Halley-I in
its penultimate year (link from the 1966 page). The ever prolific
Hwfa Jones sent an article about the Gin Bottle beacon (McDonald's
Ice Rumples). He wondered where the name came from, thinking it was
perhaps from the shape of some long gone iceberg; I thought there
was an actual gin bottle in the story somewhere. Do any of our
readers know?

Each year page on the website is headed by a section "Notable
events/features of the year". However, four years have nothing at
all in that section yet. If you wintered in 1975, 1987, 1989 or
1999, can you think whether anything notable which happened or was
a feature of that year; if so, let me know.

Most of the people listed for each year are identified by their
surname, initials, and first name. However there are a handful
(listed below) for whom I don't have their first name, just their
initials and surname. Can anyone provide any of the missing data?
M.R. Barber (1988), M.A. Baring-Gould (1967), P.C.F. Bayman (1978),
N.J. Bracken (1990), G.N. Burgess (1988), S.J. Caines (1990), S.P.
Davies (1983), S.B. Dove (1988), P. Ellis (1973), G.A. Gay (1973),
S.P. Goswell (1983), R.C. Hewitson (1974), C. Holder (1973), P.M.
Humphries (1983), E.G. Johnson (1976), C. Keith (1991), A.J. King
(1985), V.A Kulkarni (1991), J.E. MacDonald (1960), J.A. Main
(1974), C.R. Oley (1991), J.K. Parker (1978), A.J. Turner (1973),
P.A. Turner (1983), R.S. Walker (1973), R.L. Waller (1973), G.A.
Wright (1974). Looking through the lists I noticed that in certain
years, certain names predominated. For example there were 5 Mikes
in 1961; then there were 5 Davids in 1964 and 5 Daves in 1984, 4
Peters in 1968, 3 Brians in 1965, 2 Ians and an Iain in 1977 and 3
Johns and 2 Jons in 1997. Did this ever cause any confusion? If
anyone has a relevant anecdote, please sent it in.

A final query. Ron Lloyd's photo of himself playing the piano in
1966 (click Piano in the Picture Index) shows the instrument to be
the usual brown wood colour. But when it was recovered from
Halley-I to Halley-II in 1972, and observed there on subsequent
visits after the base was abandoned, it was coloured white. Does
anyone know who painted it, when, and why?

So far 295 people have registered on the website; all but 21 of
these have been winterers. If you have not yet registered, why not
do so and join the Z-fids club.

Commemorative DVD
It is not (quite) too late to contribute photos to this DVD which
is being put together by Stephen Williams and will be available at
Z-50. If you think you might have something suitable, please
contact Stephen at stephenwilliams@newbury-18.freeserve.co.uk

Skidoos at Halley-5
I noticed a post on the Cool Antarctica FIDS Forum (Click the FIDS
link on the Z-fids home page, and then Forum).
'Before the garage' from 'Franck'
"I was after a small amount of Halley History...
Where were the skidoos kept/serviced in Halley 5 before the Garage
was built? Is it true that they were driven up and down the
steps... or that one was accidentally driven off the platform?
(come on, now's your chance to confess)."
Can a former resident of Halley-5 provide answers?
Incidentally, the same forum gives notice of the Signy 60th Reunion
2007, which will be of interest to those of you who served at both
Signy and Halley.

Recent deaths
Since the last newsletter, we have heard of the deaths of the
following Halley people: Alan Weeks (1965), Andy Moinet (1974) and
John Holt (1962-63). Ray Adie, the former BAS Deputy Director,
geologist, and contemporary of Bunny Fuchs, also died recently. His
work was mainly on the Peninsula, but I am told that he did visit
Halley briefly, in 1966.

This year the UK is host to the 24th Antarctic Treaty Consultative
Meeting (where representatives of countries who have signed the
treaty meet to discuss related issues). It is being held in
Edinburgh and begins this week, so expect to see associated
Antarctic-related items in the press.

Did you know that "the original spelling of the word Antarctic in
English left out the first c, which was reintroduced into the
spelling apparently at the beginning of the 17th century, most
likely in a conscious effort to make the English word conform more
closely to its Greek ancestor. The spelling with the c is now, of
course, the only acceptable one, but the pronunciation with the c
is not. Both (nt-ark'tk) and (nt-ar'tk) are equally acceptable."
See http://www.bartleby.com/64/C007/016.html

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
re-register on the website.

All the best, Andy

16 June 2006
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