Z-fids Newsletter No. 13

June 2007

      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No. 13   09 Jun 2007 

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

News from Halley
With Midwinter approaching, we send our best wishes to the current
wintering team at Halley, for an enjoyable celebration and a
successful second half of the year. The base commander, Pete
Milner, sends the following news:
"Halley station is now well into the winter season and we have
celebrated the sun setting for the last time before midwinter. This
is a good chance for the team to get together for a party. We
continued with the tradition of the oldest member of the team
lowering the flag, which will be given away to one of the team
chosen by lottery. This winter I had the honour of making a short
speech as the flag came down. After work we are all busy in the
workshops making presents for mid-winter.
We also recorded the coldest average for April since records began
at Halley.

Met statistics for April 

Max temp was -10C on day 30 
Mean temp was -29.1C   a record!!! 
Min temp was -45.5C on day 23 
Max gust 37 Knots 
Total sunshine 71.3 hours

Meteorological statistics for May

Maximum temperature was  -4.6 deg C on day 18 
Mean max temperature was  -22.1 deg C 
Mean temperature was  -27.4 deg C
Mean min temperature was  -32.8 deg C
Minimum temperature was  -45.6 deg C on day 27 
Mean scalar wind speed was 12.1 knots 
Max ten minute wind speed was 41.0 knots
Max gust speed was 48 knots
Total sunshine was 0.0 hours
Days snow - 20
Days ice prisms/needles - 10
Days drift snow - 9
Days blow snow - 3
Days water fog - 4
Days ice fog - 5
Days visibility below 1000m - 13
Days visibility below 100m - 2
Days visibility below 50m - 0
Days of Gale - 3
Cloudy days - 11
Clear days - 9
Days of rime - 2
Day of hoar frost - 3
Days of mirages - 5

The recent low temperatures have provided a good excuse if you have
long hair to go outside, stick your head in a bucket of water, hold
your head upside down until the hair freezes, then stand up so your
hair stands up vertically. We make our own amusement here and have
a pretty full social diary including German lessons, gym sessions,
film nights, band practice, pub quiz, samba, doc school, travel
slide shows etc.
We have seen some cool auroras too. When the night watchman wakes
us up most folk head outside with cameras hoping to capture the
amazing solar effects. We have the celebrations of midwinter to
come and of course we are looking forward to the return of the

Z-50 Poster
A poster which includes all the Z-50 group photos is now available
to order from the photographers. The size is A1 (approximately 47"
x 36"). The poster does not indicate who is who in the photos, but
a separate list may be downloaded from the website. More details on
the website or from Pixelero, phone 01604 468402, email
Individual group photos, and other pictures, are also available
from the same supplier.

Other Z-50 souvenirs
The Z-50 polo shirts have now sold out but most of the other items
on sale during the weekend are still available by mail order, for
example Joe MacDowall's book "On Floating Ice", the Commemorative
DVD, the book "The Doggy Men", etc. Also DVD copies of the films
shown during the weekend are available through the BAS Archives
section. More information on the website.

Other reunions
The annual BAS Club AGM and reunion dinner takes place on 23 June
2007 at Austwick in the Yorkshire Dales. If you have not yet
booked, you need to move fast as bookings close on 14 June. More
details on the BAS Club website:

The Signy 60th anniversary reunion takes place 14-16 September 2007
at Peterhouse, Cambridge. All Signy Fids (winter and summer
versions), their spouses/partners and anyone who has visited Signy
or has an interest in the island will be most welcome to attend. An
illustrated booklet and a DVD of Signy images are being prepared
and contributions are welcome. More details on the Cool Antarctica
website http://www.coolantarctica.com/signy60.htm
or from Bill Block, email wcb@bas.ac.uk

Dale Heaton is organising a mini reunion at Easter 2008 for Halley
1985 and 1986 folk. More details from Dale.

The British Antarctic Sledge Dog Memorial
Hwfa Jones issued an update on the appeal in May 2007, and this may
be found on the Z-fids website (click "sledge dog memorial" in the
General Index). So far enough has been collected for a brass
plaque, but the aim is to raise enough money for a full scale dog
sculpture. Mike Skidmore has donated his painting of Changi, one of
the prominent Halley Bay dogs of the late 1960s. This superb
picture will be sold to the highest bidder in aid of the fund.

The Z-fids website
Since the last Newsletter there have been some interesting
additions to the website. The rate of submissions has been dropping
recently though, so please keep them coming.

Mix Dixon has contributed a hair-raising account of "Washing Up
Bay" (Washing Up Bay in the General Index).

There is a picture of the board used as a Visitors' Book during the
IGYE; the original is held in the archives of the Royal Society
(Visitors Board in the Picture Index).

Pictures of skidoos being driven down the steps at Halley 5 are now
on the site (Skidoos at Z5 in the Picture Index).

Hwfa Jones contributed a picture and nostalgic note on the Racal
Receivers used in the late 1960s and early 1970s (Racal Receiver in
the Picture Index). Does anyone know how long this type of receiver
continued to be used?

Tim Handley, who was snowblower operator/mechanic on the night
shift of the Halley-5 construction team in 1988-89, recalls the
rivalry with the day shift which included snowball fights (Snowball
Fights in the General Index).

Stephen Holdich
We are sorry to have to record that Stephen died in a helicopter
crash in Cambridgeshire on 1 May 2007, aged 49. He was tractor
mechanic at Halley in 1980 and 1981. A note was placed on the

From Sue Hamilton
The following has been received from Sue Hamilton, editor of "The
Fan Hitch". I hope some of you doggy men can help out, and thereby
increase publicity for the Sledge Dog Memorial Appeal.
"Dear FIDS,
I am grateful for the opportunity to actively support the campaign
for the British Antarctic Sledge Dog Memorial Fund in The Fan Hitch
(The Fan Trace), the journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International.
When the campaign was first announced in our journal back in
December 2006
(http://homepage.mac.com/puggiq/V9N1/V9%2CN1Remember.html), there
was an accompanying story about dog sledging in Antarctica. At
least until the campaign's goal is met, and hopefully until the
actual memorial is in place, I plan to include a fund update in
every (quarterly) issue. Along with the update, it seems
appropriate to include a vignette of sledging in Antarctica or a
story about a particular dog or incident with a dog...anything to
illustrate to our readers why creating a memorial to the British
Antarctic huskies is so important. You need not be a "writer" to
contribute. Words that come from the heart are far more important
than "the Queen's English". Length of the article can be very
flexible. The important part is that there be a photo or two or
three (depending on length of the text) that can be used (with
permission and credit). The Fan Hitch is published in June,
September, December and March and it would be ideal to have your
contribution before the end of the month previous to publication.
The Inuit Sled Dog International is eager to keep alive the
contribution and the memory of the dogs that served so well.
Thanks. Sue Hamilton, Editor, The Fan Hitch
http://homepage.mac.com/puggiq/ "

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15 June 2007
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