Z-fids Newsletter No. 21

July 2009


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      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No. 21   01 Jul 2009 

Editor: Andy Smith  (email andy@smitha.demon.co.uk)
Website: www.zfids.org.uk
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News from Halley
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After experiencing record low temperatures for April (below -50C),
the 2009 wintering team at Halley is now past Midwinter. You can
read more, and see some nice pictures, in the 2009 online diary
(link on the 2009 page of the zfids website). Also on the same page
are links to articles that base members Ags and Giles have written
for the EcoWorldly website.

Halley VI
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In Cape Town the cladding panels have been fabricated for the six
standard modules which following the construction season of 2007-08
were left unclad and protected by canvas covers. They will be
shipped South next season when the construction plan calls for
cladding of these remaining blue modules, plus building the
steelwork for the large central module. By the end of the season
the new station should really start to take shape. Meanwhile in
Cape Town the focus has shifted to producing the panels for the red
central module. For information, see the Halley 6 website (link on
the Z-fids home page).

RRS "John Biscoe" at Halley Bay
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Following the piece in the last Newsletter (No. 20), John Smith,
Nelson Norman and Gordon Artz have provided information on this
subject. The "new" John Biscoe under the command of Captain
Johnston visited Halley Bay in the 1959/60 season, her maiden visit
to the Weddell Sea. It was widely stated at the time that she was
the first British ship to penetrate so far South since Shackleton
lost the Endurance. For more information, look up "John Biscoe" in
the Z-fids General Index.

Cabooses
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Doug Finlayson updated his account of the use of a Muskeg-towed
caboose on the ice depth radar expedition of 1963. Tony Baker
remembers the caboose used to establish "Coats Station" in 1964.
See "Caboose" in the General Index on the Zfids website. Shaun
Burley provided some pictures of "Golly's Folly" to accompany Peter
Noble's account mentioned in the last Newsletter; see "Golly's
Folly" in the Picture Index. John Bradford spotted the folly at
Goose Green in the Falkland Islands; you can see his pictures on
the website. John is the Stanley beastie man now, so gets regular
visits to the Falklands. He says if anyone wants to drop in,
there's always tea on in the ionosonde hut when he is there.

David Limbert
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We are sad to announce that David Limbert died on 1 May 2009. He
first served at Halley Bay as a meteorologist with the advance
party of the Royal Society IGY Expedition in 1956. He wintered
again in 1959 when FIDS took over the base from the Royal Society.
After a time in the Meteorological Office he became Chief
Meteorologist with FIDS and BAS. He became Secretary of the
International Council of Polar Meteorology, a council member of the
Royal Meteorological Society, and a delegate to the World
Meteorological Organization. More details relevant to his time at
Halley Bay may be found on the 1956 and 1959 pages of the Z-fids
website.

Tony Wilson
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We also sadly note the death of Tony Wilson in February this year.
He was the ionosphericist (beastie man) in 1966 and 1967.

BAS Club reunion and AGM
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This year's event will be held in Cambridge on 4th July. If you
haven't booked, it's too late; if you have, I will see you there.

1977 Reunion
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Ken Lax reports that arrangements for this reunion of the 1977
winterers are now in place. It will be held in York on 17 October
2009. If any other reunions are being planned or have been held,
please send me the details and I will put a notice on the website
and/or this newsletter.

Dog memorial
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It is expected that the memorial, which consists of a full size
bronze statue of a husky, will be unveiled on 4th July. It will
stand on a plinth outside the entrance to BAS in Cambridge. For
more, see "Dog Memorial" in the General Index. Still on dogs, the
June issue of "The Fan Hitch" is now online at
http://homepage.mac.com/puggiq/

"Dog Days on Ice"
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Peter Noble has received a lot of extremely complementary feedback 
about his book "Dog Days on Ice" but advises that due to postal
increases in April and a rise in package costs he has had to
increase his postal price for the book. Hand collected copies
remain at 12 but those sent by post are now: UK 14 (still cheaper
than bookshops!), Europe 16.50, rest of world 20.  You can email
Peter on 

Neville Gabie
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Neville spent the 2008/09 summer season at Halley as "artist in
residence" (under the BAS Artists and Writers initiative), the
first to spend a significant amount of time there. He is now
preparing an exhibition based on his visit. More details in due
course. There is a link to Neville's blog on the 2009 Zfids page.

Video clips from Halley
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As mentioned in Z-fids Newsletter 16, the YouTube website has
recently provided the means to view videos shot at Halley. On the
2008 page of the Z-fids site I have added links to videos on
"Weather balloon launch", "On the way to the melt tank", and
"Riding a mountain bike through the tunnels". More may be found
using the Search facility of YouTube. One of my favourites is a
time lapse video of "Burying the box containing the search coil
magnetometer" (link from the Zfids 2007 page).

Antarctic monument update (contributed by Rod Rhys Jones)
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The British Antarctic Monument Trust, BAMT
At a meeting to discuss the memorial plaque to be placed in the
Crypt of St Paul's Cathedral in early June with Canon Martin
Warner, Treasurer of St Paul's and Martin Stancliffe, Surveyor to
the Fabric I introduced our design team, the artist Graeme Wilson
and the stone mason Fergus Wessel. We are now finalising the design
of the plaque to be placed in the crypt with a view to getting
final approval at the Chapter and Fabric Advisory committees in
September or December. We are aiming to hold a service of
dedication linked to an evensong in the Cathedral in Spring 2011.
It seems a long way off but commissioning, completing and
installing the work will take most of 2010 and the BAMT Trustees
are anxious to locate as many families of those that were killed as
possible so that they are aware of the plaque and its dedication.
This is slow work and we need your help. See the list of those
families who we have not contacted below.
An article in the Surrey Advertiser produced a flurry of contacts
from many school friends and the family of Neville Mann. His
friends have been particularly generous. You can see a news article
on our website.

Photographs and profiles
We are also anxious to build up profiles and photographs of those
that were lost and you can see some of the information that we have
been collecting appearing on our website. If you have any
information that you would like to add please contact Brian Dorsett
Bailey or myself. And if anyone would like to assist in editing
these website memories their assistance would be welcomed.

Monumental sculpture
The Scott Polar Research Institute has agreed, in principal, to
provide a site for the UK part of the monumental sculpture designed
by Oliver Barratt in the soon to be re-landscaped garden. The Scott
Polar is planning to invest about 1.75million in creating a Polar
Museum for the 21st Century in time to celebrate the Centenary of
Scott reaching the South Pole in 1912, having secured 1million
from the Lottery Heritage Fund. This is a very exciting development
as the sculpture will be seen by the many thousands of visitors to
the museum.

Ambassadors 
Four well-known FIDS, Felicity Aston, John Killingbeck, Paul Rose.
and Dr Russell Thompson, and have all agreed to act as Ambassadors
for the Trust.  Their role is to help us in our charitable
educational mission and to help publicise our activities through
their public talks and lectures.
Felicity Aston, since wintering at Rothera, has led a number of
polar expeditions and is currently organising an expedition to lead
eight women from the Commonwealth to the South Pole this coming
season; John Killingbeck, who wintered in the early 60's is well
known for undertaking the last dog journey in the Antarctic with
John Sweeney in 1994; Paul Rose has spent many winters in
Antarctica and is well known for his television programmes
including the most recent Oceans; Dr Russell Thompson who wintered
on King George and Signy Islands in the 50's and 60's lectured in
glaciology and climatology at leading universities in New Zealand,
Australia, Canada, Fiji and the UK.

Families, Colleagues and Friends
We are now in contact with nine of the 27 families of those that
died. They are:
Tom Allen (Stonington Island 1966),
John Anderson (Rothera 1981),
Jeremy Bailey (Halley Bay 1965),
Dennis Bell (Admiralty Bay 1959),
Kirsty Brown (Rothera 2003), 
Roger Filer (Signy 1961),
Geoffrey Hargreaves (Argentine Islands 1976),
Neville Mann (Halley Bay 1963),
Geoffrey Stride (Horseshoe Islands 1958).

We would like to contact members of the family of the following and
if you know them or know where any of those listed below lived or
studied please get in touch:
Robert Atkinson (Rothera 1981),
Stanley Black (Horseshoe Island 1958),
Oliver Burd (Hope Bay 1948),
John Coll (Argentine Islands 1982),
Michael Green (Hope Bay 1948),
Arthur Farrant (Deception Island 1953),
Ronald Napier, (Admiralty Bay 1956),
John Noel (Stonington Island 1966),
Ambrose Morgan (Argentine Islands 1982),
Miles Mosley (Halley Bay 1980),
Kevin Ockleton (Argentine Islands 1982),
Eric Platt (Admiralty Bay 1948),
Alan Sharman (Admiralty Bay 1959),
David Statham (Horseshoe Island 1958),
Michael Walker (Argentine Islands 1976),
Graham Whitfield (Argentine Islands 1976),
Dai Wild (Halley Bay 1965),
John Wilson (Halley Bay 1965).

Tracking down the families is a time consuming and difficult
process that is being undertaken by Brian Dorsett-Bailey. He is
planning to place articles in local papers and in alumni magazines
at Universities where we have a location to work with. If anyone
reading this can provide information about where former colleagues
came from please get in touch with Brian. briand_b@hotmail.co.uk or
ring him on 01923447422. 
David McDowell has written about Stanley Black, David Statham, and
Geoffrey Stride. Russell Thompson has written about Alan Sharman, 
Dave Lewis; a university friend has written about Graham Whitfield.
We have little or no information about others in the above list. If
you have any information about them please contact Brian.

Fund raising
We have begun fund raising in earnest and should anyone feel that
they would like to contribute to the cost of these memorials please
email me to make a donation or donate directly through the 'Giving'
link on the BAMT website www.antarctic-monument.org. 
Private Eye printed a cartoon by Ed McLachlan a couple of months
ago showing a penguin persuading a disorderly drunken, fag smoking
group of penguins to get out of their "smelly pits," smarten up and
greet the tourist boat that is just appearing over the horizon. It
struck a chord. I phoned him up to see if I could buy it to auction
it for the Trust funds. He told me he had just sold it. However he
said he would be happy to draw one and donate it to the Trust. 
Anyone who would be interested in bidding for this original cartoon
should get in touch. We are hoping to organise a fund raising event
in the Autumn of 2010 and we will auction it then.

Roderick Rhys Jones email rod@rhysjones.com

Five years
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It is now five years since the first Newsletter in this series was
sent out in June 2004. The Z-fids website is 3 years older; it went
online in June 2001.

Registrations
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As usual this newsletter is being sent out by email only, to 442
people. If you are on email but have not received it by that route,
please register or re-register on the website (links on home page).
362 people have now registered on Z-fids. If you have, your name
will be shown as a link on the appropriate year page(s).

Andy

2 October 2009
Z-fids home page