Z-fids Newsletter No. 28

October 2011

      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No. 28   18 Oct 2011 

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

News from Halley
Ben Mapston, 2011 Winter Base Commander, writes: "The sun is back
and we are expecting the first plane at the end of the month; it
really has flown by. We have recently restored the memorial
sledge." The 2011 station diary (link from the Zfids website 2011
page) records some of the social events on base since the last
Z-Fids Newsletter, for example a -40C barbecue, a tennis tournament
and a darts match with Rothera via Skype. You can also watch two
Halley entries for the Antarctic Film Festival, "Carpe Diem" and
"The Antarctic Hair Stylist", and very good they are too.

Memorial sledge refurbishment
Brett Walton (the current vehicle mechanic at Halley), with help
from others, has undertaken a full refurbishment of the memorial
sledge. Details and pictures are on the Z-fids website (link from
the 2011 page). I am sure it will be of particular interest to
people who know the five men commemorated, and also to those who
constructed the memorial originally.

Z-60 Diamond Jubilee Reunion
Alex Gaffikin writes:
"Do you remember the fabulous Z-50 reunion back in 2006?... Do you
recall 'The Big Smoko', Live link-up to Halley, the Exhibition of
historical Z-items (treasure and junk!), the golden oldie movies
and of course the Z-50 cake? Well believe it or not, though it may
seem like yesterday, it was five years ago and we are now looking
forward to Halley's own Diamond Jubilee reunion in 2016.
And of course what we need are volunteers! Folks who can help
contribute to the event in any way - big or small. If you'd like to
be part of the event of the decade, bring your ideas along to our
inaugural meeting on the 19th November 2011 at The Park Inn Hotel,
Northampton between 1300 -1600. For directions and more details you
can find out more on
http://www.parkinn.co.uk/hotel-northampton/location  or give them a
call on Tel: +44 (0)1604 739988.
If you can't make it but would like to be involved in some way,
please get in touch with Alex Gaffikin on
alexandra.gaffikin@hrp.org.uk saying what talents you have.
See you soon.
Alex et al."

1977 Winterers' Reunion
And on a rather smaller scale, Ken Lax:
"We have arranged the next reunion for 1977 winterers for 19
November 2011 in Shrewsbury.  As usual we are looking for any
information or contact details for:
Peter Edwards - GA.  Last heard of in Switzerland.
Andy Quinn - Physicist.  Last heard of heading for Australia.
Tom Forsyth - WOM.
Dave Hogg - Beastie man.  Last heard of in Scotland working for
Scottish Television.
Jim Oliver - Cook.  Last heard of working for catering company to
film crews."

Halley VI
Karl Tuplin, the Halley VI project manager at BAS, has contributed
photos of the Halley VI base at its final site at the end of the
2010-2011 season (link from the Zfids 2011 page). Some pictures by
James Goby (Machine Operator) of the modules covered in frost after
the 2011 winter, may be found on the BAS Halley VI website. To find
this, click the Halley VI link on the Z-Fids home page.

Z-fids website
There is now a photo of the 2011 wintering party on the 2011 page
of the Z-fids website. The 1970 page has a rather good photo of the
Mobsters dog team, contributed by Graham Wright. The website has
now passed its tenth birthday. It was started on 6 June 2001.

Beer and shovels
Following the story published in Newsletter No. 27 from Peter
Clarkson about the annual beer supply, Joe MacDowall has written
about the situation in 1958 when he was Leader of the Royal Society
IGY Expedition at Halley Bay. To find this on the website, click
Shovels from the General Index.

Blow-up doll
Carys Torres comments on this from the HQ side. See the 1978 page.

The P is silent ...
Richard Worsfold (Geologist 1963 and 1964) asks:
"I have been trying to remember who it was who coined the immortal
phrase "The P is silent ------- as in biscuit tin" but have drawn a
blank. Can any of your older tenters amd sledgers recall who it
was?" Any offers?

Halley crest
An enquiry has been received about the origin and fate of this
crest which was in the form of a quartered shield with an emperor
penguin top left, solar halo top right, southern cross bottom left,
and aurora bottom right. In the original IGY bar it was above the
fireplace along with a wooden scroll and a portrait of Edmond
Halley. My understanding is that it was made by Johnny Raymond and
Doug Prior in 1956 to decorate the Tudor-style "Halley Arms" which
these two RSIGYE Advance Party chippies constructed. It was later
moved to the bar in the 1961 building. Pictures of the two bars on
the website can be found from the Picture Index under "Bar ...".
The crest and the scroll were still at Halley I in 1965 as seen
from Lewis Juckes photos, but were they moved to Halley-II? As far
as I remember, they were not there when I wintered in 1971
(although the Halley portrait was, and is still on base I think).
So what happened to the crest (and the scroll)? Interestingly, a
(shield-shaped) replica of the crest, with a small brass plaque at
top centre dated 1977, turned up at BAS in Cambridge. There is also
in existence an oil painting of the crest. If anyone can provide
any information on the above, please write in.

British Antarctic Oral History Project
More edited extracts from the transcripts (see
hp) are reproduced below. If anyone would like to help with the
project as a volunteer, please get in touch.

Alan McManus: BAS rations in the 1970s
"You are looking at your stores and thinking:  Well, yes. It s all
good stuff, but it s all tinned; it s all processed.  It s very
difficult to make tinned and processed food varied. Tinned stewed
steak tastes like tinned stewed steak whatever you do with it. And
corned beef ( One thousand and one recipes for corned beef ) or
Spam or something like that, pork luncheon meat. The list sounds
good. We were given copies of the stores list and everything, and
on paper it s dozens of different types of tinned meats, but
actually they all taste the same. It was a challenge to start with.
The first few weeks you are churning it out, you are doing the
cooking, you are getting things done. But then, after you have run
through that initial repertoire of recipes you ve got, your
clientele is captive. It s not like a restaurant where they might
come in and eat with you once a month. Now they are eating three
meals a day from you. Getting the variety in there is a very
difficult thing. You tried to, but it was typically British. The
major spice we had was a tin of curry powder - your bog-standard
British curry powder - and that was it. And your range of dried
herbs and spices was very limited, being British. You know, your
mixed herbs, your sage, your thyme and your parsley, and that was
it. No spices; the odd bit of Cayenne pepper or something like
this, but nothing else. Sauces were your typical brown sauce,
tomato sauce, Worcester sauce. That was it."
NERC copyright, reproduced courtesy of BAS Archives Service.
Archives ref AD6/24/1/61.

David Limbert: Golf at Halley Bay in 1956
"We never played cricket. We did play golf - with black balls. What
we had was effectively just a snow surface. There was nothing else
but snow, and if the snow was hard, you could hit a golf ball quite
a distance. But generally in the summer it was a bit soft, and
there wasn t much point in having holes because things would just
plop into the ground. But you could tee off with a club - an
ordinary Two Iron or something like that, and have a sort of little
game with a black ball, so you could find it. Doug Prior, one of
our carpenters, painted the balls black. He was a keen golfer, and
that was his idea. There was no proper course. It was just ad-hoc.
Like most of these things, you say  Oh. Let s just play this game. 
It was done probably a couple of times, and that was it."
NERC copyright, reproduced courtesy of BAS Archives Service.
Archives ref AD6/24/1/17.

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26 March 2012
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