Michael Sheret, geophysicist; 1959

The Nature article by Mick Blackwell gives a summary of the science activities on the base in 1959. (See also Mick's account on this website.) We were so lucky to have Mick as Chief Scientist. He was seconded from the Met Office. He had, among other things, been the Director of the Eskdalemuir Magnetic Observatory. Without Mick the magnetic observatory at Halley Bay would probably have been abandoned. Mick trained me (just graduated in physics in 1959) well and between us we kept things going. Mick had a stellar career and went on to become Deputy Director of the Met Office.

The other person we were very lucky to have was the Base Leader, George Lush. George was seconded from the Royal Navy. He had been with the first team to set up Halley Bay. As a commissioned bosun (Lieutenant and later Lieutenant Commander) George had great practical skills (for example carpentry and a genius with block-and-tackle). The more I look back on my time at Halley Bay I realise he also had good leadership skills, something needed to get the best from a varied group of individuals. George was well thought of by the Royal Society and went on to manage projects for them.

Most of the 1959 team were recruited by the Royal Society, thinking that the life of Halley Bay was to be extended by the Royal Society for one year, Year of International Geophysical Cooperation, by the Royal Society. We learned shortly before departure that the base was to be handed over to FIDS. I wonder if everybody would have signed up if they had known from the start.

26 March 2022

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