Ella Woodfield: First woman to visit Halley, 1974

1st Lady at Halley Bay, 1974
From left: Eric Heathorn (Catering Officer), Captain Tom Woodfield (Master), Mrs Woodfield,
Stuart Lawrence (Chief Officer), Paul Whiteman (BAS HQ).
Picture by Graham Chambers

Graham Chambers writes:

The photo of Ella Woodfield was not posed, but was an entirely fortuitous event. It was the last day of relief before the Bransfield sailed. That evening there had been a film shown on board - a terrible thing called, I recall "They shoot horses don't they?" about people dancing marathons in the Depression!

After the film the resident Fids went back to base. For some reason i had to go back to the ship late at night (about 11) and took a skidoo down to the Chip. The officers party had just finished dinner in the wardroom and went out onto the cliffs for a stroll before bed while smoking their cigars. Ella Woodfield was with them. I only had a B+W film in my camera, and cursed this bad luck at the time. It was entirely fortuitous that a couple of local gentry were taking the air at the same time!

It was only later that I realised that Ella Woodfield was the first woman to visit the base, and this itself became more significant after 1995 when the first women wintered at Halley.

26 April 2002

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