A visit to Halley-4, & Bonfire Night

by Shaun Burkey

I wintered during 1992 and 1993 and we went on a 'scrounging' mission to Halley IV during 1992. We went in search of wood to burn for bonfire night, quite shameful now when I think of it. The following summer season 92/93 was when Les Whittamore arrived with a team to take out all waste from the base and then the base was sealed I think. We never went back to it in 1993. It was a very eerie feeling wandering around Halley IV with a torch, most noticeably because the familiar noise of the generators and the smell of the toilet were absent.

By the way, Bonfire Night 1992 was a great success; we threw the entire base supply of air freshener onto it, along with all the Soda-stream CO2 cylinders and a few aviation fuel drums. One very dodgy moment was when Bodge tried to sling shot a full 45-gallon drum of petrol onto the fire as he drove at the fire on a skidoo at full speed, unfortunately he crashed into the side of the fire but didn't realise there was a drum of aviation fuel already on the fire and ready to pop. The drum went into orbit just as he managed to drive away. The drums would explode and occasionally the flat circular ends would shear off with razor sharp edges and would fly several hundred feet like a frisby - very dodgy, everyone would hide behind things and wait. One of the lads 'Wookie' commented 'Phew, I survived another bonfire night at Halley'.

Again all quite shameful in terms of environmental pollution.

[31 May 2005]

See comments by Charlie Robb.

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