Z-fids Newsletter No.1

June 2004

      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No.1   June 2004 

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

This Newsletter is intended mainly for people ("Fids") who have
lived and worked at the British Antarctic Survey "Base Z" (Halley
Bay, now Halley research station) in Antarctica. Veterans of the
Royal Society International Geophysical Year Expedition 1956-58, who
set up and occupied the base initially, are of course included.

50th Anniversary Celebration and Reunion
This will be held in Northampton on the weekend of 14-15 October
2006 to mark the 50 years since the foundation of the base on 6th
January 1956. A small organising committee has been planning this
event since the Reunion held in November 2001 in Daventry. All who
have lived at, been to, or otherwise have an interest in or
connection with the base, together with their wives, partners, etc.
are invited.

Advanced Deposits
We thank all those who paid the 10 advance deposit in response to
the 1st Circular issued in January 2003. This generated sufficient
funds to pay the deposit for the venue.

The event will be held at the Northampton Moat House Hotel; it was
selected partly because it can accommodate a larger average than
number of people in its Function and Banqueting Suite. Given the
number of people who have wintered at or visited Halley over the
last half century, we are expecting a high attendance at this unique
event. The hotel is in the centre of Northampton, easily accessible
by car or public transport. There is plenty of accommodation at the
hotel itself and nearby.

The committee is organising a programme comprising talks,
exhibitions, films etc. The centrepiece will be a reunion dinner on
the Saturday evening and we are hoping to have a live link up with
Halley over the Internet.

Second Circular
Detailed information together with a booking form is planned to be
published in the spring of 2005.

In parallel with the planning of the 50th Anniversary weekend has
been the development of the zfids website: www.zfids.org.uk
As stated on the home page, the aims of the website are to:

** Compile an unofficial history of Halley Bay, Antarctica, from the
viewpoint of the people who lived there; 

** Put and keep former Halley Bay residents in touch with each other
through the Internet;

**Share information about Halley Bay reunions, 50th anniversary
celebrations in 2006, and other relevant news. 

So far 195 people have made contact by registering on the website.
If you haven't registered yet, you are invited to do so. Just go to
the zfids home page and click, then complete, either the
registration form for winterers or that for summer visitors.
Everyone who registers will receive future issues of this Newsletter
(unless they request otherwise) and information about the 50 year
celebration weekend.

Information on the website is mostly organised by year. On the home
page for each year is a list of the people who were at Halley then.
The names those who have registered are shown as a hyperlink, either
to their email address or (if they have not given permission for
this to be shown) to a forwarding page, so that companions on base
together but who have lost contact can get in touch again.

I am grateful to everyone who has provided content for the website,
either as text or images, but more is always welcome. Have a look at
the pages for "your" year(s). Are there any errors? Can you add
anything? What was special or notable about the year (for the
"Notable events/features of the year".

Do you have an interesting picture (silly question; all fids do,
surely) or anecdote? Send me anything relevant, either by email,
post to 51 Ashmead Drive, Hardwick, Cambridge CB3 7XT, or via the
registration form. Examples of "fids's bodges" (improvisations
necessitated by lack of spares, etc.) are particularly welcome, as
an exhibit on this subject is planned at Northampton.

I have tried to get a picture of each wintering party, as displayed
on the lounge wall on base. Apart from a few early years (1956,
1959, 1960) for which they probably do not exist, the only ones I am
missing are 1968 and 1981. If anyone could sent me those, I would be
grateful. Please let me know if the credit on any of the photos on
the site is wrong, as I have not always been able to find out who
took the picture.

Message from Halley
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
"Greetings from Halley station, and we winterers of 2004.
We are sure that you are all aware that midwinter is a great moment
for us, and for everyone who has shared the experiences of Halley.
The encroaching darkness is finally started to recede, and memories
of summer days and anticipations of post winter trips come to us
We wish everyone a happy and hearty midwinter, and hope you are all
safe in the knowledge that if you raised a glass to us on midwinters
day, we certainly raised one to all of you. I for one am looking
forward to sharing a few midwinter stories at the re-union, and send
out all the best from all of us here at Halley V."

Allan Thomas, Electrician, Halley Research Station, Antarctica
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Halley 6
An important stage in the long process of replacing Halley-5 with a
new 19m Halley-6 station on the Brunt Ice Shelf was reached today,
29 June 2004. This was the launch of the Design Concept Competition
organised jointly by BAS and the Royal Institute of British
Architects. The winning design will be announced in September 2005
and building will start during the 2006-2007 season. The station
should be completed in time for the 2008-2009 season. Although
Halley-5 (first occupied in 1990) has lasted well compared to the
previous subsurface bases, the movement of the ice shelf has made
its position increasingly vulnerable to loss by calving of the
shelf. For more details, see the Press Release:

Newsletter Distribution
As I don't have the time or money to send out this Newsletter by
post, it is only being sent by email - to people on the Z-fids
contact database. However, nearly everyone has access to email these
days, either at home, at work, or at the local library, Internet
cafe, etc. If you do not wish to receive any future Newsletters, or
would like to receive them at a different email address, please let
me know.

17 October 2004
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