Z-fids Newsletter No. 10

October 2006

      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No. 10   07 Oct 2006 

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

Halley 50 Year Celebration weekend, Northampton, 14-15 October 2006
IT'S NEARLY HERE! The big party is just a week away, and the
committee are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Northampton.
We have 391 people coming, including guests. This is more than we
had estimated and more than twice as many as we had for the 25th in
1981. There will be 35 round tables at dinner. Most will have 11
people, but on a few tables 12 will need to squeeze round so you
will have to keep your elbows in. Tables will be numbered and
everyone will been assigned to a table. Check your table number on
the list in your registration pack which you will receive with your
name badge when you check in. We ask you to wear your badge at all

Because of the good response, we are now able offer free teas /
coffees, and a free buffet lunch on Saturday. A buffet lunch will
also be available on Sunday, but you will need to buy it if you
want it. At dinner, bottled water will be provided, and there will
be port on each table for the toasts, but you will need to buy any
wine you require, either in advance or at the table.

There will be 7 group photos, taken in the Kent Room beginning at
5.30pm on the Saturday. Check which group you are in, from the list
in your registration pack, and go to the Kent Room at the
appropriate time. Photos will be for sale later in the weekend.

Don't forget to bring any interesting exhibits from your time at
Halley; there will be display boards with velcro fixing, and tables
to display these in Hertford Room 1. Also any interesting slides,
etc. There will be self-service slide and DVD projectors in the
Kent Room, which may be used when the room is not scheduled for
anything else. Also bring money/ cheque book for the books,
paintings, DVDs, polo shirts, etc. which will be on sale in
Hertford Room 2.

I have been asked what the dress code for the dinner is. It is
"smart casual". So, DJs not required; lounge suits OK for the gents
or something smart. I'm sure the ladies will dress beautifully.

If you have offered to help, and will be there on Friday evening,
we will be starting to set things up around 6pm

Some of the Z-50 web pages have been updated recently. If you are
coming, and haven't looked at the website lately, it may be worth a
quick check. Go the Z-fids website www.zfids.org.uk and click the
Z-50 link.

If you are not able to join the festivities in Northampton you are
invited to send in brief messages (50 words maximum) to the
assembled company. Some will be selected to be read out after the
dinner, and the remainder will be placed on a noticeboard. After
the event, all will be archived on this website. If you wish to
send such a message, please use the form on the website, or email
it to z50@zfids.org.uk with "Z-50 message" in the Subject field.

Z-50 polo shirts
To be in the height of fashion at Z-50, you can't beat one of these
superb garments emblazoned with the Z-50 logo, for only 14. If you
ordered before 15 September, your polo shirt will be available for
collection in Northampton. Details on the website.

"The Doggymen"
This 60-page book written by Hwfa Jones will be on sale at Z-50,
with proceeds to the Antarctic Sledge Dog Memorial Fund. More
details on the website (Doggy Men in the general index).

Alan Weeks
As mentioned in Z-fids Newsletter No. 8, Alan who wintered in 1965,
died earlier this year. He had really hoped to be at the reunion,
but his illness progressed very quickly. His widow Liz has sent me
a DVD which she has made from an 8mm movie that Alan took during
his year at Halley. I will bring this to Northampton, so if anyone
would like to see it, please let me know.

The wrong sort of penguin?
In reply to Lewis Juckes' comment that the penguin on the Halley
logo on the Z-fids website home page looks more like a king than an
emperor, Graeme Hart writes:

"Just to clear the matter up - the correct scientific
classification of the Penguin used on the logo on your home page
(that I supplied you) - it is a penguin without portfolio from the
Corel Draw clipart of the era (1994 winter - as the even keener
eyed observers could deduce from the Lat & Long). Since none of us
were able to draw a half decent Emperor, we used the only decent
penguin in the clip art! Perhaps he is an emperor after too much
sunshine. You know how it is - you have to do the best you can with
what you have, and Mr Corel did not consider us when compiling his
clip art compendium.

He appeared on many items that winter including stickers, polo
shirts, sew on patches and the cover of the mid winter magazine
1994 - The Halley Hatchet."

The Z-fids website
There have been several interesting contributions to the website
since the last newsletter. Many thanks to everyone who sent in
material. Keep the contributions coming in.

The beer machine
Manufactured from surplus beastie (ionosonde) parts by a beastie
man with too much time on his hands; you put in an empty beer can
at the top, and after much whirring, clanking, flashing of lights
and flickering of meters, a full one was dispensed at the bottom.
Thanks to Hwfa Jones for the description and pictures. See Beer
Machine in the General Index on the website.

Charlie Robb, Pete Davies and Simon Salter have sent in parachute
stories and pictures. Simon tells of how the wind picked up during
the day which meant that getting the last person back down to the
ground proved to be a bit of a problem. See Parachute in the
General Index.

The history of cats at Halley has been augmented by Walter
Townsend, Chris Jefferies, Roger Tiffin and Peter Noble. See Cats
in the General Index.

Long party
Andy Champness' 21st birthday coincided with Midwinter 1963, and
the party lasted a week. See 'Party, Long' in the General Index.

Ham Radio
Peter Pitts recalls his experiences. He wonders if he could be the
only amateur to have operated from Halley with his own equipment
and aerial system. Also possibly the furthest South as he used the
new "1968" Ionospheric hut loft. He would be interested in
exchanging experiences with other Halley radio operators from
before the email era. For more details, see Amateur Radio in the
General Index.

Peter Noble has written a fine yarn about this ever fascinating
subject. He gives "a quite detailed, perhaps lurid, account of the  
first dealing with that unwelcome intrusion into our morning
reveries", as well as telling of a second descent into the loo pit,
with prussiks, harness and climbing rope, to retrieve a dropped
film. See Turdicle in the General Index. Does anyone have any

Call signs & sledge bags
Peter also sent in a note about this. Three letter sledging radio
call signs included ROX (Clarkson - geologist) and DAD (Etchells of
course). For more, see Call Signs in the General Index.

Last Tram and other films
Pete Davies does not remember "The Last Tram" but did enjoy the
"Shell History Of Motor Racing". However he reckons that the
funniest film was one that set in a lab with a white coated gent
stoking his pipe while his assistant tiptoed silently behind him!
He can't remember the name of the film. Can anyone? See 'Tram (The
Last)' in the General Index.

Place names
Phil Anderson has written a significant article on place names
around the Brunt Iceshelf, based mainly on his experiences
travelling out from Halley in his winters of 1986 and 1991. He
hopes that this will be the start of what will compile into a more
comprehensive history. He suggests that others add their own
knowledge, both to the pre and post history of the story. If anyone
has comments, corrections or additions to what Phil has written,
please email them to me or Phil. See Place names in the General

318 people have now registered on the Z-fids website. If you were
at Halley, winter or summer, and have not yet registered, please
click the Register link on the home page. If your details have
changed, please update them by re-registering. Thank you. The name
of everyone who has registered is shown as a link on the
appropriate year page.

Halley 6
On Monday 11th September the contract with Morrison Falkland Ltd to
construct Halley VI and remove Halley V was signed. Some
preparation works will take place at Halley this season (06/07) but
the main works in Antarctica will take place over the following
three seasons. The main construction and demolition works will
commence in the 07/08 season. BAS staff will move into Halley VI in
the 09/10 season and Halley V will be completely removed by the end
of that season. The winter 2010 will be the first operational
winter at Halley VI. For more details, see the link on the Z-fids
Halley 6 page.

News from Halley
In the weblogs of current winterers (links on the 2006 page),
Frances Williams takes us on a tour of the Simpson Platform, where
all the meteorological and ozone work is done. Dave Anthony
describes the coldest pub in the world. Julius Rix has some
pictures of the blimp flying. Alex Gough has some nice sunrise
shots and also kite-skiing (or is it ski-kiting?). Anthony Brennan
also has some good pictures.

As usual this newsletter is being sent out by email only. If you
are on email but have not received it by that route, please
register or re-register on the website.

All the best, Andy

7 October 2006
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