Z-fids Newsletter No. 12

March 2007

      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No. 12   10 March 2007 

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

News from Halley
As mentioned in the last Newsletter, the arrival of the "Ernest
Shackleton" was delayed by ice off the Stancombe-Wills, so it was
an unusually quiet Christmas on base, and Relief did not begin
until the New Year. As it was an "N9 relief", the new tractors and
the aircraft were all busy shuttling between N9 and Halley.

Pete Milner, the 2007 winter base commander (who has 2 winters at
Rothera under his belt) says "The summer was really busy with the
main project being an upgrade to the garage. Also we successfully
tested new sledges which will be used for the Halley Six project.
We now have an area set out with flags for the Halley Six
construction site. Next summer is going to be even busier."

The list of 2007 winterers is now on the website. It is a team of
18, an increase of two from last year. Six are staying on from 2006
for a second winter, while Matt Richardson has just done winter
2006 at Rothera. Andy McConnachie has wintered before at Halley and
Rothera, and increases the number of Halley triple-winterers (1956-
2007) to 23. The corresponding numbers for single, double, and
quadruple winterers are 340, 313, and 4. For details, click
"Wintering Statistics" on the Z-fids home page.

Z-50 Group photos
Very many thanks to all who helped identify the people on the group
photographs taken at Northampton. I think we have now got everyone
identified correctly, and the names have been added under the
photos (Z-50, then Photographs, then Group Photographs on the
website). The exercise was complicated slightly by the fact that
two people appeared on more than one of the photos! Non-proof
versions of the photos are available for purchase from the
photographers; details on the website. The plan now is have a
poster made, containing all the 7 photos and all the names. This
will be made available for purchase and a framed copy will be
presented to the base. A thumbnail portrait gallery of Z-50
attenders has also been produced and is on the website.

50 year Halley Bay commemorative DVD
This superb production was compiled by Stephen Williams from the
best pictures taken by Halley Bay winterers over the years, about a
thousand of them, and provides an excellent souvenir for everyone
who wants to remember what it was like to be there. Many copies
were sold at Z-50, but some are still available for purchase at a
very reasonable price. Ordering details are now on the website. Any
proceeds of the sale, once costs have been met, will be donated to
a good cause: The BAS Club Benevolent Fund.

Copies of films shown at Z-50
DVD copies of some of the films shown at Northampton may now be
ordered from BAS Archives department. Details are on the website.
In particular "The Way South" (John Dawson 1973) was shown as a
30-minute film reel, covering 1973 up to Midwinter. It had been
thought that the Reel 2 had been lost, but it has turned up and the
two have been put together to make a 1-hour long film covering the
whole year.

Z-50 souvenirs
Z-50 polo shirts and copies of Joe MacDowall's book "On Floating
Ice" are still available from Tony Wincott. Details on the website.

Found at Z-50
A photograph of Mike Thurston and a Ross Seal, taken on the Kista
Dan, summer 1962-63 probably by one of the ingoing 1963 fids, was
found in Northampton. It does not belong to Mike but if it is yours
and you would like it back, please get in touch with me or Mike. By
way of explanation he says: 
"We did a bit of sealing at South Georgia and in the ice to take
the pressure off the Halley Weddell Seal population. We collected
two Ross and some Crabeaters. In those days Ross seals were
considered very rare, so both specimens went into the Kista's
deep-freeze for return to the UK. They were delivered 'in toto' to
the Natural History Museum in London on our return where they were
greeted with great delight. I still have the Certificate of

The Archive Hour
I wonder how many people listened to this BBC Radio 4 programme
about IGYE, trailed in the last Z-fids Newsletter, and broadcast on
30 December 2006 at 8pm. The presenter and producer (Adam and Anna
Fowler) attended Z-50 to record reminiscences of IGYE members for
the programme. After the broadcast, one of the interviewees
"I was disappointed that there was so little about the scientific
work at Halley over the years. Too much TAE !"
Having listened to the programme myself, I must say I am inclined
to agree with him. Based the relative scientific contributions of
TAE and IGYE to the IGY, the Royal Society expedition should have
had much more emphasis (in my opinion). Adam Fowler's response:
"The programme was never intended to give an account of Halley Bay
"over the years" and the TAE was put in context of being closer to
the heroic previous age than the new age of scientific research
that the IGY and Halley Bay represented. Perhaps there will be an
opportunity to pitch a programme about Halley Bay another time."

The British Antarctic Sledge Dog Memorial
This appeal was launched at Z-50, with Hwfa Jones' book "The Doggy
Men" being sold in support. Hwfa has provided an update. So far
1200 has been raised towards a target of 6000 - a good start but
more is needed. Initial drawings have been produced by two
eminently competent sculptors, Denise Koch and David Cemmick. For
details, including how to donate or how to get involved in the
working party, see "Dog memorial" in the Z-fids General Index.

The Z-fids website
Thanks for all the contributions received. There has been a delay
in including them, mainly attributable to my house move from
Cambridgeshire to the Peak District. I think I am now up to date.
Latest additions can always be found by clicking the button of the
same name near the top of the Z-fids home page.

Hwfa Jones has sent in more pictures of sledging flags used in the
late 60's and early 70's, as well as Geoff Smith's "Abdul's Flying
Carpet" logo on the Lansing Snowplane ("Sledge Flags" in the
Picture Index).

Malcolm Guyatt has given a hilarious account of searching for radio
pills accidentally "deposited" in the loo cavern ("Toilets" in the
General Index).

Pete Jenkins records refurbishing the Signpost in 1982 ("Signpost"
in the General Index).

Jim Fox has provided pictures showing movement of the Halley-5
tunnels and a bath in the melt tank ("Tunnel" and "Melt Tank" in
the Picture Index).

Paul Whiteman gives the history of the IH TD8 tractors "Peter, Paul
and Mary" at Halley Bay ("IH tractors" in the General Index).

Bob Lee has sent in a picture taken on the "Bob-Pi" crossing of the
hinge zone in 1962, established by him and Mike Jarman ("Bob-Pi
route" in the Picture Index).

Norman Eddleston describes golfing in 1971-72, including pictures
of himself and John Flick in action ("Golf" in the General Index).
Norman has also provided a family tree of the Halley Cats ("Cats"
in the General Index).

Jay Rushby gives an account of a super-accurate (locked to Atomic
Time) 50 Hz frequency regulator, fitted to the Halley Bay Rolls-
Royce generators by Bruce Blackwell in 1971. This kept all the
scientists' charts running accurately and saved a lot of hassle 
("50 Hz regulator" in the General Index).

"A film and a mountain." Phil Anderson adds a postscript to Peter
Noble's note ("Shelleen, Mount" in the General Index).

Chris Edwards recalls running ex-Halley dogs at Stonington in 1973-
74. He also contributed to the article on Synchronome clocks 
("Dogs, to Stonington" and "Synchronome Master Clocks" in the
General Index)

Matt Paley wonders whether the term "dingle" for fine weather has
any connection with the fact that Tom Crean (member of Scott's and
Shackleton's polar expeditions) lived in the Dingle area of south-
west Ireland ("Dingle" in the General Index). This and many other
terms are included in the list of Halley Bay Fids' Slang, compiled
by Ken Lax for the Z-50 "Big Smoko" ("Glossaries" in the General

1977 Winterers
A reunion for winterers of 1977 is planned for 2007. Please contact
Ken Lax or Ian Somerton for more information (link and email
addresses on the 1977 web page).

Signy 60th Anniversary Reunion
Any Signy-ites among our readers should note that this event is
being held at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, 14-16 September 2007.
More information from the BAS Club or Cool Antarctica websites
(links on the Z-fids home page) or from Bill Block, email wcb@bas.ac.uk
Of course if you are a BAS Club member you will already know this
from the BAS Club Newsletter. If you are not, why not consider

16mm films
Charlie Robb has offered to send anyone who wants one, a free DVD
copy of some the films popular on base, e.g. The Last Tram. In
return he asks for an optional donation of 5 to the Dog Memorial
appeal. For details see, "Films" in the General Index of the

South Georgia website
The South Georgia Association is looking for someone with the
ability, energy and time to help update and run their website - for
modest financial reward. If any of our readers is interested,
contact Keith Holmes - email kdhox@hotmail.com - for more details.

Halley Bay community archive
As mentioned in the last Newsletter, there is an initiative to set
up an index of the Halley artifacts and items of interest in the
possession of the Halley Bay fids community (such as were exhibited
at Z-50), and to make the list available on the web. Professional
advice would be given, but someone is needed to head the project.
No-one responded last time, but if anyone is interested, please get
in touch.

IPY launch
The UK launch of the International Polar Year, a major science
initiative focussed on the Arctic and Antarctic 50 years after the
International Geophysical Year, took place in London on 21st
February 2007. It was held at the Royal Society in the presence of
HRH the Princess Royal, who recently visited Antarctica to see the
work of BAS. Her father, the Duke of Edinburgh, took a great
interest in the IGY 50 years ago, and also visited Antarctica at
that time. The IPY actually runs for 2 years, and began on 1st
March 2007. Halley will of course be providing observations and
data, although the timing of the Halley-6 construction will affect
this somewhat. More details may be found on the BAS website (link
on Z-fids home page) or from the IPY website www.ipy.org.

Fuchs Foundation
The foundation has been revamped and details may be found on its
website www.fuchsfoundation.org

Snow Walkers (New England)
I have received the following message from Sue Hamilton:
"I am contacting you about a very special annual event that occurs
across the pond here in New England every November in Fairlee,
Vermont (exit 15 off I-91 which runs north-south between Vermont
and New Hampshire). It is called the Snow Walkers' Rendezvous 
and it is a gathering of about 140 like-minded folks who love
exploring the great outdoors in the cold season. The gathering is
very informal - beards and braids, denim, suspenders, wool check
shirts and hiking boots prevail. The food is fantastic and the
company even better. I am sure that Deb Williams, who organizes the
event, would love to have a FID come and share his experiences in
Antarctica. Although this is not a "doggie event", dog team travel
adventures are most welcome. One of the stalwart participants, from
the very first Snow Walkers' Rendezvous 12 years ago is Kevin
Slater who helped arrange the transfer of the remaining BAS dogs to
northern Quebec back in 1994. He has the Nansen sled that came over
with the dogs and brought it to the 2006 Rendezvous for everyone to
Please consider contacting Deb at deb_williams@alohafoundation.org
to learn more about this great happening. I have been trying for
some time to get some of the FIDS I know (Andy Bellars, Phil
Wainwright, David Matthews and now Hwfa Jones) to come and share
their experiences. Perhaps if you could describe the Rendezvous on
Z-Fids someone will be able to come. Many folks like to stay in
tents but there are several heated cozy cabins with shared
bathrooms available, too. Behind the tents is the great old barn
where most of the presentations take place. Nearby is the main
building where we take our meals and do lots of our socializing.
Hope there are some FIDs who might be interested."

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 (links on home page). 334
people have now registered on Z-fids. If you have, your name will
be shown as a link on the appropriate year page(s).


17 March 2007
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