Z-fids Newsletter No. 15

December 2007

      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No. 15   03 Dec 2007 

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

News from Halley
The first planes of the season flew in to the station early in
November, and so the summer season is well and truly under way. The
new base commander, Vicky Auld, is on site, and people are getting
geared up for the beginning of construction of Halley-6. The Ernest
Shackleton is currently in Cape Town loading cargo and will soon be
heading south to Halley. For accounts of recent events at Halley,
and some good photographs, see the station diary and the winterers'
blogs (links on the Z-fids 2007 page).

Halley VI
This season Halley VI will start to be built. The new modularised
station has been fabricated in Cape Town, and will soon be on its
way to Halley aboard the 177 metre, 34,000 tonne charter ship MV
Amderma. For a fuller report and pictures, see the Halley-6 website
(link from the Z-fids home page).

The Z-fids website
David Limbert (wintered in 1956 and 1959) discussed the origin of
the name "Gin Bottle" and also of the "Chippantodd Creeks". Dave
also comments: "The folk at Halley should count themselves lucky to
be able to look out of windows and see the sun. The troglodytes of
the IGYE and FID years had to climb up a through a shaft and poke
their heads above the snow surface. Even Stumpy our dog in 1959
lived in a kennel outside." Of course all occupants of the
underground bases, Halleys I to IV, were 'troglodytes'.

Still relating to the Gin Bottle area, Shaun Burkey contributed a
map made in 1992.

Jim Parker reported the last visit to the abandoned Halley I (IGY
base) by a party of four in 1978.

More contributions to the website are always welcome.

The British Antarctic Sledge Dog Memorial
The latest update (November 2007) has been posted on the website.
Half the target of 6000 has now been raised and it is expected
that a full sized bronze dog for the memorial will be commissioned
early in the New Year.

To raise money for the memorial, a painting of the sledge dog
Changi (1966-72) by Mike Skidmore is being auctioned on Ebay until
11 December. The painting can be viewed on Mike's website
Mike has also written an article "Remembering Changi" in the
September 2007 issue of "The Fan Hitch", see
To bid for the painting, go to www.ebay.co.uk and enter the item
number 330194594516. The auction ends on 11 Dec 2007 at 16:20:44
GMT. You can also bid for "The Doggy Men" book (item number
330194912226) or the print of the "Hobbits" dog team sledging near
Halley Bay in 1971 (item 330195066619).

Ron Gill
Ron who was tractor mechanic at Halley Bay in 1970, and was
previously at Stonington and Argentine Islands, has been in touch.
He retired to Shropshire in 1991, and since then has been
travelling around Europe, gardening and enjoying life. He sends his
regards to everyone who remembers him; he may be contacted through
Hwfa Jones.

Z-50 souvenirs
There is a last chance to acquire a Z-50 polo shirt. At the time of
writing there are just three remaining: 1 x white large; 1 x dark
blue medium; 1 x sky blue large - first come first served. There
are also some of the books "On Floating Ice" available at the
bargain price of 5. The excellent Z-50 DVD is available from
Stephen Williams, and photographs, including the composite A1
poster containing all 7 group photos, may be obtained from the
photographers. Details on the Z-fids website.

Polar Links
A new website www.polarlink.org provides links to a large number of
Antarctic and Arctic sites. Halley is in the Polar Stations

'Big Trev'
I am sorry to have to report that Gary Trevor (always known as
Trev), bosun on the Bransfield for several years, and known to
generations of fids, died in the British Hospital in Montevideo on
6th November. He was a "larger than life" character. He leaves
behind his wife Baba and their step-children.

John Burke (1947 - 2007)
John was radio operator at Halley Bay in 1973. He died in Tygerberg
Hospital, Cape Town, on 13th November aged 60. This sad news
reached us via Gordon Hardman who wintered with John on the South
African SANAE 18 expedition (1977-78). In 2002 John was co-author
of "Practical tips for environmentally friendly camping" in
Namibia; see www.enviro-science.info/resources/camping/camping.htm

As usual this newsletter is being sent out by email only, to 441
people. 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).
343 people have now registered on Z-fids. If you have, your name
will be shown as a link on the appropriate year page(s).

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year,


10 January 2008
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