Z-fids Newsletter No. 19

January 2009

      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No. 19   06 Jan 2009 

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

News from Halley
The "Ernest Shackleton" has arrived at Halley, and relief is under
way. Knowing how hectic things can be at this time, I am especially
grateful to David Stephenson for taking the time to send a few
paragraphs of news for this newsletter:

"It's that time of the year when Halley station turns into a scene
of organised chaos with the formation of long cargo depot lines
from relief operations, vehicles running around in every direction,
and a sudden surge in the number of personnel on base (many of whom
are walking around with a dazed, bewildered look on their faces
which I am sure you are all familiar with!).

As I write this, we are in the middle of relief the ship having
moored up on the sea-ice on New Years Eve. Within the space of 24
hours, the spacious, quiet and relaxed place which was home to the
smallest team yet to ever winter at Halley [actually 1956 was
smaller -- Ed.] was suddenly invaded with approx. 40 more people
and action kicking off in all directions.

The lead up to the summer season at Halley has been a rather steady
one. Much of the preparation work that was needed for relief was
conducted some weeks before, i.e. vehicles being de-winterised,
cargo depot lines set up, the snow surface groomed, the ski-way
drummed, etc.

October saw the first of the Basler aircraft en-route to Novo base
stop off for fuel and refreshments. One aircrew were fortunate
enough to be stranded at Halley for a couple of evenings owing to a
blow coming in. They must have found our excited and somewhat
delirious consumption of the fresh fruit and veg they brought in
for us the oddest behaviour to witness in any group of people!

The last of the winter trips were completed in early November,
several people having spent some quality R&R time either at the
Creeks or the Rumples, and some opting to chill out on base rather
than camp out in the extremes. Hats go off to Sledge Lima who
managed to spend an entire 10 days in the field and visiting
practically each corner of the Brunt (Creek 4, Hinge Zone, Rumples
and Windy Creek).

A relatively short summer season this year (1st Jan to 22nd Feb) is
going to make it a very busy period for the outgoing winter team to
handover to their respective replacements. Only one member of the
2008 team will be staying on for a 2nd winter, namely Base
Commander Agnieszka Fryckowska (Ags). Therefore, with so many
people leaving there is a lot of knowledge to hand over to the new

The short season has also scrunched up the field science plan. The
summer science team (all 4 of them - incoming and outgoing winter
Met. Engs., the Life of Halley project glaciologist, and the
Electronics Research Engineer) will be busy flying out to various
sites to conduct field science on the continent and servicing
remote instruments (as well as conducting their usual tasks on station).

The furore of summer will no doubt continue right up to the moment
in February when Halley will once again become a quiet sleepy
research station of just 11 wintering staff keeping it ticking over
ready for next summer."

George Moore
Sadly we have to record the death of George Moore on 10 November
2008. George was cook at Halley Bay in 1960 and 1961. He died
peacefully whilst sitting in his favourite chair - in front of the
fire, watching TV. He was able to attend the Z-50 reunion in 2006
and appears on the front row of the Group 1 photo, next to Jim
Burton whose passing we reported in the last newsletter. His widow
Kate says "Over the past few years his health had deteriorated and
he was very frail, but he still continued to take a really active
interest in life and was active in his Rotary Club. His indomitable
spirit was there to the end."

Sledge dog memorial
Hwfa Jones has sent an update, which may be viewed on the Z-fids
website (Dog memorial in the General Index). The design of the
memorial by David Cemmic and Sebastian Wylder has been chosen, and
the project is on track for unveiling in June or July 2009 in
Cambridge. A scale model has been produced in wax to aid any final
small changes. Feed back is invited from the pictures on the web
asap (the stated deadline of 2 Jan has passed, but this is slightly

Dog Days on Ice
Still on dogs. Peter Noble (GA 1967-68) has written a book with the
above title based on his time at Halley Bay. Much of the book is
concerned with the reconnaissance journey to reach the Shackleton
in the 1967-68 austral summer. The subtitle "Antarctic Exploration
in a Golden Era" gives the flavour. It was published by Reardon,
price 15, in December 2008 and may be obtained through bookshops
or directly from the author or publisher. More detail and a review
by Peter Clarkson are on the Z-fids website (link from the 1968
page). Dog enthusiasts may also be interested to know that the
December 2008 edition of "The Fan Hitch" is now available at

On Floating Ice
This book by Joe MacDowell, a member of the IGY Royal Society
Expedition to Halley Bay, 1957-58, provides some interesting
insights about life on base in the early years. A significant
number of copies were donated by the author to the Z-50 reunion
committee and many were sold to help finance the event. The
remainder are now on sale at the much reduced price of 1 plus
postage, available from Tony Wincott. More details on the Z-fids
website (go to the Z-50 page and click on Sale Items). Proceeds
from the sale will go to the BAS Club Benevolent Fund.

Geoff Bailey
who was the plumber at Halley-5 in 1990, recently registered on
Z-fids and sends the following greetings: "Hi guy's its been a long
time would welcome contact with any of the First Halley 5
winterers.  hopr u r all well!" Geoff's email is on the 1990 page
if anyone wishes to contact him.

Note from the editor
I will be abroad for a while from later this month, so please be
patient if there are delays in my answering of emails.

As usual this newsletter is being sent out by email only, to 449
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).
354 people have now registered on Z-fids. If you have, your name
will be shown as a link on the appropriate year page(s).


09 January 2009
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