Z-fids Newsletter No. 42

March 2018

      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No. 42   29 Mar 2018

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

Halley VIa
Halley VI was redesignated VIa when it was moved to the new site 23km
east of the original site. See the map on 2017 page of the Z-fids
website. After the 2017-2018 summer season, the station was winterised.
For the second year running, there will be no-one wintering in 2018.
It seems likely that the station will continue to be occupied only in
the summer, at least in the short term.

Sadly, as usual, there are deaths to announce.

Brian Barnes
We have been notified that Brian died last year. He was a Met man at
Halley in 1965 and went on to spend a second winter in 1966 at Base F
(Argentine Islands, renamed later Faraday).

Paul Farmer
Paul was an Summer Field GA Halley in 1998, although he was more of a
Rothera man, having done a summer season & then 2 winters there in 1994
and 1995 (the latter as Winter BC). He died on Christmas Eve after a
battle with cancer. The end was very quick as the week before he had
been skiing out in Chamonix and thought he had at least another year
to live.

Malcolm Roberts
I have been notified by William Clark (wintered at Halley VI in 2014)
the Malcolm has died. He wintered in 2015 as Communications Manager. I
have no further details.

Z-fids website www.zfids.org.uk
Dale Heaton has contributed some rather striking pictures of a frozen-in
iceberg and down a crevasse, plus a quartet of rather dapper looking
Fids in penguin suits, standing among the penguins. Link from the 1986

John Skilling describes how the 1961 base was built with most of the
bolts missing. Only 420  were supplied; there should have been 1620. Link
from the 1961 page.

The film made by the Royal Society IGY Expedition Advance Party is now
on YouTube. It is 18 minutes long and can be viewed on the 1956 Z-Fids
page. A video of film clips showing the work of the Main Party is also
available, via a link on the 1958 page.

Some pictures of Halley Bay by Gordon Artz, a South African meteorologist
who wintered in 1959, the first year that Halley Bay was operated by FIDS,
have been put on the website (link from the 1959 page). These are from the
South Africa Antarctic Legacy Project.

Peter Noble has provided information about placenames in the Eastern
Shackleton Mountains, which were named after Halley team members who
discovered that area in 1968 (link on the 1968 page).

As there is no wintering party in 2018, there will be no 2018 page. In
fact I don't propose to have any more single year pages, as long as
Halley is unmanned over the winter. I will probably have a 2018+ page to
cover post-2017 events and news.

I am aware that there are a number of broken links on the website. I
intend to fix these when time allows.

Early motor toboggans
The machine on the 1975 Zfids page, originally identified as an Eliason
(nicknamed 'Elsan') was in fact a Fox-Trac. See note added below the

Grillage Village Reunion
A reunion for Fids who were at Halley II (operational 1967-1973) has
been organised by Roger Tiffin, Chris Gostick, Bob Wells and Malcolm
Guyatt. It will be held on 27th June 2018 at Scalby  near Scarborough.
Details are on the Z-Fids website (link from the Home Page). For more
information, contact Bob Wells. John Brotherhood says "(1) To any 1967
Grillage Village Fid who has photos or slides of any aspect of building,
especially fitting out, Grillage Village. Please contact me with a
view to adding your photo record - colour or B&W - to mine and so
completing the record. (2) Any one interested in a copy of photos of
building Grillage Village please contact me.

1977 reunion 40th anniversary
This was held last year in Shrewsbury. A report and pictures are on the
website (link from the 1977 page).

Paul Gross
Bob Lee who wintered in 1961 and 1962 as a tractor mechanic and now
lives in Michigan USA has written about Paul P Gross, a well known
meteorologist who appears on WDIV-TV a local television station. Bob
says "He is a very serious scientist. He recently pulled up the Base
Photo on the roof of the Base-Z hut in `61 and showed it to his viewers
with yours truly exposed to the good folks of Detroit, Michigan."

Mike Pinnock
Mike (also known as "Tiger"), who joined BAS prior to wintering at Halley
Bay in 1977 as an ionosphericist and stayed with the Survey for 40 years,
has retired. Mike also wintered in 1978 and 1981, and so was one of the
select band of 31 Fids who have spent 3 or more winters at Halley (for
details, see Wintering Statistics on the Z-Fids website). Mike played a
leading role in the BAS ionospherics research programme for many years.
Recently he was a member of the senior managment team (Board Member for
Science Delivery). The end of an era indeed!

Email addresses on the website
I try to keep these up to date but do not always succeed. If you have
registered on the Z-Fids website www.zfids.org.uk please check that your
name is linked to the correct email address. If it is not, please let me
know, to andy@zfids.org.uk
To find quickly the pages where your name is listed, use the Name List
(link from the Home page). If you do not wish your email address to
appear on the website, please also let me know that. The best way to
update your details is to re-register using the form linked from the
Home Page.

Lost emails
Due to my computer hard drive failing, I lost some email messages. If
you contacted me during November or the first half of December, I may
have lost your email. If it was important, please email me again.

British Antarctic Oral History Project
Of the 286 Oral History interviews held in BAS Archives, 201 have now
been transcribed by our team of volunteers. If you are interested in
joining us, or would like to find out what is involved, please
contact me: andy@zfids.org.uk
88 of the interviews have been published on the BAS Club website (link
on the zfids home page) and more are expected to be published later this
year. You don't need to be a BAS Club member to see them. There are
links on the Z-Fids website to the interviews featuring Halley people
(See the General Index under Oral history recordings).

Here are a couple of abstracts from the interviews (in view of Mike
Pinnock's retirement, I have chosen a couple featuring Mike):

Pete Witty (DEM 1977, BC 1979): A crevasse incident
"Mike Pinnock and I lost a sledge through a crevasse in quite a remote
part actually. It hadn’t been travelled for many many years and it was
summertime and you can usually see the ‘dwell’ of a melting bridge.
This particular time I was pulling two sledges. Mike was sitting on the
second sledge and I almost realised, as soon as I had gone over it,
that this was a bridge, even though it was slightly raised. There was
this tremendous ‘Wooof!’ as it went. The second sledge broke through.
But I managed to keep it going and at the same time shouted to Mike who
was looking round at the scenery, and he rolled off before the second
sledge broke through, disappeared and the tow rope broke. Sod’s Law:
that had the tent on, the radio, the rescue sack. The other sledge just
had the food and fuel and stuff. So Mike joined me on the far side and
managed to peer over the edge when we roped ourselves to the remains of
the tow ropes, actually, because we didn’t have anything else. I did a
quick guesstimate and thought that if I tied the tow ropes together I
could climb down because this sledge was on a ledge. I climbed down and
ended up about 8 feet short of the ledge. So I thought ‘Well I have
only got one chance here. I don’t think I will climb back up this rope.
I am going to drop, and if I stand the sledge upright like a ladder I
can reach the end of the rope and then send the rescue sack up first of
all to Mike.’ Then he sent the proper ropes down and we hoisted
everything up to the surface. Then I jumared out and then we pulled the
sledge up and we immediately made camp and made a cup of tea after that.
But it took about two hours I should think to retrieve it all but we
were very very lucky because this ledge was minute, that it had stuck
on, and it was quite a deep crevasse. The blue depths, you can never
really judge the depth of what these crevasses are."
NERC copyright, reproduced courtesy of BAS Archives Service.
Archives ref AD6/24/1/152.

Mike Pinnock (Ionosphericist 1977-78, 1980): A balloon borne antenna
"I was trying to prove that the antenna array we were using was very
inferior to what we could get by building a vertical mast. So I spoke
to the met people and one very calm September day we laid out a very
large (200 metre) wire antenna and flew it from a hydrogen-filled met
balloon. We created the equivalent of a 40-metre mast using a met
balloon to lift the wire into the air and then we ran the ionosonde
for several hours on that and switching in and out the balloon antenna
system and the normal antenna system and showed quite conclusively that
we got a huge signal-to-noise ratio gain."
NERC copyright, reproduced courtesy of BAS Archives Service.
Archives ref AD6/24/1/150.

Many thanks to all contributors to this Newsletter.

Registrations and email updates
As usual this newsletter is being sent out by email only, to 467
people. If you are on email but have not received it by that route,
please register or re-register on the website (links on the home
page). 429 people have now registered on Z-fids. If you have, your
name will be shown as a link on the appropriate year page(s). If you
wish to be removed from the mailing list, again let me know by email.


31 Aug 2018
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