Z-fids Newsletter No. 52

October 2022

      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No. 52   31 Oct 2022

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

News about the imminent Halley summer season
This year's Summer Station Leader, Thomas Barningham (aka Barney) has
kindly sent the following news:

"The Halley season is just about to get under way. We're currently
sitting in Cape Town with the open up team (5 PAX) awaiting flights to
the continent. We'll be entering via Wolfsfang Runway with White Desert
before flying onwards to Halley, hopefully by Friday 4th November.
The small crew (2 x technical, 2 x garage, 1 x station leader) will
begin opening up the station in anticipation of the main team arriving
(15 PAX), around the 19th November.

There's a lot of logistical work to carry out this season, alongside
the usual scientific instrument servicing and building raises.
Additionally, we have a small seismometer project deployment to monitor
microfractures around the chasms. Amazingly, the West Brunt is still
there despite the cracks having reached the Rumples area..We still sit
and wait in anticipation of another calving event.

After some innovative work from the technical team last year, we'll be
fully commissioning the modules and experimenting with ways in which we
can run them with maximum fuel and carbon efficiency. We're expecting a
ship call next season (2023/24) and so there will be a considerable
amount of work going into proving a new relief route road to the coast.
This is quite an exciting time for us, given that we have not seen a
ship at Halley since the 2017/18 season. Also, given the lack of ship
call, we'll once again be receiving more fuel via airdrop, which is
always quite an intensive operation.

Finally, we'll be looking to service the microturbine and get her
spinning again for another winter to support the numerous experiments
that are powered by it throughout the automated winter season -
30 individual experiments this year. The team are all in good spirits
and are looking forward to getting back to the ice for another busy
season! Let's see what the weather has for us this year..  
All the best to all of the ZFIDS. 
Barney (Halley Summer Station Leader)"  

Sadly There are deaths to report.

Nelson Norman
Professor J Nelson Norman died peacefully at home on 27th September
aged 90. He wintered as the doctor at Halley Bay in 1959. That was the
year of the International Geophysical Cooperation, following the IGY,
and a full scientific programme was carried out by a team of 10. This
was also the first year after FIDS took over the base from the Royal
Society. Norman carried out a programme on the exposure of humans to
cold, but more unusually a penguin study. This involved camping near
the emperor penguin colony and recording the development of an embryo
to address the scientific question which Edward Wilson during Scott's 
expedition motivated the "Worst Journey in the World" in winter to the
penguins at Cape Crozier. This was to work out whether penguins were
more related to birds, fish or reptiles. Norman wrote a book "In
Search of a Penguin's Egg in 2009, documenting the experiment. A link
to this is on the 1959 page of the Zfids website. His camp was
nicknamed "Little Scotland". After his return from Antarctica
he specialised in remote medicine, based in Aberdeen and applicable
to the North Sea oil rigs. For many years he and was Medical Director
of the BAS Medical Unit (BASMU) and trained several generations of BAS
medics and supervised their research projects. He was interviewed for
the British Antarctic Oral History Project, and a link to that is on
the Zfids 1959 page. He is survived by his daughter, Sarah Jane. An
obituary appeared in The Scotsman newspaper on 29th October and there is
a link to this on the 1959 Z-Fids page.

Harry Wiggans
Thomas Henry (Harry) Wiggans, GA at Halley Bay in 1968 and 1969, died
on Monday 11 April in Portugal where he had lived for many years. 
He was 81. Before moving to Portugal he in lived in Kendal where he had
a hardware business (TH Wiggans Ironmongery which is still in business
today), You can read his obituary in the Westmorland Gazette (link
from the 1969 Z-Fids page).
John Fry comments: "Harry was a great character
as well as being an excellent climber, GA and doggy man. I am sure
that when asked what he did before BAS his reply was 'I sold hardware
 - pots and pans'. A sociable person who was more at home in the field
than on base and who was the pioneering spirit behind the underground
dog tunnels for the pregnant bitches at Halley in 1968. Harry did not
attend many reunions but was at the Plas-y-Brenin reunion some years
ago - looking very much as he did at Halley."

Malcolm Guyatt
Malcolm ('Bloke') Guyatt died on 26th October. He left his body to
Liverpool Hospital but it could not be accepted because of the cause of
death (sepsis). He was GA at Halley in 1969 and 1970. He leaves a
partner Wendy.

Milne Samuel
Milne Murray Samuel (Sam) died on 21st April following a short period
of ill health. He wintered at Halley Bay as surveyor in 1963, 1964,
1966 and 1967. He was one of only three people to have spent 4 winters
at Halley (the others were Bill Bellchambers and Alan "Dad" Etchells).
In recent years he lived in the Cayman Islands.

John Smith
John A. Smith passed away on 7th May at his home in Papworth Everard,
Cambridgeshire, aged 94. He was a meteorologist at Halley for the
winters of 1958 and 1959, arriving December 1957 and departing January
1960. He was the only person to stay on at Halley Bay when the base
changed hands from the Royal Society to FIDS. In his second year he
was a fellow winterer with Nelson Norman (see above). The only other
person who had previous experience at Halley that year was David
Limbert who was on the IGYE Advance Party. Some of John's pictures
are on the 1959 Zfids page.

Lynne Whiteman
Paul Whiteman's wife Lynne died on the 5th of July. Although she had
not been well for some considerable time, she died quite unexpectedly,
and peacefully. She worked in the Personnel (HR) department at BAS
while Paul was in Technical Services. The notice of her death on the
BAS Club site generated many comments from people who knew her. Many
Fids would have come across Lynne when they went for interview.
She would escort candidates to and from the interview room and would
feed back to the board her often shrewd assessment of the candidate's
suitability for the job.

Colin Dean & Booboo
Colin Dean (nicknamed Booboo) was one of the wintering geophysicists
in 1960 and 1961. Booboo the dog was born at Halley in 1961 and was
still there in 1971 (no other dog was there for such a long time).
His picture taken by Allen Clayton is on the website (link from the
1970 Z-Fids page) and he also featured in the 1970 and 1971 base
photos. Mike ('Muff') Warden writes (on the 1971 page) "Booboo
visited the Tottans, Therons, and the Shackleton Mountains. Been
everywhere, done everything, what a champion. If I recall, his
record card showed a total of over 10,000 miles. his beautiful
gingery shiny coat and adorable face just shone. His whole joy of
life and his gentle nature just exemplified the wonderful, wonderful
husky he was." Mike Thurston says "Booboo the dog was named for
Colin.  Colin got the nickname Booboo in 1960 (possibly coined by
Alex Millar) for his ability to imitate a crying baby when the only
dog on Base was Stumpy. Booboo the pup was born in 1961 within the
group of dogs that arrived at Halley Bay in Jan 1961 and which formed
the Hairybreeks team."

Midwinter magazines
In most years a Midwinter magazine was produced at Halley, under
various imaginative names (Comet, Feenix, Slush, Splode etc.) Some of
these have been put on the Z-Fids website, but it would be good to
have more. If you have a Midwinter magazine and it is not on the
corresponding year page, perhaps you could consider scanning it and
sending the scan to me to upload.

The query about the use of this term to describe the environs of Halley
mentioned in the last Newsletter generated many comments. These have
been collected together and put on the Zfids website. The relevant
page may be found by looking up Bondu in the General Index (link from
the Home Page).

Halley 5 model
The model (link from the 1999 Zfids page) was saved from the skip by
Dave Brown and was at his home in Hungary for several years. When he
relocated back to the UK he could no longer accommodate it but he
persuaded the Science Museum to acquire it. It now forms part of
their collection of artefacts documenting British scientific work in
the polar regions, and may be put on public display in the future.

ZFids website www.zfids.org.uk
There have been a number of additions to the website since the last

Mike Sheret wrote about the International Geophysical Year in 1959. He
was a co-winterer with Nelson Norman and John Smith mentioned above.

Vince Carter contributed a satellite picture of the Brunt Ice Shelf in
May 2022 from the Polar View website, showing the various cracks in the
Shelf. This may be seen on the 2018+ Zfids page.

Dick Cuthbertson's diary, documenting a 1966 tractor trip to the
Tottan Mountains, has been contributed by his son David. Amongst other
things, this describes changing a "big end" in the field.

More contributions to the website are welcome at any time.

British Antarctic Oral History Project
Of the 286 Oral History interviews held in BAS Archives, 276 have now
been transcribed by our team of volunteers. 231 of the interviews
have been published on the BAS Club website (link on the Zfids home
page). 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 extracts from interviews that have not yet been

David Limbert (Meteorologist, 1956): Building Halley-I
"We had two carpenters. In fact my interview, to go South, was at the
Royal Society by the then Secretary, Sir David Martin. He said ‘We
thought we had better send a couple of scientists as well and we are
sending a man to do with ozone and radiation and wanted a meteorologist
as well, but really you are going as a third carpenter, a carpenter’s
mate.’ So I was an assistant to Johnny Raymond most of the time. Just
metal, bare hands, metal and gloved hands, hammers, screws, bolts,
nuts, nails; it was just assembled with bare hands or we used to have
gloved hands in many cases, as necessary. It had all been cut to size.
The worst thing was actually the nails, they had all been put in what
was known as Kilfrost and this is a horrible grease. It was a menace
actually. Eventually we got rid of the Kilfrost by just shoving them
in paraffin. It was much better to have them without the Kilfrost on
NERC copyright, reproduced courtesy of BAS Archives Service.
Archives ref AD6/24/3/20.

Ken Lax (Radio Operator, 1974-75, 1977): Limerick Competition
"There was a limerick competition set by the radio officer on the
Bransfield and there was a prize for whoever got the best completion
line. The limerick was:
There was a young girl called Amanda,
Not a teddy but more like a panda.
And in bed every night,
When Mum turned out the light,
You had to complete this line. Well Amanda was a little girl who
worked at Port Stanley on the telexes. She was quite well-known to
the radio operating fraternity. So we opened up this limerick
competition to the South Africans who came up with some very bawdy
ones which we duly passed on. The lines were ‘So I slipped her the
old salamander.’ ‘So I rammed her and rammed her and rammed her.’
and they got worse and worse and worse and eventually Eric Harvey
our doctor won it with ‘I wished t’was the real bare Amanda.’
And that seemed about the best, so Eric won, I think it was a big
panda or something."
NERC copyright, reproduced courtesy of BAS Archives Service.
Archives ref AD6/24/1/190.

Many thanks to all contributors to this Newsletter.

Back numbers
All issues of this Z-Fids Newsletter, from No. 1 in 2004 (except for the
most recent issue) are available from the website home page.

The British Antarctic Survey Club
The Club is now sponsoring the Z-Fids website and if you are not already
a member, I would urge you to consider joining. There is a membership
application form accessible from the home page of the Club's website:

Registrations and email updates
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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). 437 people have now registered on Z-fids. If you have, your
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31 Oct 2022
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