Halley Bay - 1983


Notable events/features of the year

  • The start of the construction of the Halley-4 base, 14m SE of Halley-3. The main structure was completed during the 82/83 relief, then a wintering team stayed on to fit out the inside.
  • Scientific programs continued under a separate team at the old base.
  • The installation of Inmarsat communications, providing telephone, fax and data link. Personal use was at first restricted to two calls per year, at Midwinter and Christmas.
  • Satcomms and radome moved to the new base in December.
  • The arrival of the 'BAS micro', the first computer on base available for general use. This had a 1MHz processor with 56K of memory.


Halley 3

AttewV.J.C.(Vernon 'Slack')Geophysicist
ClarkS.J.(Steve)Radio Operator
DaviesP.L.(Pete)Tractor Mechanic
EadieS.J.M.(Steve)Diesel Mechanic
HalliwellR.J.(Roland 'Roxy')AIS engineer
HopkinsD.M.(Dermot)Diesel Mechanic
JonesI.R.(Ian 'CS')Met. physicist
LloydS.G.(Steve)AIS engineer
YearbyK.H(Keith)VLF Scientist

Halley 4

GreenA.J.(Andrew)Radio Operator
+SycamoreD.J.(Dave)Diesel mechanic
+ Deceased


Base photo (Halley 3):
Halley 3 base photo, 1983
Top row: Ian Jones, Keith Yearby, Steve Lloyd, Roland Halliwell, Neil Merrick
Middle row (to the right): Andy Hill, Steve Clark, Steve Eadie, Dermot Hopkins
Bottom row: Pete Tarnas, Bob Bowler, Pete Davies, Steve Krikler, Vernon Attew, Alex Torres
Picture supplied by Keith Yearby

Base photo (Halley 4):

Halley 4 base photo, 1983
D Sycamore - S Davies - S Goswell - P Turner - A Green
D Allan - D Hall - G Johnson - B Armstrong
T Escott - J Fleming
Picture supplied by Tony Jackson

The effect of ice pressure at the old armco Halley base (Halley 3):

Picture by Ian Jones
Ian says: This photo shows my bunkroom, at the end of the final year of operation of the base (November 1983). By this time the base was about 40 feet below the surface, following years of snow accumulation on the top of the ice shelf. The pressure of the ice around the armco tubing had distorted it, to the point where the wooden huts inside the tubes were being crushed. My colleague Steve Krikler is holding a spirit level.

More pictures by Ian Jones

Oral History Recording

Doug Allan

Other information, anecdotes etc.

Pete Davies writes:

When renewing the honeypots, if you turned them around so that the chiselled out lifting hole was at the front, you could hear the curses of the unwary as they sat down for a crap... and realised they'd just peed on their trousers! Oh how we laughed....
[10 March 2003]

On the old base: "The problems of living in an all-ice environment were demonstrated when the Aga cooker flue worked loose and started melting the ice surrounding the accommodation and flooding it." [BAS Club Newsletter 15, Spring 1984]

No proper shower facilities existed on the new base, so Tony Escott rigged a coffee boiler upstairs and ran a heat-lagged pipe down to a perforated coffee tin set in an improvised shower cubicle. [Fuchs medal presentation printed in the BAS Club Newsletter 18, Christmas 1985]

Gerry Johnson was later base commander of the Greenpeace "World Park" base on Ross Island (1985-86). Other Halley fids involved were Doug Allan, John Fleming, Andy Hill.


Summer 1982-83

LawrenceS.J.(Stuart)Captain, Bransfield
SmithA.J.(Andy)HQ Physicist

David Spencer writes:

Cousin to Gerry Johnson who wintered over 84/85 (from memory!) at Halley. Brothers (Tim and Matthew) and father (Ernest) also did a number of summers between them on Shackleton (original), John Biscoe and Bransfield variously. [20 March 2006]

Building Halley-4. Pictures by Julian Rouse

Big Al Smith directs operations at the start of the building of Halley 4, December 1982:

Picture by Ian Jones
Ian says: The main structure consisted of 4 tubes built from interlocking wooden panels. By the time the Bransfield left at the beginning of March 1983, all four tubes had been erected and were weathertight. This was far greater progress than had been anticipated. It was thanks to an exceptionally calm summer which was without any major blows.

More pictures by Ian Jones

7 May 2021
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