Halley Bay - 1961


Notable events/features of the year

  • New living hut built
  • 14 dogs arrive from Admiralty Bay. Serious sledging begins
  • First route from the ice shelf onto the inland ice is pioneered by Ardus and Johnson
  • Tottanfjella visited
  • Muskeg tractors replace Fergusons
  • Refugio depoted by Argentinians near Cabo Rol


+BlundellG.(George)Auroral Observer
+BrittainM.F.(Mike)Radar Technician
+DeanC.H.(Colin 'Booboo')Geophysicist
+EdwardsD.(David 'Big Dave')GA/Carpenter
+JehanD.R.(Dudley 'Cuddles')Meteorologist
+JonesE.B.(Eric)Radio Operator
LeeR.G.(Bob)GA, Tractors
+MarsdenJ.S.(Stuart 'Mangler')Geophysicist
NobleP.J.(Pete)Radar Technician
+ Deceased


Bodach, Booboo, Debbie I, Eigg, Fay, Gnat, Kate, Kelly I, Larsen, Macnab, Muck II, Oscar, Pam II, Rhum, Shep, Stumpy, Tina, Vere, Wendy III, Zork.


Base photo:
Halley base photo, 1961
Back row: Ernie Docchar, Dennis Ardus, Mike Bethell, Tony Thorne-Middleton, Mike Thurston, Dave Edwards, George Blundell, Maurice Sumner, Bob Lee, Barry Peters, Dave Easty.
Middle row: Colin Dean, Eric Jones, Mike Jarman, Colin Johnson, Graham Talmage, Alan Precious, Pete Noble.
Front row: Mike Taplin, Mike Brittain, Stuart Marsden, Dudley Jehan, Edwin Thornton, George Moore, John Skilling.
Photo supplied by Edwin Thornton

The 1961 winterers:

The 1961 winterers
Top row:- Dave Easty; Mike Jarman; Bob Lee; Mike Bethell; Alan Precious; Dave Edwards; Ernie Docchar
2nd row:- Barry Peters; Colin Dean; Maurice Sumner; Mick Taplin; Dudley Jehan; Eric Jones; Pete Noble
3rd row:- George Moore; Stuart Marsden; Colin Johnson; Edwin Thornton; George Blundell
4th row:- John Skilling; Mike Thurston; Dennis Ardus; Graham Talmage; Mike Britain; Tony Thorne-Middleton
Portraits taken by John Skilling
Photo supplied by George & Kate Moore

Plan of the base area

Oral History Recordings

Other information, anecdotes etc.

Renewal of Living Quarters and the missing bolts! by John Skilling

Tooth crown lost and found by Stuart Marsden

There were two cats on base, Strom & Ness, "plus a domesticated penguin".

Colin Johnson:

"Individuals have been expected to paint their own bunkrooms and have been given an absolutely free hand. The results have been fascinating".
1961 Base Report A/1961/Z. From the BAS Archives.

Tony Thorne-Middleton:

winter skies millyarden stars one could almost touch. quiet cold reverence to our beautiful planet. [07 January 2007]

Bob Lee:

I am reading your note a little late concerning the "Long Drop" Loo. Recalling the initial construction of same in 1961 at Halley Bay's second base building. We emptied a 45-gallon drum of petrol on the snow and let it burn, melting a hole in the snow some thirty feet deep. Sometime later, after settling down in the New Base hut, I am not sure whether it was mid winter celebration, but John Holt (sadly lately deceased) went out to upchuck and lost a partial denture to the depths of the gash pit. Only to be recovered when all the detritus had solidified. Ah, the follies of youth and how on occasions we abused our bodies. [19 November 2010]
See also the account by Andrew Champness.

Base magazines:


Antarctic Holiday Dave Edwards' manhauling trip.
David Easty obituaries: The Times, 18 February 2022; BMJ 2022;376:o374

14 June 2024
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