Halley Bay - 1966


Notable events/features of the year


WhitemanP.I.(Paul)Base Leader
BeebeG.D.(Doug)Tractor Mechanic
+BlakeleyP.R(Peter)Tractor Mechanic
+CuthbertsonR.D.(Dick)Diesel Mechanic
GostickC.J.(Chris 'Ceeje')Radio operator
+KeyteR.C.(Dick)Radio operator
LloydR.M.(Ron 'Doc Ron')Doctor
McKerrowD.K.(Dave 'Mac')Cook
ReadC.M.(Colin 'Big Black')Meteorologist
+SamuelM.M.(Milne 'Sam')Surveyor
+SkipworthJ.E.(John 'Skip')Electrician
SwiftB.(Brian 'Speedy')Radar technician
WornhamC.M.(Colin 'Grauncher')Meteorologist
+ Deceased


Barajo, Barra, Bitter, Bodach, Booboo, Borga, Changi, Dove, Eigg, Esk, Fay, Fedu, Frosty, Ham, Japhet, Luqa, Medina, Mild, Muck II, Nuga, Oscar, Pop, Raq, Rastus II, Rhum, Rolf, Royal, Seletar, Sharjah, Shem, Skye, Snowy II, Staffa, Stroma, Suaq, Teifi, Tengah, Tina, Wensen, Whisky II, Wilfred.


Base photo:
Halley Bay group photo, 1966
Back row: Tony Haynes, Dick Stokes, Bob Thomas, Col Wornham, Geoff Lovegrove, Alan Johnston, Bill Izatt
3rd Row: Mac McKerrow, Andy Williams, Dick Cuthbertson, Brian Armstrong, Peter Blakeley, Dave Brook, Geoff McWilliam, Col Read
2nd Row: John Skipworth, Ron Lloyd, Brian Swift, Doug Beebe, Stu Noble, Mike Shaw
Front Row: Sam Samuel, Tony Wilson, Chris Gostick, Dick Keyte, Charlie Blossom, Paul Whiteman, Phil Cotterill
Picture: Peter Blakeley

Mick Shaw and Mobsters sledge
Mick Shaw and the Mobsters dog sledge.
Mick writes: "The photo was taken during the first overland trip to the Therons. My brief encounter with dog sledging was, of course, the most vividly memorable of the times spent at Halley Bay. I'm no longer sure of all the dogs in the Mobsters at that time but it's nice to see the lead dog, Suak in the 1970 base photo, and Booboo in the 1971 photo." [1 June 2004]
Photo taken by Mac McKerrow

Doc Ron and piano
'Doc Ron' Lloyd playing the piano.
Ron: I wintered over at Halley in '66 and enjoyed playing the piano there. Is there a piano down there currently? [15 January 2006]
Photo supplied by Ron Lloyd

In reply to a query in Zfids Newsletter No. 8, about why the piano was painted white, John Skipworth writes: "As Ron was my particular friend on Base, indeed he was my best man a year or so later, so I hope he will forgive me, I suggest that the reason for painting the piano white, was quite simple ... perhaps after hearing it played, a music lover might have painted it white to disguise it, on the off chance that if it was taken out of the hut being dragged up to the surface it would blend in with the snow and be lost for ever!" [13 Jun 2006]. In fact the paint job was done in 1972 by Iain Campbell and Tony Jackson after they had recovered it to Halley-2. See Iain's account and 1969 picture. It was abandoned at Halley-2; see picture.

More pictures by Ron Lloyd

Oral History Recordings

Other information, anecdotes etc.

Bob Thomas writes about his trip to "Christmas Box Hill":
... Another, more homely, kind of anecdote relates my my trip with Tony Wilson and an ancient Eliason to the ice shelf spawned by the Stancomb Wills Glacier, to the east of Halley Bay. We travelled across all sorts of garbage, including 50% open water, to get to what turned out to be floating glacier tongue (ignorant as we were of any air photos or whatever of the region we were visiting), and we travelled extensively over it. Finally, we established a strain rosette on the floating ice (which was later remeasured by other Halley Bay inmates), and it was within view of a domed feature to the east, which was clearly grounded ice. Since we first saw this close to Christmas (66/67)*, we named it Christmas Box Hill. I should note here that sledging in those days was fairly basic and our rations were confined to the old 20-day ration boxes. But, because we expected to be out for Christmas, the blessed cooks had included a Christmas box in our load that comprised all sorts of goodies, including canned shrimp paste and Christmas cake. So Christmas Box Hill was a pretty important name for this damned bit of grounded ice shelf. Back "home" in Cambridge, I pushed hard for this name to be recommended by the UK representatives to the Place Names Committee (Blessed be They....), but they were happy to lay prone while the US representatives pushed through a name commemorating the current director of the US Geological Survey (some guy by the name of "Lydden"), who had certainly never set foot on the ice. This helped me to see, early in life, just how things work in the real world. Thank God there is still a bit of the unreal world left for some of us to live in.
* According to Antarctica: An Enclyclopedia (2nd Edition), it was discovered by a BAS party from Halley Bay on 17 January 1967, coincident with the "delayed broaching of Christmas provisions".

Bob describes his work on ice shelves.

'Doc Ron' Lloyd writes:

Had a great time there. Did some physiology research (Ketonuria on an Antarctic Expedition) for which I got an MD. Now that I live in Canada nobody notices because all North American doctors get MD as their basic medical degree. Did lots of interesting medical work including two appendicectomies for which I got the Polar Medal. Managed to stay healthy, thank God, so I didnt have to suffer at the hands of amateurs! I look back with fondness at my time on Base Z. I think my favourite times were dog sledding. What a great shame the "Do Gooders" banished them from Antarctica.

John Skipworth writes:

In the year 2000, my Daughter (Fiona) was the only female Officer on the ship H.M.S. Endurance, that Year the ship sailed to Halley Bay. Fiona did not get to the actual base as she had to remain on board. I wonder are there any other cases of Father (1966) and Daughter (2000) making it to Halley Bay?
[13 March 2003]
Yes it was the Gin-Bottle, being one who spent a couple of weeks with Dick Stokes on a man-hauling jolly there.
[22 March 2010]
Tony Haynes:

Dick Cuthbertson, "Speedy' Swift, Stu' Noble and I were possibly the last fids to go to the Tottan Mts when we went there in September 1966 to replace a broken drive shaft in a muskeg that had been left at Pyramid Rock the previous summer. A plaque commemorating the 1965 crevasse accident was made on base, perhaps by Dick C, and placed on a rock face at Pyramid Rock, almost twelve months after the accident. We were unable to drill into the rock to fix the plaque securely, so we cemented it to the rock. I doubt that it is still there as the cement was freezing before it had time to set and the wind would be very fierce during the winter.
[04 June 2006]

Peter, Paul and Mary; Paul Whiteman tells the story to the IH TD-8 tractors

Bog chisel

Muskeg big end repair in the field Dick Cuthbertson

CJ's Newsletters 15 feb 1966 16 feb 1966
Spasmodic News, Feb 1966
Spasmodic Times and Newsletter Vol1 No5, Feb 1966
Pengwinge Vol 1 No 6 12 March 1966. More issues on the Pengwinge page.


Summer 1965-66

David Shipstone writes:
Derek Gipps visited Halley Bay in January 1966 (when he noted that I had lost some weight). [26 Jan 2017]
+GippsD.R.(Derek)Logstics Officer

10 Feb 2024
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