Halley 1986 and 1987 winterers. Mini reunion in Snowdonia, 2023.

Report by Paul Aslin (Ionosphericist, Halley 1986//87; BC 1987)

Our treasured colleague, Gary Whitehead, sadly passed away in 2019 and plans to scatter his ashes in Lulworth Cove in April 2020 were well advanced. But that reunion was an early victim of Covid and subsequently Gary's family held a more private ceremony. So, this missed opportunity for a gathering spurred me on to organise a replacement and I took advantage of the extra bank holiday associated with the coronation to invite everyone I could contact to spend a long weekend at our smallholding in Snowdonia. Convenient accommodation was available in our two holiday cottages and also our neighbour's cottage.

11 Fids and 8 partners made the journey:

  • Paul & Pauline Aslin ('86 & '87)
  • Ben Chappel & Rachel ('86 & '87)
  • Pat & Sarah Lurcock ('86 & '87)
  • Steve Ault ('85 & '86)
  • Dale & Claire Heaton ('85 & '86)
  • Tony & Sandra Maggs ('86)
  • Mark & Maria Stephens-Row (Halley '86, Rothera '87)
  • Adrian & Sarah Bateman ('86, '87, '90)
  • Tim Lawrence (Halley '87, Rothera '88)
  • Che & Britha Modi ('87 & '88)
  • Stephen Williams ('81, '82, '87)

And there were inevitably a few others who nearly made it. Try harder next time: Toby Clarke ('85 & '86); Mal Smith ('86 & '87); Keith Stanwyck ('87, '91); Phil Anderson ('86, '91).

Reunion 2023 pic1
Photo taken by Tim

The weekend was entirely self-catered, with ample quantities of excellent home-made food provided by all. Particular mention for Tony's lamb cassoulet on Friday evening. A roll call of '86 and '87 winterers brought out a few snippets of knowledge of where they are now and memories of those we have lost: Gary Whitehead ('86 & '87) and Graham {Mick} Goodwin ('87 & '88). On Saturday we followed a walk at Cregennen Lakes with a superb barbecue and music around the campfire at Paul and Pauline's bothy with a spectacular view over the Mawddach estuary. Sunday offered a beekeeping experience for those interested followed by walking the expanse of Fairbourne beach, sea swimming for the bold and then the inevitable slide show. The bank holiday allowed for leisurely dispersal on Monday although fewer of us have jobs to go back to now as retirement either beckons or has already caught up with us.

Reunion 2023 pic2

All in all a wonderfully successful reunion given that some of us had never met in this hemisphere and others were rekindling acquaintances from previous reunions 7 or 15 years ago.

13 May 2023
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