Halley Bay - 1968


Notable events/features of the year

  • WF2 (wind-finder) radar installed
  • Teleprinter communications introduced
  • 21 dogs received from Deception Island
  • Overland tractor journey to the Shackleton Mountains. Depot 'Dad' established
  • First US airlift to the Shackletons
  • Most days with fog: 189 days of the year.


+SykesC.C.R.(Chris 'Sideways')BC
CarterJ.F.(John 'JC')Diesel Mechanic
ChalmersJ.A.(Jim 'Judith')Geophysicist
ClarksonP.D.(Peter 'Rocky')Geologist
CoslettP.H.(Paul 'Cossers')Glaciologist
DurrantM.J.(Mike 'Smet')Meteorologist
EtchellsW.A.(Alan 'Dad')Tractor mechanic
FrenchD.E.(Dave 'Def')Meteorologist
FryA.J.(John 'Frizz')Physiologist
GaineyK.J.(Keith 'Chief')Radar technician
GallsworthyJ.M.(John 'Golly')Builder
GroomD.C.(David 'Ham')Ionosphericist
HallidayK.W.(Ken 'Chey')Radio operator
+HodsonC.M.(Chris 'Woppie')Wireless Operator
JamiesonJ.H.(Jim 'JimJam')Geophysicist
JonesC.L.(Clive 'Jato')Chef
MacLennanD.S.(Duncan 'Mac')Cook
+MacQuarrieA.S.(Stuart)Tractor mechanic
MountfordP.S.(Peter 'Seg')Meteorologist
NobleP.H.(Peter 'Neon')GA
+PittsP.T.Peter ('Pop')Ionosphericist
RileyN.W.(Norris 'Rambling Jack')GA
RobertsA.M.(Murray 'Doc')Doctor
+SkidmoreM.J.(Mike 'Skid')Geologist
SmithG.(Geoff 'Abdul')Electrician
+ Deceased


Abdul, April, Arwin, Barra, Boby, Bompur, Booboo, Bophur, Borga, Chalky, Changi, Colic, Dad, Dove, Dusty III, Eleanor, Elsa, Esk, Evie, Fedu, Flossie, Francoise, Frodo, Frosty, Gandalf, Gollum, Ham, Inga, Jock III, Josie, Lady III, Lassie II, Lin, Lister, Lobo II, Luqa, Merry I, Michelle, Mitral, Mitya, Nuga, Pat, Pippin, Pop, Rastus II, Ratti, Rolf, Rosie III, Rover IIII, Royal, Seletar, Sharjah, Shem, Skipper, Skye, Snowy II, Staffa, Stroma, Suaq, Teifi, Tengah, Trixie, Umiak II, Wensen, Whisky II, Wilfred, Zita.


Base photo:
Halley Bay base photo, 1968
Picture supplied by Jeff Cohen
Standing from left to right: PS Mountford (Meteorologist), JM Gallsworthy (Carpenter), PH Coslett (Glaciologist), J Carter (Diesel Mechanic), WA Etchells (Tractor Mechanic), AC Wager (Glaciologist), TH Wiggans (GA), JA Chalmers (Physicist), DS MacLennan (Cook), AM Roberts (Medical Officer), DC Groom (Ionosphericist), DE French (Meteorologist), CM Hodson (WOM), ECE Platt (Meteorologist), WR Laidlaw (Physicist), PD Clarkson (Geologist), PT Pitts (Ionosphericist).
Sitting from left to right: KJ Gainey (Radar Mechanic), CL Jones (Cook), NW Riley (GA), CCR Sykes (BC & Tractor Mechanic), N Mathys (GA), AJ Fry (Physiologist), MJ Skidmore (Geologist), JH Jamieson (Physicist), MS Durrant (Meteorologist), K Halliday (WOM), PH Noble (GA).
Out of shot: G Smith (Electrician), AS MacQuarrie (Tractor Mechanic).

Midwinter photo:

Halley Bay midwinter photo, 1968
Picture supplied by Tony Jackson
Left to right (information from Peter 'Rocky' Clarkson): Mike Durrant, head with spectacles bent forward; ???? with head half hidden but possibly Peter Mountford; Norris Riley; Chris Sykes, bald head bent forward; John Carter with cigarette; John (Golly) Gallsworthy in "bunny" costume; John Fry; Paul Coslett; Jim Chalmers (probably), just the profile of the top of his head; Alan (Dad) Etchells (doesn't he look young!); ???? another head largely hidden but possibly Nick Mathys; Keith Gainey.

Peter says: "With Golly and Bill Laidlaw, I was one of the 'bunny girls' waiting at table.  It was Golly's idea and we felt right prats as you can probably imagine!  But it was a great occasion."

Halley II

Halley II
Halley 2 after first winter, 1967/68 season; replaced in 1973 due to crushing by build up of snow and ice.
Photo by Alan Smith
From the BAS image library ref: 10004216; used with permission. No unauthorised copying.

John Fry pictures, 1968
1968 base view - either from a radio/met tower or other above ground site. Visible are the met radar, Muskeg and fuel drum lines.
Picture by John Fry.
More pictures by John Fry


Great dog. Had to be careful where you put on the span . Snored like a Lancaster Bomber. - Bill. Another picture
Photo by Bill Laidlaw

Oral History Recordings

Other information, anecdotes etc.

Peter Pitts writes:

Amateur Radio VP8JP. Would be interested to hear of others. I am in the call books or qrz.com under G3GYE since 1950. More [13 December 2004]
John Fry notes:
Abdul Smith got the Lansing snow plane operational in 1968. [15 January 2006] Pictures.
John Carter says:
Lansing Snow Plane was revamped by Abdul Smith in '68; the engine was a 4-cylinder Lycoming inverted dry sump engine, great on smooth snow. See Halley Bay 1969 photo. [2 Apr 2014]
c Peter Noble reminisces:
Sledge bags: A whole new section of memory could be opened up here.  I still have my "Treacle Miners" sledge bag - blue and white and emblazoned with the white rose of Yorkshire.  But how about call signs?  Ones I recall of the 1967/68 seasons included AKE (Noble - trying to be clever as it means sledge in Norwegian), ROX (Clarkson - geologist), BAG (Johnson), GIN (Wornham), RUM (Coslett), SAM (Samuel), DAD (Etchells of course) - can anyone recall others? [12 September 2006]


Summer 1967-68

+GippsD.R.(Derek)Logstics Officer

30 Oct 2023
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