Halley Bay - 1969


Notable events/features of the year

  • Dog tunnel constructed
  • 'Foxtrac' introduced
  • Azimuth tunnel built
  • 'JC' Carter and 'Abdul' Smith become the first men to spend three consecutive winters at Halley Bay
  • Glaciology Office becomes the Bondu Bar
  • Appendicectomy done on base
  • IH tractor falls into crevasse in the Bob-Pi crossing of the hinge zone; recovered in 1972 by Blackwell, Bury & Fletcher
  • New crack found, east of the Gin Bottle. More ...
  • Highest annual mean temperature: -16.3°C


ClarksonP.D.(Peter 'Rocky')BC, Geologist
CarterJ.F.(John 'JC')Diesel mechanic
ChalmersJ.A.(Jim 'Judith')Geophysicist
ChappellR.K.(Keith 'Graunch')Ionosphericist
ClaytonC.A.(Allen 'Flowerpot')Surveyor
FrenchD.E.(Dave 'Def')Meteorologist
GostickC.J.(Chris 'Ceeje')Radio Op
GroomD.C.(David 'Ham')Ionosphericist
+GuyattM.J.(Malcolm 'Bloke')GA
+HoyD.J.(Dave 'Gonk')DEM
JonesC.L.(Clive 'Jato')Chef
MacLennonD.S.(Duncan 'Mac')Cook
MacraeM.D.(Malky)Tractor mechanic
PalmerR.G.(Dick)GA (tractors)
SealeyD.J.(Dave)Radar Tech
SmithG.(Geoff 'Abdul')Electrician
SmithI.D.(Ian 'Fin')Geophysicist
SoarG.J.(Graham 'Grot')Meteorologist
TiffinR.M.(Roger 'Tiff')Meteorologist
WellsC.J.(Chris 'Charlie Whisky')Radio Op
WilkinsD.C.(Denis 'Crippen')Doctor
+WrightG.K.(Graham 'Genghis')GA
+ Deceased


Abdul, April, Audrey, Boby, Booboo, Bophur, Bunny, Changi, Chey II, Colic, Craven, Dad, Dove, Dusty III, Eleanor, Elsa, Esk, Evie, Fedu, Francoise, Frodo, Frosty, Gandalf, Gollum, Ham, Inga, Jock III, Josie, Lady III, Lassie II, Lister, Lobo II, Luqa, Mavis, Merry I, Michelle, Mitral, Mitya, Nancy, Nuga, Pat, Pippin, Rastus II, Ratti, Rover IIII, Seletar, Sharjah, Shem, Skipper, Suaq, Tengah, Trixie, Tuesday, Umiak II, Wensen, Zita.


Base photo:
Base photo, 1969, Bob Wells
Back row; from left to right : Tony True (Surveyor) - Dennis 'Doc' Wilkins (Doctor) - Malcolm Guyatt (General Assistant) - Malky Macrae (Mechanic) - Chas Platt (Meteorologist) - Keith 'Graunch' Chappell (Ionosphericist - 'Beastie Man') - Geoff 'Abdul'Smith (Electrician)
3rd Row: Dave Sealey (Radar Technician) - Peter 'Rocky' Clarkson (Geologist and Base Commander) - Jim 'Judith' Chalmers (Geophysicist) - Chris 'Ceeje' Gostick (Radio operator) - Norris Riley (General Assistant) - Dave 'Gonk' Hoy (Diesel Mechanic) - Allen 'Flowerpot' Clayton (Surveyor) - Duncan 'Mac' Maclennan (Cook)
2nd Row: Roger Tiffin (Meteorologist) - Graham 'Grot' Soar (Meteorologist) - Graham 'Genghis' Wright (General Assistant) - John 'JC' Carter (Mechanic) - Dave 'Ham' Groom (Ionosphericist - 'Beastie Man') - Ian 'Fin' Smith (Geophysicist) - Chris 'Charlie Whisky' Wells (Radio operator)
Front Row: Harry Wiggans (General Assistant- 'Doggy Man') - Dick Palmer (Mechanic) - Ron James (Builder) - Bob Wells (Geophysicist) - Dave 'Def' French (Meteorologist) - Clive 'Jato' Jones (Cook)
Picture by Bob Wells.

Antarctic crash, 1969, Allen Clayton
Antarctic crash
Picture by Allen Clayton.

See also pictures of the dropped IH by Ian Smith.

Piano at Halley-I
Piano at (the abandoned) Halley-I
Picture by Bob Wells.

Mcdonald Ice Rumples, photos by Denis Wilkins

Perla Dan:

Perla Dan

Oral History Recording

Other information, anecdotes etc.

Malcolm Guyatt:
I was involved in survey of Shackleton Mtns and re-survey of Brunt Ice Shelf (Bob 'speedy Tom' Thomas' mass balance work) [18 January 2002]

'Genghis' Wright:

Did two trips to Shackleton Range with Mobsters 1969 Survey with Tony True (Shem Leading) and Hobbits 1970 Geology with Bob Wyeth (Changi Leading)- Also found new route throught the hinge zone) [21 June 2006]

David Groom:

Just found this site and was amazed to read of the 'rescue' of Paul the IH. I was driving the other IH behind Paul when he disappeared from view with Norris (the driver) doing a good impression of a rocket propelled ejector seat exit. [31 July 2002] (See picture above - ed.)

Tony True summarises his time in the Shacks and at Halley:

1968: With Ken Blaiklock UK to Shackleton Mountains via RAF (Brize Norton/Washington), USAF (Washington/Los Angeles), USNavy (Los Angeles/Hawaii/Christchurch/McMurdo/S.Pole/Halley). Blaiklock returned to UK pre-winter 1969.
1969: Wintered at Halley Bay. Prepared preliminary Shackletons maps for second season.
1969 USNavy (Halley/Shackletons/Halley). Provided ground control for mapping of Shackleton Mountains using US tri-camera aerial photography. Four nine-dog sled teams (2 geology, 2 survey) in Shackletons both seasons. First season: Nick Mathys' broken leg.
Position fixes at Halley Bay and Shackleton Mountains from sun/star observations (GPS in its infancy at that time with only 4 US military doppler satellites).
Returned to UK on 'Perla Dan' pre-winter 1970, and assisted in preparation of Shackleton Mountains Maps for publishing at Directorate of Overseas Surveys, Tolworth.
[17 March 2002]

Denis Wilkins:

Too many to mention. I cooked most of the base in our physiological hot water bath at one time or another. The idea was to draw off the sweat so produced at a constant heat load, and having measured the volume, to take a sample back to the UK and analyse the sodium levels. Can you imagine unscrewing the first bottle of FID sweat, probably unbathed for several weeks before drawing off, sealed, transported around the world (including passage unrefrigerated through the tropics), left on a shelf at the Hampstead labs and then ceremoniously opened 18 months later. Rather like a fine bottle of wine that has lain improving for years undisturbed. Almost. Well, nearly. Actually nothing could be further from the truth. JC's was the worst as I recall. On the other hand it prepared me well for a lifetime working in the NHS. [26 May 2004]

"Fids' Bodge": Projector repair

Bob Wells says:

Three motor bikes were exported from Halley at the 1968/9 relief when my push bike arrived. I believe Che Halliday, with his background in the Falklands, was the inspirational spirit. I think Sideways Sykes was one of the other riders. There was talk of using them to tour South America on the way home but I don't know if anything ever came of that idea. [29 January 2006]

Dave (Gonk) Hoy - obituary by Mike Warden (Muff)

Felling the turdicle - by Dave Hoy

Down the loo cavern in search of radio pills - by Malcolm Guyatt

Dougal, Zebedee and Dillon (cats) - by Roger Tiffin (Tiff)

Cats part 2 - by Norman Eddleston

Dog tunnel - by Roger Tiffin

The Muckletappers and Suaq- by Roger Tiffin

Cutting up seal meat for the dogs - by Roger Tiffin

The Lansing Snow Plane - by Roger Tiffin

The Return of the Sun - by Allen Clayton

Antarctic Engagement - by Allen and Jane Clayton

The Hallowe'en Crack - by Roger Tiffin

The 1969 Crack - by Bob Wells

JATO bottles - Bob Wells

The fate of the Perla Dan - Denis Wilkins (see also here)

Reunion 2017 - Dave Hoy

Reunion 2021 - Denis Wilkins

Grillage Village Reunion 2018

1969 Feenix - FEENIX Midwinter Magazine

1969 Feenix - FEENIX 18 January 1969


30 Oct 2023
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