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Looking N.E. at base
Base H - Signy Island Antarctica

  ©Copyright - Crown, expired, photograph - Robin G de Q (meteorologist) - picture taken 28.08.1947

Clifford House (accommodation building - pitched roof hut, center) and other structures that made up the first Signy Island base.

The roof and walls of Clifford House were covered in weatherproof felt, but there was no insulation between the inner and outer walls and draughts came up through the floorboards during gales. The biggest problem though was condensation with the inner absorbent wall becoming wet at the bottom and requiring barriers of foil and cloth to stop bedding getting wet for most of the year (April to mid-summer). The four base members were Gordon Robin and three Falklanders. Bill Roberts was the radio operator, Pat Biggs was ex Royal Navy with the youngest being Hugh Anderson who at the age of 18 must be easily the youngest person to winter on Signy.

Due to the non-arrival of scientific equipment, all that was left for the four to do on Signy was to fly the flag and take rudimentary weather observations. They did however also find individual tasks to do making a plane table survey of the island and daily ice and bird reports, while they shared the counting of seals as a group.

The first season came to an end on the 7th of February 1948 with the arrival of HMS Snipe and then the old John Biscoe 4 days later which took the first four winterers on a jolly around the other FIDS bases before returning to the UK.

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This picture is one of a collection assembled in 2007 on the 60th anniversary of Signy Island Base: 60°43'S 045°36'W. Thank you to those who sent their treasured memories of their time in Antarctica and allowed them to be made into a commemorative cd and then placed here on the web.

The reunion weekend was 14-16 September 2007

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