This week at Mawson: 29 February 2008


Biscoe Hut was one of three large huts and one smaller hut constructed for the 1949 Norwegian-British-Swedish(NBS) expedition.

The hut was acquired by Phillip Law, together with two Auster aircraft, as part of a single, fortuitous purchase of equipment from the NBS

The kit of components was constructed by Mo och Domsjö Treetex AB, Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.

The assembly instructions and construction drawings (In Swedish) are held at the Antarctic Division in Kingston and are dated 24 October 1949.

Historical image of Mawson Station
Photo: AAD
Historical image of Biscoe Hut, Mawson Station
Biscoe hut in Mawson, the early years
Photo: AAD
Biscoe Hut at Mawson Station
Photo: Felicity J

Biscoe was damaged in fire during November 2003 although the fire team was able to minimize the damage.

Fire damage to Biscoe Hut at Mawson Station
The fire damage
Photo: Colin H
Mawson Station 2004 Fire team after Biscoe Hut fire extinguished
This is not a drill
Photo: AAD

The cultural significance is accepted and the restorations have seen steady progress toward Biscoe's renewal.

Image of repairs made to Biscoe Hut at Mawson Station
Attention to detail
Photo: Mike S
Image of repairs made to Biscoe Hut at Mawson Station
Another view
Photo: Mike S

A colourful past

Image of Biscoe Hut in original colours
What else can we paint with these colours?
Image showing repair work to window of Biscoe Hut
Nice work
Photo: Mike S

It is hoped that with completion, Biscoe will again be a building for daily use.

End of Summer Farewell

With the imminent arrival of the Aurora the expeditioners look forward to the traditional farewell to the summer team.

Decorations for Mawson Station End of Summer 08 dinner
End of summer 08
Photo: Tony B

With the talents of Zane and the imminent re-supply, a feast was had by all. It has long been speculated that the storage and consumption of food in future space exploration owes much to the research done on Antarctic stations.

Mawson Station Chef with table laden with food for End of Summer dinner
Now for the vegetarians
Photo: Tony B
Food prepared for Mawson Station End of Summer 08
End of Summer 08 food
Photo: Tony B

This is also a time for more feminine attire and a time for the girls of the station to say goodbye.

Mawson Station female Expeditioners dressed for end of summer dinner
The girls of summer
Photo: Tony B
Expeditioners at table for End of Summer 08 dinner
In my day we had to drink out of rolled up newspaper
Photo: Tony B

Farewell to Rhonda, Cathy and Sarah. Think of us as you dine alfresco in Salamanca. Farewell to Dave, Mike, Gary, Duds, Dick, Alby, Tony Z, Thomas and Bob

Aurora where for art thou

All eyes are seaward for the arrival of the Aurora Australis.

Expeditioner by waters edge at Mawson Station
Vaiting, vaiting, vaiting
Photo: Peter T

With the completion of most summer tasks through the hard work of all the expeditioners on station, the Aurora announced its imminent arrival. As usual it is the weather and the sea ice that determines the true shipping schedules.

View of open ocean from Mawson Station
So close
Photo: AAD

After a Trojan effort to be ready, the station makes the waiting seems almost palpable.

Mawson Station helicopter pad - vacant
What's missing here…the helo's of course!
Photo: Peter T
Containers at Mawson Station waiting for RTA (Return to Australia)
Return to sender, address well known, di doo di doo di doo.
Photo: Peter T

For some, it was time to say goodbye to familiar friends and locations.

Mawson Station Summer Expeditioner
Bob says goodbye to Warren the incinerator
Photo: Peter T

Charlie bids adieu to Gary in the waste treatment area. As a guide to future AAD recruitment screening procedures, Mawson has tendered the following test to establish ones trade qualifications. It is clear why Gary chose to be an electrician rather than a plumber.

Mawson Station Expeditioners
Pick the plumber
Photo: Peter T

The wharf is ready.

Machinery at Mawson Station wharf
The wharf is ready
Photo: Peter T

Zane is ready as Chef and with the IRB.

Mawson Station Chef with map of Station surrounds
If I cut here I can remove that iceburg
Photo: Peter T

The Aurora remains on schedule and with an extensive program for the re-supply, field training, inspections and helicopter operation it is expected to be quite a busy time for all.

We are all hoping for good weather.

View across water from Mawson Station
One last look before we go
Photo: Tony Z