Perhaps some of the most evocative artefacts, and certainly some of the most recognisable, are the supplies and provisions left behind when the bases were finally abandoned.

Familiar Brands

Rows and rows of tins of porridge, custard powder, Marmite, Golden syrup and coffee are to be seen in each hut. Many of the brands are recognisable from supermarket shelves today, fifty or more years on, and they give us a little insight into what kept these men going during the long, cold, dark Antarctic winter.

Fit for a FID

We also know they were quite innovative in their culinary exploits. The indispensable cookbook ‘Fit for a FID’ offers all manner of recipes which bring together ‘local’ produce such as penguin livers with the supplies brought in from the UK to bring some variety to the dinner table.

Midwinter dinner

Midwinter dinner however, was the meal of the year. More eagerly anticipated and planned for than Christmas, the meal for the night of the shortest day, the 22nd June, was usually a gala affair running to several courses and served with poetry, song and homemade gifts. It is a tradition still enjoyed today in wintering bases across the whole of Antarctica.

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