25 July, 2012

Rothera Station staff take part in ‘All the Bells’ to celebrate the Olympics

Kitchen pots, glasses and a bedpan are just some of the items being used by staff at British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station to join in a mass Olympic bell-ringing event this Friday (27 July).

The Rothera team plans to take part in the event marking the start of the games – despite having no bells.

All the Bells creator Martin Creed hopes bells will be rung right across the UK at 08:12 BST on Friday. It was recently announced that London’s Big Ben would be taking part also.

The BAS wintering team said it would “make enough noise to be heard in London”.

Winter Base Commander George Lemann said, “we are right in the mood for getting out and making lots of noise”.

The station situated on Adelaide Island on the Antarctic Peninsula, is lacking in anything resembling an actual bell so the scientists and support staff will improvise.

George continues, “Isolation is the mother of invention, so we have an array of contraptions to bang, ring, blow, hoot, whistle, honk, ding, rattle and clang.

“As this event takes place just after the return of our sun, we are right in the mood for getting out and making lots of noise,” he added.

At 8,700 miles (14,000km) away from the UK, the musicians believe their bell-ringing attempt could be the most remote.

BAS electrician, Tim Jackson, said: “We’re in the depths of winter down here so we just have to make do with what we’ve got. We’re not down here for our musical talents, obviously, but there’s plenty to do and we entertain ourselves quite well. There are only 18 of us but we have formed a couple of bands. We just don’t have any bells.”