4 February, 2002

04 February 2002 PR Number 3/2002

Plans are underway for the world’s coolest ‘street party’ to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee on June 3rd. Twenty scientists and support staff at the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station will ignite a gas-fired beacon – minutes after the Queen lights the national beacon on the evening of 3rd June. It is the first time that a beacon has been lit in Antarctica to commemorate a Royal occasion. In the midst of Antarctic winter darkness, celebrations will begin with an outdoor feast in sub-zero temperatures. Jubilee decorations and tables decked with the Union Flag will get the party spirit going. A commemorative ‘Jubilee Weather Observation’ will be made at the exact time the Queen lights her beacon in London. Director of BAS, Professor Chris Rapley says: “I have given all staff at our Antarctic research stations the day off to take part in this major national celebration – I am sure they will have a lot of fun. The party is an excellent prelude to the traditional Antarctic mid-winter celebrations on 21 June.” The Golden Jubilee Summer Party Chairman, Bruno Peek OBE says: “I was delighted to be able to provide BAS with a specially adapted gas-fired beacon for this unique celebration and to ensure that the festivities are enjoyed in one of the most extreme environments on Earth.”

Issued by British Antarctic Survey Press Office.