27 May, 2002

Date: Monday 27 May 2002


The world’s coolest street party takes place on Monday 3 June at British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station, to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Twenty scientists and support staff will ignite the only Antarctic gas-fired beacon as part of a Golden Jubilee Summer Party commemorative chain of 1800 beacons across the UK, Channel Islands, Commonwealth and other countries around the world. In the midst of winter darkness, celebrations will include an outdoor feast of crown of lamb, roast beef, turkey, chicken and vegetables and a small ration of champagne – all in sub zero temperatures as low as – 20?C. Jubilee decorations and Union Flags draped over tables will add to the party atmosphere. A commemorative ‘Jubilee Weather Observation’ will be made at 10.45pm GMT – the approximate time the Queen lights her beacon in London. Photographs and video footage of this unique event will be transmitted electronically to BAS Cambridge by satellite on Monday 3 June. Broadcasters: For 30 second video clips please place your request with Athena Dinar before Friday 31 May. Video clips will be available after 12pm on Monday 3 June. These need to be picked up at this ftp address: ftp://ftp.nerc-bas.ac.uk/pub/photo so your IT department may need to help you. Journalists: For stills, place your request for J-PEG copies with Athena Dinar before Friday 31 May. For radio interviews (by satellite phone only), book your slot with Athena Dinar before Friday 31 May. Please note that Rothera is 4 hours behind UK time. After the Golden Jubilee feast, staff will complete the day with a game of cricket on the sea ice followed by skiing and sledging. For more information of the British Antarctic Survey please visit the website at www.antarctica.ac.uk


Issued by the British Antarctic Survey Press Office. Contact Athena Dinar tel. 01223 221414 (mobile 07740 822229) email a.dinar@bas.ac.uk

Linda Capper tel. 01223 221448 (mobile 07714 233744) email l.capper@bas.ac.uk


Spectacular broadcast quality video as well as 35 mm stills of Rothera are available from the BAS Press Office.


The British Antarctic Territory is the region of Antarctica over which the United Kingdom claims sovereignty. It includes all the lands and islands in a wedge extending from the South Pole to 60? S latitude between longitudes 20? W and 80? W. It is administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a British Overseas Territory. The British Antarctic Territory issues its own postage stamps. Although the United Kingdom claims sovereignty over this region, there are overlapping claims by Argentina and Chile. Under the terms of the Antarctic Treaty (1961), all territorial claims remain frozen, allowing the whole of Antarctica to be used as a continent for peace and science. British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council and is responsible for the majority of the UK Government?s research in Antarctica. The Survey employs over 400 staff, and supports three stations in the Antarctic, at Rothera, Halley and Signy, and two stations on South Georgia, at King Edward Point (since 2001) and Bird Island. The Antarctic operations and science programmes are executed and managed from Cambridge, and rely on the support of a wide-ranging team of professional staff.