A Timeline of Base H/Signy Station: 1947-present (draft)

Mar 1947 Construction of Clifford House on Bernsten Point, establishment of synoptic meteorological programme
Feb 1948 Addition of Laboratory Hut
Feb 1950 Latest ever first relief of Signy due to pack ice.  Extension to Clifford House and arrival of first dogs at Signy
Feb 1955 Building of Tonsberg House on the Factory Cove whaling station site. Generators installed in Tonsberg.  Re-siting of Clifford House as the Boatshed/Sledging Store
Summer 1956 Greenhouse erected against north end of boatshed
Summer 1960 First Foca Hut assembled in Foca Cove
Feb 1961 Death of Roger Filer in a fall at Pantomine Point whilst bird-ringing.
Summer 1961 Hunting Lodge built at Gourlay.
Dec 1963 Construction of Plastic Hut begun.  First narrow gauge light rail track installed from back of plan to end of jetty.  Small hut constructed at Shingle Cove.  The dogs (and Ginge the cat!) removed from Signy.  Dogs replaced by skidoos.  First diving at Signy (P. Redfearn and C.F. le Feuvre).  
Summer 1964 Plastic Hut completed and new gennies installed at N end of Tonsberg House.  10,000 gallon water reservoir constructed below the old whalers dam at south end of Tonsberg.
Feb 1965 Construction of the 400 ton bulk fuel tank and pipeline.  Intersection constructed between Tonsberg and Plastic Hut. Coal store established in Intersection. 
Summer 1966 Concrete Jetty constructed to replace previous jetties regularly destroyed by sea-ice and gales.
Summer 1967 Railway re-laid and extended to the Boatshed.  Flammables Store established behind Tonsberg.  Field telephone link to Foca using Don-8 wire over Spindrift Col.
Summer 1968 Two small huts (biostore and constant temperature) erected seaward of Tonsberg House.  Slipway rebuilt.
Summer 1970 Signy becomes focussed on biological research following end of synoptic met observations 31 Dec 1969.  Nightwatch system installed.  SIRS1 and SIRS2 Terrestrial reference sites established at Gourlay.
Summer 1971 Coal store in the Intersection converted to become first Dive Store. Biostore moved into Tonsberg House.
Aug 1972 Coldest temperature (-39.3 deg C) recorded at Signy.
Summer 1973 First professional base commander (David Fletcher) appointed.
Winter 1973 The Bothy is built at Cummings Cove.
Dec 1974 Construction begins of larger Genny Shed behind Tonsberg House and a new Boatshed alongside the Plan.
Summer 1975 Coal fired Esse replaced by two paraffin powered Aga cookers.  Fuel drum depot established on Back Slope and further rail track installed with a petrol driven winch to pull up a rail trolley loaded with a 45 gallon drum.
Summer 1976 Workboat ‘Serolis’ enters service at Signy and the old wooden work boat ‘Desmerestia’ returned to UK.  First flush loos at Signy.  A vacuum desalinator installed to replace snow-blocking.  The gennies (Snoopy and Red Baron) moved to the new Genny Shed.
Summer 1978 BC David Fletcher transfers to Rothera and is replaced by John Hall (diving officer and GA at Grytviken).  First survey of Signy fur seals after Hall spots large numbers at Gourlay. 
Summer 1979 John Hall leaves BAS (returns later as Rothera BC) so ex-Signy winterer David Rootes takes over as summer BC.
Dec 1980 Construction of Sorlle House (diving and storage facilities) in front of Tonsberg House.  A Right Whale seen in Factory Cove (due to early sea-ice).  Enforced winter when John Biscoe does not reach Signy for final relief – Seven extra personnel overwinter.
Summer 1982 Construction of new jetty begins – Tons of cement brought ashore at relief.   April 1982 – Falklands Crisis starts. Signy acts as Comms hub between Bransfield and South Georgia field parties until Grytviken seized by Argentine troops.  Signy the last station to be relieved by Bransfield which then sails directly to UK.
December 1982 Signy the first station to trial Sat Comms/phone link.     
Summer 1983  Highest temperature (+19.8 deg C) recorded on Jan 30th.  Clamour to rebuild Signy science facilities but first Halley, then Rothera and then Halley again will take priority during this period.  Jetty finally completed with slatted wood walkway – very stylish!).  Three new single phase 120 kVA Volvo gennies arrive to replace the old Rolls-Royce sets. 
Summer 1984 Balloon Shed finally demolished.  All stations now have Sat Com links so the radio link to Port Stanley is ended.
Summer 1985 Ian Lovegrove (ex-Rothera) replaces David Rootes as summer BC.   Two further three-phase gennies housed in containers  are mounted on the site of the old CT hut to ensure adequate power to Sorlle House and the Boatshed.
Summer 1986 First women scientists to work at Signy – Sandra McInnes, Debbie Oppenheim and Val Juneman.  The notoriously unreliable desalinator replaced by a reverse osmosis unit – final end of snow blocking.
Mar 1988 ‘Serolis’ workboat replaced by ‘Pomona’
1995 Diving ends at Signy and Sorlle House demolished  Mike Dinn has replaced Ian Lovegrove as summer BC by this time.  Pomona and several inflatables are removed from the station.
Summer 1995 New main accommodation /laboratories block (Sorlle House) built over summer on the site of the old Sorlle House, Boatshed converted to a Generator Shed, including new reverse osmosis water unit.  New bunded fuel tank facility installed.  Old Generator Shed converted to be the main store including walk-in food storage rooms
Summer 1996 Signy Station now summer-only.  Martin Davey is the BC.    The first time opening up of the new station takes several days and much is learnt from this activity but the science activities are able to restart.
Summer 1997 Further building work on bunded tank facility completed.  A full season of lakes and birds/seals research is completed.
Summer 2002 The Plastic Hut, Tonsberg House, old Fuel Tank and Pump House removed from the site


More to be added!   Corrections appreciated!


Click on the links below to get to a relevant page or use the pull down menu under the Stories tab.

Timeline 1950’s 1980′s
Pre – 1947 1960’s 1990’s
1947-49 1970’s 2000 on