The site is only accessible at the height of the Antarctic Summer and the team worked through February to complete their mission, with regular reports online. The surprisingly good condition and completeness of both the building and artefacts provided a very special time-capsule of British life and science in the Antarctic.
Having recently returned from the expedition, Sophie Rowe reported “Our team of four has examined and documented in detail all the structures on the site, which include the main hut, pup pen, balloon shed and emergency hut as well as radio masts and an anemometer tower, and we have also catalogued over 7750 artefacts in the huts and surrounding area for the first time.”
“Diaries and oral histories from men who worked at Base Y have enriched our understanding of the site, which was extended, re-organised and repainted numerous times between 1955-60. As well as their sledging and scientific achievements the men at the base became adept at domestic activities, learning to make steamed puddings, jam tarts and cheese straws for visitors, and running an up-to-date electric washing machine. They even built a luxurious bath in the sledge workshop with hot water plumbed in, and planted bulbs in window boxes. Clearly establishing sovereignty in the British Antarctic Territories included civilised living in the full 1950's English manner! The information gathered in this field season will be used to plan UKAHT conservation work at Horseshoe in future years.”