February 25, 2015

Ray of Hope 3: How West Norfolk News Gets Delivered To South Georgia

Shackleton's Grave - facing the south Pole as the great man
requested (though there are conspiracy theories)

gotcha! A seal gets a bite of Ray's boot

 South Georgia
Smile :) You are the 100+ reader of this post
Some people will do anything for publicity. And not always with a story to tell. Not so ex-NHS electrician Ray Thirkettle late of this parish.
When Mr Thirkettle went to the British Antarctic Survey's Halley Station on Antarctica for four months in 2013, he and his BAS 'widow' Pauline kept it pretty much to themselves. This photo of the mature OU Science graduate in summer snow was strictly for the family album.

Not to mention that it's inappropriate for BAS employees engaged in state of the art research on the other side of the world to be shouting Hello Mum, Look at Me!
Ray likes a quiet life. Even quieter than the ones we get in village West Norfolk. And in recent years he has certainly gone that extra mile - or 7000 - to get it!
Grytviken - former whaling station
But when November 2014, Ray gave up his career and returned to the South Atlantic for 13 months, even TV was interested and the story threatened to snowball. I happened to be reviewing his BAS talk about Halley Station for the Lynn News just before he embarked and I suggested (without much expectation) we do an interview about his latest expedition.  
Luckily he liked my take on his talk. And he knew me from our involvement in SHARP, the Sedgeford Archaeological and Historical Research Project. So he vouchsafed his whole amazing story to one trusted freelance - me! Thanks, Ray.
The EDP put the feature on the front page. (Read it here). Now it has become part of the story.
A couple from Nordelph, West Norfolk read it with more than usual interest. They were going on an intrepid sea adventure in the South Atlantic Ocean in December 2014 and on the strength of a shared local paper and a do-different Norfolk attitude, decided to call in on South Georgia and ask for Ray.
They did. And had a whale of a time! Among other South Georgia adventures, they explored Grytviken the old whaling station.

And guess what newspaper they took with them! Nothing like a print copy, eh, Ray?

Ray's Nordelph visitors later managed a (rare) landing on Elephant Island, and were lucky in the lottery for the 18 places available to camp on the snow overnight to see in the New Year at a special place I'm not allowed to say!

They're back home now in a very dank and damp Norfolk and it all couldn't be further removed from Grytviken.

But they have photographs of their brilliant memories. They sent them to Ray and here they are!

Happy New year Ray! And keep reading that EDP in Nordelph folks!

February 20's Ray of Hope 4 (rat eradication on the island) is here


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