About the Author -
Married with two children and five grandchildren, Peter was born in 1932. He had an idyllic country childhood in a small village south of Chichester on the south coast. The war years were exciting to a young lad, with forbidden scrambles into bomb craters and rescuing small parts of downed enemy aircraft. The journey to Chichester High School on the bus was enlivened by being held up by cattle being driven in on foot to the cattle market. He had dreams of doing his national service by joining the RAF, but, told he had a perforated eardrum, he didn’t do national service and instead joined the Met Office, starting at the famous wartime airfield at Tangmere and moving on to Dunstable. There he met John Lancaster, who had just returned from South Georgia and, combined with reading Niall Rankin’s book Antarctic Isle, he was inspired to apply to go to South Georgia; but they offered him instead a three-year stint with the Falkland Island Dependency Survey (now known as the British Antarctic Survey). They sent him to a Harley Street specialist, who found nothing wrong with his ears.
After a long trip by sea on the RRS Shackleton via the Falklands, he was landed on Signy Island, and as base leader with five other men spent three seasons there. His time was cut short by an injury, and he had to return as far as the Falklands. Then he came as far south as South Georgia to spend the rest of his tour, where he had an interesting time exploring, surveying and helping with seal tagging alongside his meteorology work; he was also taken out on a whaling trip as the industry was in full swing then. Back home, he spent the rest of his working life with the Met Office, first at Dunstable, then at what was then the new head office at Bracknell, where he met his wife in the Central Forecasting Office. Together with a small child they, spent three interesting years in the Falkland Islands before being posted to Thorney Island, then five more years back at Bracknell, and the final years at Gatwick Airport before he retired in 1992 to enjoy his fishing, gardening, walking and family life.
MET MAN PETE GOES SOUTH
Peter Richards was born in 1932 and is now married with two children and five grandchildren. He lived an idyllic country childhood, growing up in a small village south of Chichester. The war years provided the young lad new and exciting experiences, with forbidden scrambles into bomb craters and the ‘rescuing’ of parts from downed aircraft.
Dreams of joining the RAF for his national service were dashed by a perforated eardrum so Peter instead joined the Met Office, commencing his employment at the famous wartime airfield of Tangmere, then moving north to Dunstable. It was during his work there that after reading Niall Rankin’s Antarctic Island, Peter conversed with John Lancaster, a colleague who had just returned from the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia. This inspired Peter to apply for a role in South Georgia himself, however he was instead offered a three-year stint with the Falkland Island Dependency Survey (now known as the British Antarctic Survey). After a Harley Street specialist found nothing wrong with Peter’s ear, he was off to the southern hemisphere.
After a long trip by sea on the RRS Shackleton via the Falklands, Peter was landed on the island of Signy, and as base leader with five other men spent three seasons there, before being moved to South Georgia where he explored, surveyed and even helped with the tagging of seals.
This is the story of Peter’s time at the bottom of the world.