Cambridgeshire

British Antarctic scientists 'ring bells' for 2012 Festival

British Antarctic Survey staff join in Olympic bell-ringing event
Image caption The team said it was keen to join in with "very British events"

Kitchen pots, glasses and a bedpan are just some of the items being used by Antarctic researchers keen to join in a mass Olympic bell-ringing event.

Scientists from Cambridge-based British Antarctic Survey (BAS) plan to take part in the event marking the start of the games - despite having no bells.

All the Bells creator Martin Creed hopes bells will be rung right across the UK at 08:12 BST on Friday.

The BAS team said it would "make enough noise to be heard in London".

Their base at Rothera Research Station, on Adelaide Island, is "decidedly lacking in anything resembling an actual bell", winter base commander George Lemann, said.

'Very British'

"However, isolation being the mother of invention, we have an array of contraptions to bang, ring, blow, hoot, whistle, honk, ding, rattle and clang.

"As this event takes place just after the return of our sun, we are right in the mood for getting out and making lots of noise," he added.

The team has made a point of joining in with what they describe as "very British events".

Last month they held a Jubilee street party complete with jelly, ice cream, bunting and a game of croquet - all at temperatures of up to -45C (-49F).

At 8,700 miles (14,000km) away from the UK, the scientists believe their bell-ringing attempt could be the most remote.

BAS electrician, Tim Jackson, said: "We're in the depths of winter down here so we just have to make do with what we've got.

"We're not down here for our musical talents, obviously, but there's plenty to do and we entertain ourselves quite well.

"There are only 18 of us but we have formed a couple of bands," he said.

"We just don't have any bells."

Extracts from bell-ringing groups around the UK will be broadcast on BBC Breakfast, Radio 4, Radio 2 and 5 live, as well as the BBC's local radio stations on Friday.

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