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Last Updated: Friday, 24 December, 2004, 07:30 GMT
British couple break polar record
Conrad Dickinson and his wife Hilary
Conrad and Hilary Dickinson kept warm singing carols
A Northumberland couple have become the first British husband and wife team to trek to the South Pole unsupported.

Conrad Dickinson, 49, and his wife Hilary, 51, from Hexham, arrived at the bottom of the world at 8pm on Thursday.

The pair set off from the Hercules Inlet on the fringe of the Antarctic on 1 November and spent 53 days skiing the 674 miles to the South Pole.

They said they are planning to celebrate with chocolate, cake, paper hats and mini crackers.

Extensive training

The couple, who are with a Canadian woman and her two grown-up children, hope to make it back to Hercules Inlet in just 25 days.

They will try and make up time by using special kites to propel them.

Former Arctic Special Forces soldier Mr Dickinson said: "During the last 37 miles from the US base to the Pole we sang carols."

To prepare for their kite-ski return the team underwent extensive training in the Canadian Arctic, Baffin Island, Greenland and Norway.

Watch footage of the expedition

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