SIR Ranulph Fiennes has been forced to abandon the expedition that a Huntingdonshire factory helped prepare him for.

The legendary explorer began a 14-month journey to cross the Antarctic towards the end of last year, with him and his team carrying snow-melt tanks as provided by SF Engineering in Nuffield Road, St Ives.

The manufacturing firm was contacted personally by Sir Ranulph last year to make the metre-high containers, which essentially act as giant kettles by melting the snow and ice for use by the team as they progress through the frozen wastes of the Antartic.

However he has today (Monday, February 25) pulled out of the 2,000-mile expedition because of severe frostbite.

The 68-year-old is said to be "gutted" at having to abandon the trek but his team mates will continue the journey.