Friday 13th September


Friday dawned bright and early - I am told. However, no one at Inchmery was aware of it. We had had a full day on the 12th and had planned not to rise too early. We weren't up and about too long before Joy had prepared another of her delicious dinners and, following this, we were all off to the train station to catch the Liverpool Limited. (I was to catch it, but Inchmery fandom came along to see that I did.)

Vince Clarke, Sandy Sanderson, Bob Madle (avc)

As mentioned, the trip to Liverpool appeared so enticing that I had three offers of companionship: Steve Schultheis, fandom's Adolphe Menjou; Will Jenkins, the fan who is not to be confused with the Murray Leinster Will Jenkins; and Sheldon Deretchin, of New York, a convention-goer and sometime fanzine publisher.

By the time Joy, Vince, Sandy and I dashed into the station, it was rather close to train time, and my colleagues had already arrived and, in fact, had become quite concerned about my lack of arrival. Also present to send us off in grand style was Tony Klein, a young, good-looking London fan of about early voting age. I had noticed that Tony and Ron Bennett had one thing in common - Lynn Berman, Ted Carnell's Girl Friday. At Globe meetings and during the Loncon they both showered her with attention and, I suppose, could be considered friendly rivals.

Bob Madle on board (avc)

The train finally took off with several jerks, and we were on our way. If I remember correctly, this was about 11.30 p.m., and the trip was to take about three hours. How to kill the three hours? We had been informed that there was a bar on the train - but we couldn't find it, and finally asked someone. He said that it must be on the other train that had left for Liverpool approximately the same time as this one. Just our luck - imagine taking the train without the bar!

After I was announced TAFF winner, Ken wrote asking about my plans and mentioned, quite casually, that if my plans didn't include Liverpool, they should be revised somewhat. I didn't know any of the group personally, or through correspondence, although I had read their club publication, SPACE DIVERSIONS, and had read material by Norm Shorrock, John Roles and Dave Newman. What with the Kettering convention write up and Dave Newman's articles on booze, I felt a kinship for this group. Also, Eddie Jones appealed to me as a fan artist, and John Roles wrote the collector-type articles that I liked. And it also seemed to me that a couple old first-fandomites hung out in the area, such as Leslie J. Johnson. So there seemed to be a lot for me in Liverpool.

So when Dave Newman, whose articles is fanzines do not belie his real-life activities, invited me to visit the group the weekend following the convention, I accepted with alacrity.