IF LONDON HAD LOST ITS WORLDCON BID
When I pulled out a copy of FEMIZINE #8
(March '56) looking for info on WETZCON
- it contained Anne Steul's report - I wasn't expecting to
stumble across something that cast a new light on Britain's 1957
conventions, but on page six I found this, presumably written by editor
CONVENTION FOR CONVENTION'S SAKE!
What caught my eye of course was "the 1957 International Convention which will be held from the 19th to 21st April inclusive", those being the dates for Easter that year. In our timeline that was the weekend when CYTRICON III took place, so what was all this about an international convention? Also, it was held at the same venue as in the previous two years, the George Hotel in Kettering. The assertion that "negotiations are in hand for the booking of a suitable hotel" tell us this alternate con would have been held somewhere else. What *was* going on? All was revealed at the bottom of page 16:
MAKE IT A 20th ANNIVERSARY!
From LEEDS in 1937 to London in 1957 = Your vote can turn the SECOND
LONDON IN 57!
So it appears that had they not secured the 1957 Worldcon, British fans were planning on staging the Second International Convention, the first having been 1951's FESTIVENTION which was in all but name the first Eurocon (and they got close, see link below).
I'm amazed I've never heard of this before, but it conjures up an interesting alternate timeline. With its second iteration the International Convention would have then been an established thing and possibly become a continuing series, maybe even obviating the need for Eurocon!
- Rob Hansen, 2016