Monday April 3rdJOE PATRIZIO:
Next morning was a flurry of activity, getting ready to leave, saying goodbye, and just walking about soaking up the last dregs of the convention. We met Tony Walsh who had bought THE GUARDIAN. In this paper there was a. very good writeup of the con by Geoff Doherty, who proved that he had been listening on the Friday, by including in his report a pocket description of fandom. A most fair report by Geoff, which left us all slightly bewildered that the paper hadn't insisted on BEMS, flying saucers and the like.
Copies of news reports, courtesy of Keith Freeman:
One of the first things I seem to have done on the Monday morning is to have read Geoff Doherty's report on the convention in the aforementioned paper. On an empty stomach, too. The nights parties had been well up to the standard of British Convention Parties, and I think it was about tennish when I groped my way towards the dining room - to be met en route by Tony Walsh peddling copies of the Guardian. I was still somewhat bemused, but the fact that the report referred to 'Faans' (with two a's) pierced the fog and helped to clear my mind. I felt like sending an immediate air-mail postcard to Boyd Raeburn, and I'd have done it, too, if it hadn't been for the fact that I felt I needed breakfast more!
The Lxicon was fortunate enough in receiving quite favourable press coverage, due in no small part to the fact that all the reporters. were actually people who attended the, convention, and not just reporters who had dropped in for something 'silly' to write about. There were criticisms of course, but they were valid ones from the viewpoint of the writers, and the general public.
Monday was a day of reluctant leave-takings. I sat around in the main lounge until time for my train homes talked with Brian Aldiss about s-f, Dave & Ruth Kyle about their plans to live part of the year in England (a plan which I'm wholly in favour of), and with just about everyone else left on how good a convention it had been. And it had been a Good Convention, one of the most enjoyable I've attended. Eric Jones, Keith Freeman, Tony Walsh, Ethel Lindsay, Bob Parkinson and the Cheltenham Group had put on the best all-round affair since the London Worldcon.
On Monday morning as is the usual thing, people were disappearing from the fannish scene with regrettable regularity. Ken Slater popped his head into my room to say his goodbyes; Archie, Bobby and Bill Gray along with Keith Freeman, Ethel, Patrizio and Forsyth came in to sit and chew the rag for a while. I'll never forgive that Bill Gray; you hear me, Bill? Fancy coming into a ladies room - well, alright, mine then, and taking a picture before I'd had the chance to even comb my hair! I'll bet it turns out a beaut, too. Knowing that I had all my packing done with the exception of a few oddments still lying around, I wasn't bothered about how long we sat and nattered. In fact I think it was about 11 a.m. when I finally turned them out so I could get up and dress. I came down to the lounge to find there were still a lot of fen sitting around teaing and coffeeing. Having dispatched a couple of the lads to fetch my bags from my room I joined, Ethel Lindsay and Norman Shorrock in a tray of very welcome tea. Most of the talk buzzing around the lounge at this time was a mixture of comments on the Con just finished and plans for the one to come next year. I don't ever remember leaving a Convention with so many plans already made and firmed up in readiness for the following year. It was good to see how enthusiastic everyone was to keep up the good work.
I reluctantly said goodbye to everyone shortly after noon, and left to catch the 'Pines Express' for Manchester. Just before I left I'd been talking to Dave Kyle about England. He'd said he prefered the slower pace of living here, and I'd said yes, this extended even to the railways; "For instance you can get to the station only five minutes before your train is due to leave, and still have half an hour for a coffee!" The 'Pines Express' was running some twenty-five minutes late, and I did have plenty of time for a coffee..... Many a true word spoken in jest department.
The weekend after the convention, Dave and Ruth came up to Liverpool, and we all started celebrating again..... but that's another story.
Bruce Burn, who was the driver for the vehicle hired by the SFoL, had the job of carting a load of stuff back to the Cheltenham club rooms after which he was returning to collect us and take us to visit them in their natural haunts before we left for London and home. Groups were constantly forming, breaking up and reforming elsewhere all over the place. Friendships were re-affirmed, plans were made for more frequent visits to one another, and promises were made also for more frequent letters to be written. As you can see, we in Britain make our New Year Resolutions at Easter. We collected a bunch to go out for lunch at the local Chinese restaurant. This was to be our last real get-together near the Con hotel and we had: Dave and Ruth Kyle, Ina and Norman Shorrock, Eric and Margaret Jones, Bruce, Ethel, Pat Kearney, Ted, Joe, Jimmy Groves, Eddie Jones, Norman Weedall and anyone else who hadn't already left for home. It was a leisurely meal with all of us too tired to exert ourselves to be entertaining. After we left the restaurant we broke up for the last time. In some cases we refused to say goodbye as we intended to meet at the club rooms of the Cheltenham group. We got ourselves packed and loaded into our vehicle and were away.
We had a very nice, quick drive back to town arriving at my front door somewhen around 7-30 p.m. which was good going. I put the kettle on to make tea and while waiting for it to boil read a letter from Bill Donaho which was waiting for me. Half way through the letter and just as I’d made the tea (it was a long letter), the bell rang. Arthur Thomson had come along to see how the rest of the Con had gone after he'd had to leave.
Oh, brother, did we ever have a Convention.. This year's was my fourth and the one I've enjoyed best to date. Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to the ConCommittee who worked so hard to make it the success it so assuredly was: Eric Jones, Keith Freeman, Tony Walsh, Bob Parkinson and Ethel Lindsay. I only hope they weren’t all too tired to enjoy the result of their efforts themselves.
Probably the two most notable facts to emerge from the gathering were that judging from the large number of new faces present the BSFA recruiting system is extremely successful and that science-fiction conventions are back in fashion The two points are of course probably related, but it is true to say that the bias of the convention was towards the sercon rather than towards the fannish. This is not to say that the fannish element was left uncared for - far from it - but this was a programmed convention. Neofans were not left out in the cold but mixed well with the old guard and indeed, a good time was had by all. The trouble with conventions like the LXIcon, as this get-together was termed, is that they are all too short.
Thanks are due to Peter Weston for copies of convention reports and loan of the convention
literature. Below is a
listing of the original reports used in compiling this composite report, with links to these:
Thanks are due to Peter Weston for copies of convention reports and loan of the convention literature. Below is a listing of the original reports used in compiling this composite report, with links to these: