UPDATES & NEWSLETTERSKYRACK #31 (Apr '61), reporting on the 1961 Eastercon:
IT LOOKS LIKE HARROGATE IN 1962. At the Sunday BSFA A.G.M. it was decided that next year’s con should be held in the north of England. Ron Bennett was asked whether he would be willing to arrange for the con to be held in Harrogate; he announced that he already had the names of a tentative con committee. The hotel in Harrogate still has to be approached (no, we have more than one hotel...that should read “the” hotel) and registration fees worked out. Everyone to whom I spoke about Harrogate as a consite was most enthusiastic. The Convention Committee lines up at the moment as Norman Shorrock, Phil Rogers, Sid Birchby, Terry Jeeves, Ken Slater (plus Davids Eggleton and Barber) and Ron Bennett.
SKYRACK #32 (May '61):
PARTICIPATE IN HARROGATE. A further step has been made towards holding the 1962 BSFA Convention in Harrogate, Garden Spa of Britain’s leading county. The Hotel St. George has been booked for the weekend 20th/23rd April - and that’s Easter 1962. All sorts of details on bookings and prices still have to be finalised, so hold off sending cash just yet. Announcements will be made so often in SKYRACK that you’ll be heartily sick of the whole idea before we’ve finished!
SKYRACK #38 (Oct '61):
ELLIK WINS TAFF!!!
SKYRACK’s choice, California’s hitch-hiking and publishing Giant, Ron Ellik (pronounced Ee-lick) has been voted America’s TAFF delegate to travel across the Atlantic and attend the 1962 British Eastercon. Final figures are not yet to hand but a next to the last minute count shows Ron with an overwhelming lead over his rival Dick Eney who once again suffers an undeserved defeat. This was undoubtedly a campaign in which most voters had wished that both the worthy candidates could travel.
Ron, an ex-Marine, is the super Squirrel of the many Bjo and Rotsler cartoons. Around six feet tall, fair and bespectacled, Ron wears a husky studious air about him which belies his sense of humour. He is an admirable choice for a TAFF delegate with a mild manner and easy-going disposition. Eric Bentcliffe and I both took to Ron as soon as we met him and we feel certain that everyone he meets in British fandom will feel the same way.
He is probably best known over here as joint publisher of FANAC, the Hugo winning fan newspaper which astonished everyone by appearing fortnightly over a lengthy period. He’s also been responsible for a large number of entertaining words in many fanzines, Shaggy’s SQUIRREL CAGE being especially notable. Eric Bentcliffe writes that he’ll be pleased to pass on to Ron any invitations to visit your Oak tree! Congratulations Ron Ellik!
SKYRACK #39 (Nov '61):
THE 62 EASTERCON. Letters of snide criticism are not welcome on this subject. Yours truly has not been wholly idle and negotiations are now pending with an excellent North Western hotel. There is no point in mentioning further details now, but it is hoped to release the news by the end of the month. Watch SKYRACK and the BSFA NEWSLETTER.
SKYRACK #40 (Dec '61):
THE 62 EASTERCON. A statement was promised for this issue of Skyrack, but unfortunately it is not the statement I had hoped to make. A month ago, at the time of the last issue, negotiations were pending with what was quoted as being “an excellent North Western Hotel.” This was the Kendal Hotel in Kendal, Westmorland, on the edge of the Lake District. I had spent a day travelling up to the city and looking over the hotel and at that time only final terms had to be arranged. Sad to relate, however, negotiations broke down dramatically and suddenly. We are currently without a convention site - a sad state of affairs, but one which it is hoped will soon be changed.
The first and possibly only converntion newsletter (I've been unable to locate a second) was distributed with SKYRACK #41 (Feb '62):
1962 BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION ASSOCIATION
CONVENTION::::::::::::::::::::::NEWSLETTER No 1.
This newsletter is being sent out with
VECTOR, BSFA NEWSLETTER, KEN SLATER'S
CATALOGUE, SKYRACK and sundry other fan
publications and reading chains. Many
thanks to all concerned.
SEE YOU MATE IN HARROGATE!
As the vast majority of hotels in Harrogate, a recognised conference centre, are far too large for our purpose, two hotels have been booked -- two small and intimate, neighbouring hotels! The convention will be split between them so that attendees in either hotel can take part in a fair share of the programme, in or out of programme hours! Both hotels face on to the famous Stray, that pleasant grassland in public domain which, might even find itself part of the programme! Come and see!
Hotels? Harrogate? First, where is Harrogate..... Harrogate is in Yorkshire's West Riding, a gateway to the beautiful Dales countryside. It is on a main London - Newcastle railway line, and is within easy reach of the Great North Road. Details of how to reach the hotels from the bus and railway stations will be given in a future newsletter.
The Hotels... THE WEST PARK and THE CLARENDON
Both hotels are intimate, each boasting about 30 rooms. Full inclusive charges have been obtained at special rates, so that attendees need not leave their hotels in search of food and so that a full programme can be built around meal times. These prices are:
THE CLARENDON 42/6d
per day covering Saturday lunch and dinner, Sunday breakfast, lunch and dinner and Monday breakfast. The Friday night board and Sat breakfast charges are West Park 22/6d, Clarendon 27/6d and Friday evening dinner is optional at an extra charge.
Already the Convention Committee and the BSFA Committee will account for over one sixth of the bed spaces, so that you can certainly be advised in good faith to send in an early application for membership-and rooms. Send in the application form which accompanies this newsletter NOW!
THE PROGRAMME: This will be split between the two hotels. A Film Show will take place on the Sunday evening and a Fancy Dress Ball on the Saturday evening, both at the West Park. TAFF Delegate Ron Ellik from California will speak and it is hoped that all Clubs and SF Groups will produce some soul stirring item for the programme. Any ideas, suggestions for the film show, etc., should be sent to Ron Bennett. Get cracking!
THE REGISTRATION FEES: So OK, we've been dirty rats. We've raised the convention registration fees by 5/ per head over last year's rates. And the reasons? We want to give you a darn good programme without being stingy and having to watch every penny. We want to give some good and worthwhile prizes. And we want to have some cash to hand on to next year's Convention Committee. So...smoke a packet of cigarettes less this week and pay up! OK? The Registration fees, then, are: BSFA Members l5/-; BSFA Associate & Overseas Members 10/-; Non-BSFA Members 17/6d; Non-BSFA Members under 18 and Overseas applicants 12/6d.
THE FANCY DRESS BALL: Start thinking up your prize winning costume now. The theme this year is "2062 A.D." That one should cause you to think!
DISPLAYS: It is hoped that all fanzine editors will display their wares. In keeping with the Stateside custom, a special room in the Clarendon has been reserved for displays. Make the most of this reservation. Once again we are giving money prizes to the best fanzine displays. How about that! Advertise for new subbers and perhaps get paid for it, too!
AUCTIONS: A very important part of any convention is the auction. From our point of view the cash raised has often seen a loss turned into a profit. From your point of view, the auction is the place to pick up that odd magazine, book, item of artwork at ridiculously low prices. Fill your want lists the easy way! In recent years Nova original cover paintings have been sold at under £:1 each, handfuls of magazines have been sold at 6d per lot, an original Bradbury manuscript went at 35/-, and last year we almost had to give away one book! This year all the auction proceeds will be split 50-50 between two worthy causes, the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund and the Convention Treasury.
THE HOTEL MANAGERS, Bert Harman and Ian Baird are two fine, approachable types who are co-operating to make this year's Con a real swinging ball. In order to accommodate us, they are virtually tearing down their hotels and rebuilding them to our specifications. They have no objection whatsoever to room parties at normal (to us) hours of the night, though you are asked to remember that under the new laws, any after hours drinks which are ordered must be paid for by a hotel resident.
THIS NEWSLETTER has only sketched the skeleton of the Convention. If you are disappointed at the lack of detail herein, I'm sorry. You'll have to join the Convention, for following newsletters will be sent only to Con members and will set out further details of programme, prizes, and goodness! the hundred and one things that make a Con go!
SATURDAY APRIL 21st and SUNDAY APRIL 22nd
Please fill in this application form as accurately as possible. You have no idea how much a correctly completed form helps! Delete where applicable any part marked (X).
THE REGISTRATION FEES ARE:-
NO APPLICATION WILL BE CONSIDERED UNLESS ACCOMPANIED WITH THIS FORM AND THE APPROPRIATE FEE
A receipt will be issued to you as soon as possible and will give details of your Hotel Booking. All bookings must be completed through the Convention Secretary; the hotel will not accept direct bookings. Hotel tariffs are inclusive, covering bed & breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will pay the full board charge whether or not you take the meals, so come hungry!
Postal orders, cheques, etc., should be made out to "R.M. Bennett" and should he crossed.
Name:__________________________________ BSFA Member No_____(X)
I wish to apply for membership of the Easter 1962 BSFA Convention in Harrogate, and herewith enclose registration fee of ____
I shall be attending the Convention and request that a single/double(X) room for FRIDAY/SATURDAY/SUNDAY(X) nights be booked on my behalf.
If a double room is booked: I would prefer a double bed/two single beds (X)
I would prefer my booking to be made at the WEST PARK/ CLARENDON (X) Hotel. If, by the time my booking is received, this hotel is, full, I have no objection to being placed elsewhere/wish to cancel my booking (X)
I wish to take dinner on Friday evening/I will not be taking Friday dinner (X)
N.B. If you cancel your Hotel booking after 5th April 1962, you may be liable for the cost of the booking made with the Hotel in your name.