4. KETTERING & THE END OF INCHMERY

SKYRACK 20 (20 June 1960):

GEORGE LOCKE writes on the Whit weekend get together at Kettering: “Alan Rispin and Jim Linwood made a big splash in the Wickstead Park boating lake. The boat sank but was salvaged. Ella Parker was in stitiches staples. A local nightspot had us chipping our own ice out of the fridge. On the Saturday six fen (Ella, Jim, Alan, Bob, Archie and Jhim) went out in one boat, rowing round in circles (except for Ella. who never feuds). We dined at Ivy’s Cafe. They were disappointed because I’m not in the Royal Army Kettering Corps. The Slaters’ party arrived on Sunday. Various meetings were held by the BSFA, The 1961 Con Committee and the “Young Fans.” Attendees were Ella Parker, Archie Mercer, Jim Groves, Jhim Linwood, Alan Rispin, Ted Forsyth, Bob Parkinson, Keith Freeman, Ken & Joyce Slater, Dave Eggleton and George Locke.”

A full-length report by George can be found here:

In his report, George mentions passing a gate bearing a sigh for a vet named Dave Kyle:

"Rispin and I left the hotel one night and ripped the David Kyle sign off the gate and gave it to Ella - it hung on the wall of Ella's Canterbury Road flat for a few years. Lucky he didn't mention how it was acquired or Rispin, Ella and I would have been on a criminal charge. I got to know Bob Parkinson at the minicon and we started Nottingham Fandom - the Notfen."

- Jim Linwood

On the evening of June 1st, Joy Clarke told Vin¢ that she intended moving to the United States with Sandy Sanderson and baby Nicki, and that she and Sanderson wanted to marry. In the wake of the break-up, Vin¢ sent out two circular letters about the situation, the first on 5th June and the second on 1st July.

AS MOST FANS WILL KNOW BY NOW, Inchmery fandom has split up under extremely sad circumstances. Sandy and Joy are still at Inchmery and hope to emigrate to the States as soon as possible. Nicki and Vince are currently at 1 Pepys Road, New Cross, London SE 14.Vince writes that he is settling down in his new flat and is trying to pick up the pieces. He thanks the numerous people who have written letters of encouragement and sympathy, and has been much helped by them; they will be answered as time permits. Vince says that the future is still pretty dark and whether he will have the time or the inclination to do any more fanning is still an open question, but it is open.

SKYRACK 21 (25 July 1960):

With the first mention of a change of venue for SFCoL meetings.

SCIENCE FICTION CLUB OF LONDON PARTY. At the invitation of Sister Ethel Lindsay the meeting of the SFCoL scheduled for 1st July was held two days later at Courage House. Arthur “Atom” Thomson brought along his wife, Olive, and child, Heather, the latter having brought in her turn her latest new toy, a “biff-bat” which has a ball attached to the bat by a piece of elastic. There was an unofficial competition to see who could hit the ball with the bat most times. The snag was avoiding being hit in the face by the ball on its return trip. I’d love to report that Heather won the contest but in fact Vince Clarke was the victor with at least 98 hits. Ethel provided us with one of those Wobbly balls and we tried our hands (?) at a game of football. When the ball won’t travel towards the point at which it is aimed it causes much hilarity and it also provided much needed exercise for us city types. It was a treat to sit out on the terrace in deck chairs to have our teas. Ethel did us proud in the way of refreshments. Those of us who took full advantage of her hospitality were: Ken & Irene Potter, Jimmy Groves, Arthur, Olive and Heather Thomson, Vince and Nicki Clarke, Don Geldart and Ella Parker. Unfortunately, George Locke had to stay in barracks and do some work for a change and Ted Forsyth had left for the north in connection with his job, so he too was absent. We broke up at 9.30, tired and happy, having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. (Ella Parker)

Vin¢ Clarke's question as to whether he would "have the time or the inclination to do any more fanning" was answered soon after this when he gafiated completely. He spent the next twenty years raising daughter Nicki, whom he had not allowed Joy and Sandy to take to the US with them, and did not reappear in fandom again until the early 1980s.

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