CYTRICON III was held at The George Hotel in the town of Kettering over the Easter weekend, Friday 19th April to Monday 22nd April, 1957. It was unprogrammed and had no Programme Book or other convention literature. Unlike the previous two Cytricons it doesn't appear to have had a badge either. However, there is one photo taken here that's intriguing in this regard since it shows Bill Harry wearing what looks very much like a con badge.

Total attendance at the convention was reckoned by Archie Mercer to be around the 30 mark, and 35 are listed below. This list of confirmed attendees was gleaned from conreports and photos.

Ron Bennett *
Eric Bentcliffe
Les Childs
Audrey Eversfield
Bill Harry *
John Humphries
Terry Jeeves
Dave Jenrette

* Knighted at con

Rusty Jenrette
Eddie Jones *
Eric Jones
Margaret Jones
Ken McIntyre
Archie Mercer
Jill Micklethwaite
Dave Newman *
John Owen *
Dorothy Ratigan
Jim Ratigan
Peter Reaney
Bob Richardson
John Roles *
Sandy Sandfield
Eunice Shaddock
Geoff Shaddock
Sue/Sandra Shaddock
Ina Shorrock *
Norman Shorrock *
Ken Slater
Irene Tubb
Ted Tubb
Norman Weedall *
Cyril Whitaker
Jack Wilson

Dave Jenrette, Bill Harry (with badge?), Ron Bennett (ns)

There are two known reports on this convention only one of which, by Dave Jenrette in PLOY #10 (September 1957, ed. Ron Bennett), has any real substance and it is this that appears below. The other one, 'Oh My Head' (by Laurence Sandfield writing as 'Sandra Laurence'), appeared in TRIODE #11 (August 1957, ed. Eric Bentcliffe and Terry Jeeves) as did a few comments on the con by the editors. These have been included, too.

STOP PRESS: Another report has been turned up by Mark Plummer in EXCELSIOR #3 (June 1957, ed. Lee Hoffman & Larry Shaw):

Between Little Richard and the Deep Blue Sea - by Archie Mercer.

Jenrette was a US fan in Britain with the USAF. Given that he sets off for the con from East Raynham, he was almost certainly based at nearby RAF Sculthorpe. As noted in wikipedia, "by 1957, hosting 10,000 personnel it was the biggest United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) base in Europe". According to Ron Bennett:

Dave was posted over here at the time, flying nicely primed nuclear bombs around in the skies for SAC. His colleagues were shipped home on a regular basis with nervous breakdowns. He hailed from Florida and had been well-known in fandom under the surname of Howard, the adjustment being made when he joined the Air Force and the authorities insisted on his original name, rather than that under which he'd been brought up after his mother had remarried. This pleased his wife. "Anyone can be called Howard," Rusty said, "but how many people are called Jenrette?" [1]

Though not noted by Jenrette, this was the occasion of the first Order of St. Fantony ceremony, which presumably took place at 10pm on Saturday evening. Those knighted during this are as asterisked above.


Symbol on armour is Ā (null-A)

Photos are from the albums of (ns) Norman Shorrock and (tj) Terry Jeeves.

Friday 19th April


Some people, like Ron Ellik, can write conreports by the handful covering many aspects of the thing, often from different and. contradictory viewpoints. This is a trait and ability I envy sometimes, but I can't really write a complete con report unless I've got something to gripe about.

This isn't saying that Kettering was an out and out perfect gathering - it wasn't. On the other hand, it wasn't trying to be anything more than a get together, a fraternal flocking of fen. As such, it succeeded very well.

Rusty (my redheaded wife) and I planned to leave East Raynham in Norfolk, on Saturday morning, but on Friday evening we kept asking ourselves why we didn't leave immediately. Couldn't think of any good answers, so we loaded our suitcases and then the car and off we went.

A short note on English roads to those who are innocent. There are never (hardly ever) any signs directing you to a number of towns. No indeed. All you can do is get to one town and then the sign tells you the next town. If your maps or navigation is in error: too bad.

Fortunately, we had only one error in navigation and it only cost us about 15 minutes. This is pretty good, actually.

Norman & Ina Shorrock, Bill Harry, John Owen (tj)

We arrived at the George Hotel at 10.35 or thereabouts. We dropped our things and headed for the residents lounge, copies of QUELLES HORREURS #3 at the ready. We looked in and found a number of people calmly talking and sitting around. We were about to excuse ourselves and leave. This was no fan gathering. No yelling, no strange costumes, no liquor bottles sprawling about.... when someone noticed our fanzines. We inquired and sure enough it was a fan group. After this we felt right at home. I recall some discussions with Eddie Jones on artwork; and there were Norman and Ina Shorrock, Archie Mercer, Eric Jones, Dave Newman, and assorted others. In a few minutes, having mentioned that I liked strong drink, I was holding half a water glass of rum and rather enjoying it.

Archie Mercer, Eric Jones (ns)

The tape recorder was going and I heard Boyd Raeburn being soundly answered and reprimanded.

((Editorial Note: Boyd sent the Liverpool Group a tape criticising their pronunciation of the word "Ghod" in their tape-play LAST AND FIRST FEN - Bennett))

He was also introduced to that infamous expression D-----t N--o.

The various events of the evening are difficult to place in chronological order, and indeed, might have happened on some other evening or day, but who cares?

Eddie Jones, Geoff Shaddock, Terry Jeeves (tj)

In the Devil's Kitchen (so named for its statue of the devil and assorted infernal devices, including man traps. There is also a weird looking thing that Rusty thought was some terrible instrument of torture. I tried it, and it turned out to be a device for opening the windows) we drank tea and coffee as served at all hours by Bill, the genial waiter. I was also an innocent coat holder in a ferocious duel between Bennett and Shorrock using stamp tweezers as weapons. And so on and so forth. Rusty got tired and so did other people and they drifted off to bed.

Being a serious student of games, I was interested in a game called Brag that the English fen play. Ron Bennett and Norman and Ina Shorrock began my education. At first (deuced clever of them) I was an easy winner but this was not to last. Things kept getting worse and worse and when play halted at 4.30 am, I found myself loser to the extent of about twenty-two shillings. Ron Bennett made Brag history by taking in a pot total 4 pounds and 17 shillings on one hand

Ina & Norman Shorrock, Ron Bennett, Dave Jenrette (tj)

((Editorial note; This included a dollar bill, a Penny Black and a couple of pounds sterling - Bennett))