CYTRICON IV was held at The George Hotel in the town of Kettering over the Easter weekend, Friday 4th April to Monday 7th April, 1958. It issued no Programme Book or other convention literature, as far as we know.

Based on the list of confirmed attendees below - gleaned from conreports and photos - plus a couple of people I couldn't identify, I'd put attendance at around 50.

Jill Adams **
Ron Bennett
Eric Bentcliffe
Sid Birchby
Brian Burgess
Pete Chappell **
Dave Cohen
Cyril Evans
Audrey Eversfield
Barry Hall *
Sandra Hall *
Joan Hammett
Paul Hammett
Chuck Harris
Bill Harrison
John Humphries
Terry Jeeves
Eddie Jones
Eric Jones
Margaret Jones
Ivor Mayne **
Don MacKay
Renee MacKay
Ken McIntyre
Archie Mercer
Dave Newman
Stan Nuttall
John Owen
Ella Parker *
Nancy Pooley *
Bob Richardson
Phil Rogers *
John Roles
Sandy Sandfield
Frank Simpson
Ina Shorrock
Norman Shorrock
Phil Sless *
Ken Smith **
Iris Tubb
Ted Tubb
Jean Valis #
Norman G. Wansborough
Norman Weedall
Bryan Welham *
Peter West
Bobbie Wild
Jack Wilson

* Eastercon first timers... ** who were also registered at Worldcon
# Dave Newman's girlfriend, apparently. Not heard of in fandom before or since.

This was the first convention to be held in the UK since the 1957 Worldcon in London, which might have been expected to bring in a few new people.


This composite report derives from those listed below. My thanks to Greg Pickersgill for his invaluable help in sourcing most of these reports and for supplying scans.

  • The Long Hurrah - Sid Birchby (TRIODE #14 - Summer 1958, ed. Eric Bentcliffe & Terry Jeeves)
  • Kettering Report - Barry Hall (PERIHELION #3 - 1958, ed. Bryan Welham and Barry Hall)
  • CYTRICON IV Report - Bobbie Wild (FEMIZINE #10 [aka DISTAFF #1] - 1958, ed. Ethel Lindsay)

Photos from the albums of (jc) ?, (avc) Vince Clarke, (tj) Terry Jeeves, and (ns) Norman Shorrock, who did not necessarily take them. Most scans courtesy of Peter Weston, who wasn't always as diligent about attribution as one might hope. Unattributed photos were probably also from these albums, however.

.....Rob Hansen

Thursday 3rd April


Kettering. To me, that name now has a definite meaning and significance, but three months ago I'd hardly heard of the place and didn't even know where it was. In fact, I still don't. All I know is that you pay 37/6 at a Booking Office, change at Marks Tey and Cambridge and you're there. Actually, it's not as easy as that because I lost the tickets, but that's another story.

Bryan Welham, Barry Hall outside George Hotel (ns)

After five boring hours, Bryan and I arrived at Kettering, where we immediately searched out the George Hotel. We gave the register a quick once-over and found that we were the first fen to arrive, thus winning a private race with Ron Bennett. Ron was our first contact with extra-Clactonian fen, and he wasn't forthcoming until 4-15 in the afternoon. I found Ron a sincere fan with a streak of humour in him that makes him doubly nice to know. He invited us up to his room where we perused photographs of past Ketterings and got to know each other a little better. Ron told us what to expect over the coming weekend, But it wasn't anything like what actually did happen.

Not long after this, Ron introduced us to Dave Newman, that most likeable of characters who must get his energy either by direct link with a power station or a bheer barrel, for I didn't once see him relaxing. Thursday evening, Gillian Adams and Ken McIntyre arrived, both of whom we came to know better over the weekend.

Jill Adams (tj)

Ron Bennett (tj)

Friday 4th April


Things wore a bit slow Friday morning, but we passed the time before lunch playing a weird game of Brag involving umpteen packs which Dave Newman had found in some dark recess.

After lunch, Bryan and I retired to the Devils Kitchen - a form of lounge facing the Hotel entrance (from the inside) - to wait for the main bulk of fandom to roll in. One minute there was hardly anybody about, the next we were surrounded by a veritable flood of fen. There was Archie Mercer, John Roles, Sid Birchby, Eddie Jones, Terry Jeeves and dozens of others, including Eric Jones and Bob Richardson, who came enmeshed by masses of electronic apparatus such as tape-recorders, mikes, loudspeakers and Humph. Introductions became such lengthy processes, that they were finally given up and people came to know each other over the communal drink.


The sound of breaking crockery echoes through the hotel, and I wake thinking; 'The con's started.'

Someone in the kitchen has dropped a good selection of what is most breakable, and with such accuracy that I can identify each casualty by sound, starting with the hollow clonk of teapots .and ending with the rattle of spoons. I should say that the teaspoons and maybe, the tray are all that survive.

Rear: Cyril Evans, Peter West, Dave Cohen. Front: John Roles, Phil Sless, unknown, in the Devil's Lounge

Cyrtricon started for most of us on Good Friday. The Devil's Kitchen, the nearest lounge to the entrance, is the centre of activity from lunchtime till supper, when there is enough of an audience to make it worth while playing over a tape from Dale R. Smith. There's a most pleasant air of greeting, and as I sit beneath the assorted weapons adorning the lounge Walls, I can ask for nothing better than to be at Kettering for the Con.

Should one analyse a good time? Isn't it a leetle fugg-headed to try? Maybe it's just there to be enjoyed, like jazz.

Have a statistic. First at the Con, beating Ron Bennett by hours, are Clacton fans Welham and Hall, who arrive so early on Thursday that as time passes and no-one else shows up, they begin to think that the con has been called off.

Bobbie Wild, Jill Adams, Phil Rogers, Phil Sless, Ken McIntyre (tj)


I know it's usual for most fen to be exhausted at the end of a Con, but this year I reversed the process and was exhausted before I even arrived at Kettering. Ella (who has the makings of a Trufan except for one thing - you have to stand over her with a blunt instrument before she will put pen to paper) told me that she would be catching the 12.30 train from St. Pancras. It was twenty to four when I left Tresco, and I honestly didn't expect to arrive at Kettering until some ungodly hour as with my usual foresight, I hadn't looked up the timetables. I was lucky as I didn't have to wait anywhere and much to my surprise (and Ella's) I walked into the George Hotel at six thirty. Ina Shorrock saw me at the desk and immediately breezed over to bid me welcome. You know, if ever I throw a really big party, to ensure its success I shall ask Ina to be hostess. She has the most wonderful knack of putting the shyest persons at their ease and making them feel welcome and thoroughly at home, which must help to bring them out of their shells.

Bobbie Wild, Sandra Hall, unknown in foreground (ns)


Friday evening was most enjoyable. Groups of fen collected in the Devils Kitchen and, going from one group to another, Bryan and I soon came to know many of them. Fannish names became fannish faces, and fannish faces became definite personalities; we didn't find one person out of all the 48 attendees whom we didn't come to like. Terry Jeeves was one pleasant shock: I found him an extremely nice chap with a tinge of an accent in his voice which gave him added character. Looking at him, you just can't convince yourself that this bloke actually draws the soggies you see climbing all over TRIODE. Sid Birchby was another fan I enjoyed talking to, although you had to watch what you said in his presence because his pencil and notebook were always to hand. I recognised John Roles from the cover of the Fan Directory; I'm going to send John a sub for SPACE DIVERSIONS, which is the highest praise I can give. Archie Mercer Was Always On The Pun, and you can see that the ideal place for Archie is under the shadow of a Malleable Iron Works. I met so many new fen that to describe my feelings on meeting any separate one is a very difficult thing to attempt; suffice it to say that I found everyone excellent people to know.

Devil's lounge, Ina Shorrock standing. Sitting clockwise: Dave Newman, Bill Harrison, Jill Adams, Terry Jeeves,
Bryan Welham, Phil Rogers, Norman Shorrock (tj)


Friday evening. Ivor Mayne, Ron and I go to see 'Pal Joey' under the impression that Frank Sinatra will sing, Rita Hayworth dance, and Kim Novak act? If this were not a decent family magazine I would describe how our eyes were opened. It takes a two-hour tape session of the Goon Shows and Little Richard, back at the Hotel, to stop me twitching.


Friday night, of course, was the gathering of the fans, many of whom hadn't seen each other since the last Con. I was sorry to see that none of the Belfast contingent were present, and very, very few of the London Circle. Brian and Barry from Clacton were there and a couple of very pleasant and intelligent chaps they are, too. However the rest of British fandom was well-represented. For someone who was dog tired I managed fairly well as I seem to recall it was half past one in the morning when I suddenly realised that by some oversight I hadn't had a cup of tea since before I left Tresco. Ella hadn't had one either, and Bill, that wonderfully kind night porter, said he would bring some to my room. He did too, and after that it was easy to tumble into bed and drop straight off to sleep.


We mostly turn in about midnight, so as to gather strength for the next two nights. A few choose to wait up for Brian Burgess, who has phoned the hotel to say that he is hitch-hiking very slowly in the wrong direction, and that, having reached Scotland, he is now back on course, and will they leave the front door open.


I decided to stay up that night to meet the indefatigable Brian Burgess who wasn't arriving till late. This is an understatement as he didn't get in until 3-30 on the Saturday morning. However, meeting him, I think it was worth it. Brian is slightly eccentric, and shares his one bad habit with my brother, which is his ability to drop off to sleep at the slightest provocation.