THE RECORDER.........................Friday, October 3, 1930

I think I've located all the columns in The Ilford Recorder devoted to the activities of the Ilford Science Literary Circle. These appeared:

October 31, 1930 * January 2, 1931 * January 23, 1931 * January 30, 1931
May 8, 1931 * July 24, 1931 * July 31, 1931

- and also WONDER STORIES, November 1931

The story of the Circle begins with the following letter, which appeared in the June 1930 issue of WONDER STORIES (scan by Mark Plummer):

This led to Walter Gillings contacting Kippin and the pair deciding to form an SF fan group, the first in the UK. The 18 year-old Gillings was then a cub reporter at the Ilford Recorder and his letter asking for interested parties to contact them was inserted into The Recorder's letter column by an indulgent editor. That letter has been scanned and is below. Unfortunately, it's also the hardest to read of all the Recorder scans so, for this one only, I've also included a transcript alongside.

Proposed Science Literary
Circle For Ilford
Dear Sir - We are writing to you in an attempt to bring together in Ilford all who are in sympathy with the furtherance of scientific achievement.
Ilford people, we understand, have shown themselves to be devotees of the arts. But the sciences have been sadly neglected, possibly because not only most Ilfordians but most Englishmen in general possess a strictly limited imagination regarding scientific matters, which the average individual surveys between very narrow limits, refusing to speculate boldly and without hesitation upon their future developments.

This, at least, is our impression.

Ideas such as have resulted in marvellous yet familiar present-day conveniences like the telephone, wireless, and aeroplane, have all been the subject of ridicule and a universal scepticism since the world began. Yet every successful scientific discovery has evolved from some highly speculative leap of the mind into the unknown, and there are several instances of writers of fantastic fiction anticipating the accepted truths of the future.

Such literature has always carried some degree of popularity through the efforts of Jules Verne and Mr H.G.Wells. But this kind of author is scarce in this country, and consequently there is a shortage of scientific fiction. The writers of this letter, however, can claim to have surmounted this difficulty and, being anxious to popularise this type of literature (which, we would emphasize, is an admixture of imagination and scientific FACT), propose to form a club and enable others with similar literary tastes to avail themselves of the opportunity of becoming familiar with more recent examples of "scientifiction".

In addition, anyone with literary ambition will be welcomed, as we hope to organise a writing section.

Will anyone interested, therefore, in the formation of this proposedly named "Science Literary Circle," please communicate at once with either of the undersigned, who will be pleased to furnish them with further particulars.

Yours etc,

55, Icknield-drive, Ilford

123, Grove Green-road,
Leytonstone E. 11