Monday 7th June


The next morning I had to be at the firm for 8 a.m. and after a very rude awakening I eventually arrived at my desk only half-an hour late but in a very debauched condition. Later in the day I was reminded of the convention by a traveller (I'm a buyer for a hardware firm) who desired to sell me a new soap product called ZAP!!! He did not get an order.


Like almost everybody else I'd gone to Manchester with an outsize chip on my shoulder. Anybody living beyond Lancaster was completely outside my pale, and I firmly intended to be cynical at the Convention and vituperative as soon as I got home to my typer. I was going to crucify Northern Fandom, ridicule anybody who wasn't a cash subber to HYPHEN, and state explicitly who got made. I was going to have two drinks each night, and spend my time egging on the suckers to quote themselves all to hell and and gone.

I wish I knew what happened to that chip and the good resolutions. Even before the Saturday morning session was over, I'd gotten through my drink quota for the whole weekend, was happily posed on the "Volsted Gridban Fullsize Bedpan" for Fred Robinson's candid camera, and was clasping to my bosom all sorts of people that I'd been mentally reserving barge-poles. And it was wonderful.

Harry Turner (ht)

Eric Needham (eb)

Northern Fandom was just about the biggest surprise of my life. They didn't have tails, they weren't morons, and-----Ghod help us all----- they didn't want to trample on me or spit in my eye. Liverpool fandom especially impressed me as a bunch of Trufans. I met John Roles, Norm and Ina Shorrock, and hordes of other Liverpudlians whose names have vanished along with the beer, and I found, them all likeable friendly people who were a pleasure to meet and to talk to. I came away from Manchester strongly approving of Northern Fandom. It goes without saying that I approve of Southern Fandom.


From early breakfast to near noon, when Chuck, Pete, Ron Deacon, Dave Cohen and I caught a taxi, a constant stream of people saying goodbye littered foyer of the Grosvenor. Vandy and her taxi disappeared loaded to the gunnels - the taxi not the occupants since the drinks had run out again. The Shorrocks helped Dave to say goodbye to us then tore off to catch their own train which left ten minutes later. And, as we sank back into our comfortable seats, we wished how we wished that the next Con. was only a week away.


The rest of Monday seemed like a dream. Everyone had gone, apart from Sandy and Ethel. I remember showing Ethel the sights of Manchester - or at least I started to, but the infernal rain wouldn't let us move any distance. We ended up at Victoria Station. (It has a roof, and it is one of the biggest sights I know),I remember the three of us getting on a bus with the intention of going to Belle Vue, but we talked so much that it wasn't until Sandy remarked we were going a devil of a long way for 2 1/2d that I realized we had gone miles past the stop. This turned out to be one of those queer unreal-seeming coincidences because as we clattered down the stairs and onto the pavement we saw Frank Simpson sat inside the bus. By the time we had recovered from our surprise there were a hundred yards separating us, but this didn't deter Frank. He yelled something about "Cannon Street 3.00pm". I remember going back to a cafe in Cannon Street and being joined by Dave Cohen and Frank. Then the five of us did go to Belle Vue. (I'm still trying _to figure out why.) By this time the rain had stopped, and we wandered all over the place. It developed into another of those talking sessions were everybody is extremely witty in a fannish way, or so it seems at the time, but you can never remember what was said. If you do, it rarely sounds as funny as it did at the time. I do recall that Sandy reverted to his role of cynic and succeeded in insulting everybody in a humorous way. (That boy has a talent for sarcasm). I remember we had something to eat somewhere, and that we ended up at the Grosvenor. We stayed there until the bar closed and imbibed and talked. It never once seemed real though somehow. Aftermath of a Convention.


And so Monday came to an end. I didn't leave Manchester until Wednesday night, but I never succeeded in recapturing the enjoyment and fun of the weekend, Summing up the Con I would say it was a great social success. From my personal viewpoint I enjoyed every minute and wish it was not so long until the next time.


And those are my sentiments also I couldn't add to them in any way.


For 48 hours we relaxed under the pleasantly soothing and friendly hospitality of northern fandom, starting back on Monday morning without Bert, of whom we'd had no word, and without Walt Gillings, a casualty of a late-night Sunday party at Harry Turner's. I took his place in the fabulous taxi, and we proceeded to make the journey back even fabulouser. Nothing broke down, we kept in touch, and we got quote-taking drunk.

Dave Newman, John Brunner, Ted Tubb, Ken Bulmer, Daphne & Ron Buckmaster (ns)

The contents of the taxi consisted of Pamela Bulmer, Daphne Buckmaster, John Brunner, myself and the bottom half of Dave Newman, who was standing on the seat most of the way. The top half was leaning out of the roof, blaring at passing traffic with a hand-operated klaxon, keeping the cars in sight, and occasionally shouting something quotable down to us. The cars were taking notes too, but we had most of the talent:

  • The perfect fanzine would duplicate itself - you'd take two copies and leave them together in a dark room.
  • I had to lower my mind to understand him.
  • They're going to call their house Ill Repute.
  • There's a Conservative fete down there; that's a fete worse than death.
  • You can use your prehensile toes now; I've finished with them.
  • She found her coat in the Gents Cloakroom.
  • The garage attendant wanted to know if we needed petrol or whether we used a charcoal burner.
  • It's quite clean but it's funny.
  • He's got a very fine streak in his character.
  • I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm an introvert who was meant to be an extrovert.
  • You should have a less conspicuous vehicle, such as a hearse.
  • This is the Fanarmada playing ducks and drakes with the traffic.
  • Offer to mend his windscreen wiper for a copy of NIRVANA.
  • There's a flying saucer in front marked Left tentacle drive.
  • I wonder why so many of these quotes, are sexy?
  • She said something clean - throw her out.
  • Bad to worse to Convention.
  • I thought we'd hit something then----Its all right, its only a band playing The World is Waiting for the Sunrise.
  • That pipe's so foul you can see the nicotine coming out of the welts of his shoes.
  • The trouble with interlineations is that its such a job to find text to put them.
  • I weigh nine stone two, but I don't tell anybody.
  • This Con has put 5 years on my appearance, but inside I've sloughed off 15.
  • She was a woman of tender years--her year-rings were too heavy.
  • You can reduce this Con Report to a series of
  • There's an appalling mess of arms and legs in the back of that taxi.
  • Someone pinned a badge on Chuck's seat and for the next half-hour everyone was telling him he was a bum secretary.
  • I came up to a hotel porter listening in the corridor at two o'clock and he said "I'm going in there - they're breaking things".

And many more (how I can sympathise with the Lord Chamberlain now....). We had fine weather most of the way back, we were able to stroll around Lichfield and look at the Cathedral and a fair, but it was raining as we went into London...a properly suitable melancholy end. We'd enquired about Bert on the way back, found he'd reported to the police back along the route, and, finding a suitable hitch handy, had gone back to town. Poor Bert - he thought it was going to be an organised Con, I think.