Saturday 17th April

(early programme | late programme)


On Saturday morning, round about 10-00am there was supposed to be an Auction by the Fan Group known as "Group 65". Unfortunately, there was some mix-up and this group didn't have any plans for an auction. In its place, the Committee put on an auction of about half of the stuff that was intended for the official Auction on Sunday.

Group '65. Front: Mike Moorcock, Charles Platt, Pete Taylor, Lang Jones


A trickle of humanity in varying stages of fatigue, hangover, and bleariness of eye began to invade the breakfast room. Archie found himself seated with me, Mike and Lang. I have to take his word for this, since I don't begin to operate on all cylinders until around 11.a.m. For this reason, I wish to apologise to anyone who happened to address me at breakfast and who received no acknowledgement of this courtesy. Try again next time - but later in the day!

Spotted by an eagle-eyed Chairman, I was later roped in to collect money at the first of the auctions, master-minded by Phil. They were doing very well until Archie slipped a handful of foreign coins in among the loose change…

Slater fils persuaded Slater père to buy him a fistful of fanzines, among which I spotted two copies of LINK #1. I begged for these - even offered to pay for them - and Ken said, "If they haven't any cartoons in 'em, he'll give them to you." MiK - your Beatle-Unicorns are obviously not classed by this young expert as cartoons - Master Slater handed over the LINKs without demur.

After the auction, I became brutal again, and dragged Phil off, wild-eyed and protesting, to the bar for liquid refreshment. Money-grabbing is thirsty work.


A certain amount of jollity was in evidence during the first auction, in which Phil Rogers tried his hardest to shift huge mountains of fairly worthless magazines and paperbacks. It was another failure of imagination, especially with the amount of professional talent present. This is where the committee's lack of experience showed, because it would have been so easy to have organised a panel discussion or invited Mike Moorcock to talk about his first year editing New Worlds, for instance.

Fortunately, the auction was followed by a talk from Geoff Doherty (a schoolteacher friend of Brian Aldiss) which was solidly interesting although his arguments might have gone over the heads of some of the audience. However, for the afternoon, all the committee had arranged were another two full-length films.

The audience. Ted Tubb swigs while Jim Groves and Dave Busby grin at camera (ns)


Geoff Doherty, now a training college lecturer, gave the first talk of the convention, citing definitions like "fantasy is non-statistical fact" and coming to the conclusion, via the opinions that the best sf comes from fantasy and that a good story comes only with the authority of experience, that there is no real difference between sf and fantasy.

George Scithers, 1963 DisCon Chairman and Hugo Award winner for his fanzine, AMRA, then spoke on the reasons behind the TriCon bid for the 1966 Worldcon siting. Ordinarily, the siting of the American worldcons does not play a large part in British fan affairs. This year, however, the British fan is being wooed earnestly for his vote because the voting for the siting of any world con takes place at the previous world con, thus the voting for next year's siting will take place in London in August. And of course, the audience will undoubtedly be predominantly British. There are two bidders for the 1966 gathering, Syracuse and TriCon. Originally, the TriCon group was made up of rival factions from Cleveland, Detroit and-Cincinnati, all of whom have now amalgamated their interests with a provisional convention hotel in Cleveland and with a guest of honour already lined up. The TriCon argument is basically the Rotation Plan, the system under which the worldcon sitings circulate in the USA. Obviously, in a country the size of the U.S. it would be unfair to hold every convention on say, the east coast. Accordingly, the Rotation Plan has been in operation for a number of years. The 1964 Worldcon was held on the west coast of America and by rights, under the system, this year's convention should be held somewhere in the centre or "mid-west" area. However, London has stepped in and has accordingly put back. the rotation plan by one year. It seems to follow, therefore, that if one agrees with the rotation plan then the TriCon bid is the obvious one.


I returned to the Convention in time for the Saturday Film Show, which featured "Conquest of Space" and "When Worlds Collide". Still having several things to do, in connection with the 'Fanzine Display' and the 'Art Show' I missed most of this Film Show. What I did see of "When Worlds Collide' was even worse than "Forbidden Planet". I guess this was because it was an old film and it showed its age. I've come to the conclusion that most S-F films are pretty poor because a) They're aimed at the General Public and not at S-F enthusiasts alone, and b) They're generally produced by some-one who will just as easily make a Western the very next day.

S-F may have 'come of age' in book form, but it still has a long way to go in the movies. 90% of S-F films still carry on with the time-worn theme of B.E.M.s and blondes in bathing suits. In fact most S-F films are hard to distinguish from Horror Films, I guess good box-office is better than good S-F. I personally feel that if some enterprising producer with a good fat budget could make an S-F film true to the story it's taken from... choose actors who suit the part and not for their box-office appeal... and also be pretty interested in S-F himself,... would still make a good profit at the box-office, because the film would be good in its own right and wouldn't have to sell by the advertising or its stars. Unfortunately, I think this is a long way off.... a pity.

Dave Busby, Ted Tubb, Phil Rogers, Jim Groves outside con hall (ns)


Saturday afternoon found five people sitting on somebody's bed. Doreen, me, Archie, Pete Weston and Jim Groves. Messrs. Moorcock, Jones and Platt or possibly just the first two - were dispensing music across the way. Archie seemed disposed to desert the bed-sitting quintet in favour of the musicians, but when I gave forth with my famous conversational gambit: "Shall we talk about sex or shall we lead up to it?" - he decided to stay. The ensuing discussion seemed to be on a to-be-continued basis, because it was later taken up, with variations, at Jim Groves's room-party. Word must have got around, because Jim finally had to refuse admittance to several groups of supplicants on the grounds that about fifteen people were already sitting on the grounds. That wasn't counting those on the bed, the chairs, the wardrobe, and among the bottles on the dressing-table.

It was during this party that Alan Roblin said: "Well, there's physical attraction, and then there's plutonic love …"

Later came the classic remark (the perpetrator of which shall remain mercifully Unidentified): "This conversation is getting mucky - kindly give me my pants and let me go."

Having ascertained that I wouldn't be making a fool of myself alone, I joined the Fancy Dress Parade. This was one of the very few disappointing events of the Con, for only eight people took the trouble to wear costume. The Mancunian Candidates swept the board - or almost - which is, one, understands, the usual custom. Not that they didn't deserve the prizes. They turned up as all sorts of horrors - Frankenstein and his monster, Dracula, a werewolf, etc. At that, they didn't scare me half as much as the fact that Green Henry was continually dogging my heels...


The traditional Saturday night party this year sported the title of Mad Raving Saturday Night Shindig. The level of ingenuity and originality was well up to the standard of recent conventions, with Beryl Henley as the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz and Brian Burgess as a meat pie. Rumour has it that Alan Dodd was present, disguised as a quote card. Once again the honours went to the Delta group, with Peter Day and Bill Burns taking first prize as - to quote the spokesman for the panel of judges, Ted. Tubb - "The Mad Scientist and his Tame Assistant." Chuck Partington was second. as "The Man with the Head and the Teeth" and. Harry Nadler was third as "The Atrocious Monster with a Gun in his Mitt!" By some sort of mutual consent, the party left the con hall to its own devices and moved on to Jimmy Groves' bedroom where it continued well into the early hours, one of the weekend's undoubted highlights.

Bill Burns, Peter Day, Chuck Partington (jg).


A gang of bods went in search of a room-party. It was a properly conducted search, i.e. the group was armed with suitable bottles. (Not empty ones!) The "Aliens" had said something about a party in 127, so, having tried someone else's room and found it unresponsive, we duly adjourned to 127. Somebody attacked the door, which was opened by about two inches; Brian Aldiss's voice politely invited the would-be invaders to go away, because those inside were filming or summoning-up demons or something. So they went.


Surprisingly, they really were filming in there. The Manchester group were making a film for the London Worldcon and Peter Day had scripted Breathworld, a spoof on Harry Harrison's Deathworld. In one scene, the hero is schooled by an inept instructor who manages to shoot himself in the foot with an automated weapon, and the opportunity of having Harry himself play the part of the instructor was just too good to miss. The Delta crew turned up with camera, lights, and props and shot Harry's scenes inside his hotel room, with prompting and assistance from Messrs. Aldiss, Boardman and Moorcock, and special effects scratched onto the film later. (An account of the filming of 'Breathworld' - with photos - can be found here.)

Once the filming was over the whole thing turned into a room party, and when around midnight Charles Platt unwisely appeared on the scene, I was among the select company privileged to see him seized and stuffed into a large oak wardrobe, the door locked, and the wardrobe tipped-over, face-down. If only Harry Nadler had kept his camera running a little longer this great fannish moment might have been preserved for posterity!

Harry Harrison later explained what happened:

Charles hadn't booked at the hotel and he'd talked Mike Moorcock into letting him sleep on Mike's floor. Then Charles came into the room party and kept whining at Mike to 'give him the key to our room.' Mike was unimpressed. When Charles kept on, Brian and Mike pushed him into the wardrobe and we all helped turn it face down—then sat on it. I do remember Brian, Tom Boardman and I were on it. He banged feebly to be let out. We laughed, and enjoyed it when someone managed to let loose a fart. Everything gets dim after that.


After the fancy dress parade, most fans seemed to split up into groups and head for room-parties, or to some distant Pub, for a good booze-up. In the Convention Hall, several fans were sitting round talking, getting drunk or just singing. It was with the tune of a bawdy song that I left to take Cynthia home. When I arrived back at the Hotel I ended up at a rather small room party held by Ken Cheslin. Ella Parker, Doreen Parker, Mr & Mrs James White and a few others were there. Later on, other people joined in and we finally had a pretty crowded affair. This carried on until the wee small hours until only four of us were left. Doreen Parker, Rog Peyton, Ed James and myself left Ken to dream of power and we tramped off to Doreen's room. After nattering away for some time, Mike Moorcock came in and prolonged the conversation for another hour or so. Finally, poor old Doreen was nearly asleep and so we quietly piled out of the room and headed for Mike's room. However, once there we found the twin beds were occupied by Julia Stone sprawled out on one and what looked like Gray Hall on the other.

When I first saw Mike Moorcock at the Convention, he'd been running down the stairs with Lang Jones - both of them were playing on imaginary trombones. Suddenly, he roared out a loud "TA-TA-TA-TARARA!" at the top of his voice, raising Julia about one foot off the bed - but not affecting Gray Hall. Looking at us rather sleepily, through one eye, Julia muttered "Oh, Ghod", and promptly went back to sleep again. Looking rather dejected, Mike and the rest of us left his room and proceeded towards Rog Peyton's.

Upon arrival there it was discovered that someone was already in Rog's room. Foaming at the mouth Rog finally got in and found that his bed was occupied also. By none less than Charles Platt! (Charles had apparently used his lock-picking skills to gain entry having chosen the room at random. Bad choice.) The floor was also occupied by some other fan. Needless to say, both were evicted immediately and the last I saw of Chas. Platt was in pyjamas, staggering down the corridor with shoes in one hand and clothes in the other.

Bloody free-loaders! If all the free-loaders at our Convention had paid for their rooms, we'd have got our full reduction in cost - as it was we had to make do with a much lesser discount.

Anyway, we sat talking for hours in Roger's room and finally the sun came up and the birds began to sing. Mike Moorcock signed my copies of "The Stealer of Souls" and "Stormbringer", and then disappeared to await breakfast. We also decided to wait for breakfast, because if we'd gone to sleep then we'd no doubt have missed dinner let alone breakfast. I refused bluntly to miss breakfast this time because I'd missed it on Saturday morning due to the fact that the Hotel didn't start catering until 8-00am. I thought this was pretty bad.