This is BRUMBLE 5, produced for the Birmingham Science Fiction Group in June 1965. This is the last of the Newsletters produced for the 1965 Convention which was held in the Midland Hotel, in New Street, Birmingham. This was published by Charles Winstone, 71, George Road, Erdington, Birmingham, 23 - to whom all enquiries about future issues should be addressed. BRUMBLE 5 was printed by Pete Weston, 9, Porlock Crescent, Northfield, 31.

This issue of 'Brumble” is copyright 1965, to C.D. Winstone.

Who would like to apologise (but not too profusely) for the delay in getting this issue to the members.

P.1. MiK.
P.2. This page, typed by C. Winstone (Come to that all of this ‘Brumble’ was typed by me!)
P.3. Editorial by C. Winstone.
P.6. 'Brumcon Comment’ by MiK.
P.8. Illo for 'Nadir' - slightly modified - was drawn by MiK.
P.12. 'The Fortieth Cuckoo' by Ken Cheslin.
P.13. Convention Accounts by Ken Cheslin.
P.14. (Back Cover) 'Ken Cheslin as Yorick' drawn by MiK, starring Olaf as Crown Prince Hamlet.

All of the internal illustrations were drawn by MiK.


Right, well, Ken's had a bash (see p. 12), MiK's had a go (see p. 6) so I guess I might as well put my two-bits in...

This little 'Editorial' was originally written by MiK, and now I'm going to rewrite it. I hope he doesn't mind....

It all started some fifteen months ago, - the Brummies, in a fit of derring-do, talked Ken Cheslin into standing up and calling for the 1965 Convention venue to be Birmingham. This he did, not without some misgivings. After all the British Science-Fiction Association's Committee was also centred upon Birmingham. Still, there were plenty of Brummies (easter Brummies, as they were christened by Archie Mercer) around - it was surely not an impossible task to put on a Convention.

As months went by the frenzy grew, in June 1964, came and went, the Hotel was booked. The Film Show programme was suddenly decided upon in September October and November and the films themselves were ordered at the last minute, in January. After long, two hour debates over the last two months of 1964, the Convention Committee gradually thrashed out a kind of programme. The Convention Committee, incidentally, were made up of the three resident B.S.F.A. Committee members ie. Ken Cheslin, Roger Peyton and Charles Winstone plus Mike Higgs (alias MiK) and Cynthia Grant.

(In spite of comments from some quarters - it was upon these five that the Convention Arrangements devolved. At no time were the other Birmingham and Area group members excluded from helping. As it was the five received many valuable hints and suggestions to help in the Convention arranging.)

Anyway, the frantic pace carried on, (in between B.S.F.A. meetings) - the Convention Journal was issued ('Brumble' - of which more later) at sporadic intervals. Four of them - each one a fanzine in its own right.

Came the last two months, and it was discovered that the Hotel decorations were not started, neither, except for a few items, was the Convention Booklet. So, MiK's arms were twisted, unravelled, and he was forced into a short spell of slavery. For night after day he slaved, on sketches and stencil. He was dashing from Ken Cheslin, back to his board and back to Ken again. It seemed that the badges etc. would be late for the Convention as well as the programme booklet.

Then on the last Sunday before the Convention, there was a mass meeting of the Brummies at MiKs Mansion. The horde rushed into his house (between three and four o'clock in the afternoon) and waited to be told what to do. Mik arrived and soon got things organised. Soon the Booklets were collated and stapled. In the front bay-window, two figures huddled over a pile of cards, pins and tape. (The badges were being manufactured). An indian file of figures scuttled around in a circle in the front room, pinking up and putting down sheets of paper. Two figures crouched over the infernal machine that is the stapler, taking it in turn to thump it. (Birmingham has the only steel-staple tipped fingered fans in fandom). In the living room and the kitchen stood two or three immobile figures, lost in contemplation of a large sheet of paper pinned to the wall. MiK, lost in thought stood in front of the paper pondering upon the subject that was to be hung in the Convention Hall. Time passed, with but four days to go to the Convention, it was getting rather urgent that something should be drawn and painted. Finally, in a burst of bewildering creative frenzy, MiK attacked the tauntingly blank sheet of paper. Gradually, a shape took shape, the outline grew and then the sword was drawn. One of the Brummies was persuaded to sit cross-legged on the floor, so that the picture could be drawn from life. MiK delegated the job of painting in the large areas of colour to a Brummie, and then drew some smaller pictures for the other Brummies to work on. Ten o'clock, and then Brummies had gradually drifted away. MiK arranged for one or two to turn up and continue the work the next day, and soon he was alone with Cynthia.

Next day, the work continued on the mural and its associated figures (MiK had apparently been working on 'til 3 o'clock, for it did not look so incomplete in the cold light of day). A major problem was presented by the transporting of this large picture to the Convention Hotel, with no-one seeing the subject of it. (It would have drawn all the Witches and Warlocks, etc, to the scene like flies.)

Fortunately, the thing could be rolled up, and so MiK could get it into his van. Soon it was in the Hotel, and hung in the Hall. (This was done with the aid of the Hotel Management, who, I think were a little perturbed by the whole affair of the Convention. There was one upstairs maid who was most put out...)

Came Thursday, and Friday, and the Brummies trickled into the Hotel and so the decorations continued - splashes of paint on paper all night, then on Friday evening it was all done (nearly) and the stage was set, for the Brumcon 2 Convention of 1965.

Well that's the story of the preliminaries to the Convention. MiK has done a sort of report (from his viewpoint) so I don't think I'll do another. Suffice it to say, that in spite of a lot of anxious moments during the weekend, it was not such a bad show as most people thought. We did not have such a large crowd as usual. The Worldcon obviously is the culprit there. It was a very large Hotel - a little rambling - in fact on one floor you turn left, and carry on walking, you go up three flights of stairs, still turning corners - and end up on the spot you started from. Most odd! Anyway, we, the Brumcon Committee, would like to offer our grateful thanks to :- the Hotel Staff, and to Brian Aldiss, Tom Boardman, Harry Harrison, Dick Howett, Mike Moorcock, Phil Rogers, Ken Slater, Ted Tubb, James White for the help and the entertainment that they gave to the Convention over the weekend. We thank also, all of you Conventioneers who turned up AND those who didn't, for the moral support that they gave (and their cash) through the year.

I have, as a result of the Convention quite a lot of books that I cannot really afford, I've got three books that were actually won in the raffle (the first prize - 'Lord of the Rings' was won by Brian Aldiss). These three books are the second and third prize - two books for second and one for third. I'll send them to who ever won - second prize was won by the 'Red 6' ticket, and the third prize was won by the 'Red 4' ticket. If no-one claims (send me the tickets) I'll put these three books in next years Auction. I've got a button - a facsimile of a French coin - I wonder who lost that?

Now, a word about 'Brumble'.

From now on, 'Brumble' will be classed as the Birmingham groups magazine. It started life as the brain-child of Cliff Teague and Mike Higgs (well, they thought of the name). It is intended to be a general interest 'zine, but at the time they thought of it, nothing came of it. When the Brum group took on the Convention for 1965, it was decided to use the title for the Official Convention News-sheet. So, 'Brumble’ was/is born. After getting it started, it seems a pity to let it just wither away, so the thing will be appearing, sporadically from now on.

This issue is mainly reports on the Convention and about the Convention but future issues will be about anything and everything, Every member of the BSFG will be entitled to contribute to it, if they can put their contributions onto stencil. Each issue will have an editorial by a different member and these can be about anything. We’d like to get stuff from other groups of course - anything to increase contact between the different Fan Groups and to abolish the lone-wolf fan.

MiK points out that he is sending copies of this 'Brumble' – No 5 to a lot of his subscribers to 'Shudder' and that he will not be putting a Con-report into ' Shudder'. Which brings us most obviously to the various fanzines produced by the Brum-group, 'Shudder', by MiK is already given. Peter Weston produces 'Zenith - Speculation' this is up for the 1965 Hugo Awards - not bad for a new Fanzine. I myself, have two - 'Nadir' and 'Whim' . Oh, and Peter Weston produces 'Nexus'. We have affiliated Editors in our locality - Beryl Henley publishes 'Link' and 'Oz'. Another publisher we acknowledge is Ken Cheslin, late of OMPA. His 'Whatsit' and 'Les Spinge' are world famous. We also have had the pleasure (?) of introducing the emetic known as 'Elephantasia'.

That pretty well sums up the Editorial - you'll be hearing from us, in the near future, I've no doubt.
The Editor, Charlie Winstone

By MiK

The 1965 B.S.F.A. Convention was held in Birmingham this year, at the Midland Hotel, over the Easter Weekend, However, the whole thing started at the previous B.S.F.A. Convention in Peterborough in 1964. It was here that 'Brum' got the vote for holding a Convention by a majority of one (most of the Brum Group didn't vote) Things were started off then, by Ken Cheslin taking registrations (Ken had been made, by mutual consent, the Convention Chairman.)

A Committee was formed comprising Ken Cheslin, Roger Peyton, Charlie Winstone and myself. Ken was the only real official among the Committee members - he became the Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary all at one go. The three BSFA Committee Members (ie. the names above, excluding myself) got down to work almost immediately, but I had to leave my part (the Convention Booklet, Badges, and Hall Decorations) until later in the year, in favour of my commitments to artwork for Fanzines and my own Fanzine.

When I had finally finished off all my commitments, I started on the work at hand. The delay in starting on the Convention business left me in the position of drawing the last pages of the Convention Booklet as Ken and Roger were printing them. The backdrop was done at the same time, and everything was finished off on the Convention Eve, at about 3-30am in the morning.

Then I snatched a few hours of sleep and went to work. Conventions are great fun, folks! Hahahahaha!

The 1965 Convention started at about 6-30pm on Friday 16th April, with booking in. Fans milled around meeting each other and looking up old friends, booking into their rooms and having tea, etc.

At 8-00pm. the Convention was supposed to be officially opened - but it turned out (as usual) to be late. Fans met this years' Guest of Honour, who was Harry Harrison, (and in my opinion the best G.o.H. any Convention could possibly have) eventually.

Round about 8-45pm we got the Friday Film-show under way. Dick Howett very kindly acted as projectionist (he supplied his own film projector, too) The main film was 'Forbidden Planet' which was probably one of the corniest space opera films I've ever seen. However, it seemed to please everyone present, so maybe my opinion isn't worth that much. I will admit though, that I thought the "Monster" in it was damned good, but the whole thing simply stank of Hollywood glamourization. Also shown were three (I think) cartoon films. Roger Peyton had insisted to me that they were not 'cartoons', but 'documentaries'. I, being of superior intellect in the cartoon line, was proven right, heh heh!

Anyway, the rest of the evening was left to all kindred spirits to drift around at will. This they did, until the wee small hours. I met a few friends and sat up some time with Ken Cheslin, boozing and stuffing ourselves with chicken and chips. It was pretty late when I went to bed and once more I had to rise early, as I was required to work on Saturday morning.

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, After this, fans heard a talk by G.H. Doherty on behalf of the Tricon in 1966. George Sclthers was supposed to have spoken after this, but his talk was postponed until the Sunday Evening. Lunch followed all this, and 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.

Everyone went out for tea after the films and came back about 7-00pm for the party. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough people present to make this a great success…due to the fact that the Worldcon is being held in London during August, and most fans couldn't afford the two Conventions.

People drank all the booze first and then watched the fancy dress parade at about 8-00pm. Most of the prizes in the fancy dress were won by the 'Alien' mob, who always take time and trouble to go in for this sort of thing. Their costumes were darn good - they truly deserved to win. I noticed that Eddie Jones didn't wear a costume this year, which was a pity, for he generally comes up with a good one. I also noticed that none of the Brum Group had costumes on. This was letting the side down a bit. I think that the Committee can be excused, we had enough to do, but not the other members. I'm dying to see the Convention in which almost everyone comes in fancy dress and only a minority don't, rather than the other way round as the situation stands at present. People don't realise that this sort of thing helps make a Convention. It's this sort of attitude that makes fandom the minority movement that it most definitely is. In fact, we'd conceived a special trophy to be presented for a year, to the winner - but we didn’t feel that there were enough entrants to make it worthwhile the presenting, and so this was postponed until some future Convention.

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 pf 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! Ta-tara-ra-taraaaa! 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.

Anyway, we managed breakfast and then staggered off to prepare for the day's programme. Around 10-00am the B.S.F.A. Annual General Meeting was held in which several points of interest were raised and dealt with. One of the points was 'to make a better job of 'Vector', the Journal of the B.S.F.A. Roger Peyton continues in the post of Editor of this publication.

This was followed by the prize-giving and I was particularly pleased to see Terry Jeeves win the Doc Weir Award. The A.G.M. was followed by Lunch. Cynth and I nipped across the road and had lunch at the "Rice Bowl" restaurant. We were back in time to hear Harry Harrison's talk. This was one of the funniest talks I'd ever heard and I think that everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.

Harry's talk was followed by a 'pro-panel' featuring Brian Aldiss, Tom Boardman, Harry Harrison, Mike Moorcock, Ted Tubb and James White.

Then followed the Brumcon 2 Auction - which was surely the craziest Auction at any Convention. We didn't have one auctioneer, but four! Harry, Brian, Mike and Ted rambled on with this auction for ages. It was about the most entertaining event in the whole day. Needless to say, it was also a big success. Actually, the auction took so long to complete that we had to leave part of it until after tea.

At tea-time most of the Brummies headed for the "Fleur de Lys" cafe at the top of New Street, and spent a mad hour there. I spent most of the time coaxing the waitress into giving me more custard on my apple pie. Finally we went back to the Hotel and staged the official close-down. After the final speeches had been made, we heard a talk by George Scithers on behalf of the Syracuse Convention After this, booze was provided by the Tricon Committee. As the drink sank over the horizon, many fans drifted away to the inevitable room-partieis or sat around in groups talking and singing etc. Cynthia and myself circulated round for a a bit and then headed for my room. It was when we got there that we met the G.O.H. Harry 'Deathworld' Harrison and his charming wife. They were in the the next set of rooms to mine. Harry very kindly invited Cynth and me in for a drink, we duly accepted (me always being ready for a free drink) and sat there for a long time talking about anything and everything. Arthur Pottersman from the 'Sun' was also there,... and later Brian Aldiss. (How's that for name dropping!)

Harry had us in stitches with his conversation and so did his wife, who was one of the liveliest people we'd met. I was delighted to learn that Harry was once a comic strip artist and then a strip writer. He related many interesting stories from his comic-book days, and both of them expressed a certain gratitude to "Flash Gordon" who served as 'bread and butter' to Harry in his his early days of writing.

Cynth certainly liked them both - especially Mrs. Harrison - and this means they gotta be 'Hokay' people, because Cynth doesn't get on with everyone.

what struck me as being pretty nice was the fact that they were interested in me and listened attentively while I rattled on about my hopes and dreams. Many pro's only go on about themselves and never think about anyone else. Rather reluctantly, I decided it was time to hightail it outa there, when several of Harry's personal friends showed up. I hate to hog anyone's evening. Cynth and I bade them all goodnight and left them, about 10-00pm. Having left Harry's we drifted round a bit and then went to Roger Peyton's room to listen to records and Cynth and me danced for a while.

Finally, I took Cynth home and returned an hour or so later to find the Hotel terribly quiet for the last night of a Convention. Apparently, there were a lot of room-parties going on, but you couldn't hear them.

I finally located Ted Tubb's room and sat in at a rather 'after the ball is over' type of room party. Ted livened things up a bit by organising a final night march through the dim corridors of the Hotel. There was about 20 or 30 fans there and all of them were chanting "Go back to your wives"... with Brian Burgess out in front clanking time on a bottle.

Being a member of the Committee I didn't fancy being seen in such a position, so I held back - next minute the Hotel staff pounced and everyone made a mad dash up the stairs back to their own rooms. I wandered on, finally I came across Ken's room and by bending down and placing my ear against the key-hole, I could hear voices from inside. Knocking loudly, I was admitted to find Ella Parker, Ken Cheslin and some other soul, whose name escapes me at the present, sitting talking. Placing myself in a comfortable position, we proceeded to dissect the Convention, and sort things into their proper perspective. It got later and later. Finally, Ella left and the three of us carried on talking. The next thing I remember was waking up to see a Brumfan's face glaring down at me, saying that it was 10-00am, on Monday morning, and time to get up.

Finally, pulling myself together, I managed to stagger downstairs to the multitude. Ken informed me that I had dropped off to sleep the night before...suddenly waking, I'd staggered to my feet, looking as though I was at death’s door and stumbled out into the corridor mumbling my goodnights to all and sundry. The last they saw of me was when I disappeared round the end of the corridor. Somehow, my glorious sense of direction got me to my room, where I must have crumpled into bed.

Monday morning, the end of the Convention. Fans were crowding about making final arrangements to leave. I paid my bill and went upstairs to pack. Most of the people had drifted away by the time I came down again.

I went downstairs to the bar and sat talking and drinking coffee with Ella, Ken, Rog and a few others. We saw Harry and his wife again and had another interesting natter, I must try and see the Harrisons again at the Worldcon. They're people worth meeting.

I left to get my van, to take my stuff home. When I got back to the Hotel, everyone had gone, the Hotel seemed strangely empty and silent... The staff looked relieved though. I got my luggage and walked out into the mid-day sunshine.

On the way over to Cynthia's, for lunch, I got to thinking that maybe this hadn't been the best Convention out, but it had had its moments. I reckon that if the Brum Group hold another Convention, it'll be a real swinger. We've made mistakes, but I think we've learned by those mistakes and this is surely the best way... see you at Brumcon 3 ?

M. W. Higgs.





To register, contact :-

J.P. Phil) Rogers,
5, First Avenue, Ashfield,


Mrs Doreen Parker,
38, Millfield Road,
Deeping St. James,

or, as a last resort, the Editor of this issue of Brumble,
(who will send your enquiry to Phil or Doreen, anyway!)


Some sort of explanation is required for those of you who do not know how Conventions are run of items mentioned in the accounting.

For instance Dick Howett got his room paid for because he showed the films for us, bringing the equipment with him. This cuts out the need for hiring a non-fan projectionist and equipment.... which would have been more expensive and inconvenient.

The programme booklet expenses are made up of a nominal £3-3-0 for paper and ink. envelopes and postage, and the cost of the electro stencils. The prizes are the New Worlds subscription, the Art Show prize, and the three Fancy Dress prizes. The Brumble money is also nominal, this figure, as with the programme booklet, represents paper and ink only, the envelopes and the postage....(the actual mailing of the BRUMBLES) not counted. As you may guess the expenses of the committee members are nominal...Charles asked only for refund of postage spent returning the films, and another couple of small items....he gave the LORD OF THE RINGS to the convention and did a lot of work he never claimed for. MiK is a similar case, the £5 was towards the cost of the backdrop but of course it could not cover all his expenses… and also, in my own case, the money claimed is only a part of my actual expenses. Still, now its over, I believe I can enjoy it (the con work).

Convention fees of attending members include the fees of several people who did not stay at the hotel, but only visited. Unfortunately we did not get enough bookings… we needed 75 and got 67, last count... .to get the 30% discount, we did get a 25% discount though, so thats something. The hire of the room to Ken Slater should also be mentioned because, as usual, he gave several £s of material to the auction, and the nominal figure here could be misleading.

The hotel manager was pleased to have us... Easter is a quiet season, and I went down to breakfast one morning to a crowded room, all of them fafans… so far as service was concerned I heard some complaints, and saw one or two instances of incivility myself. As far as the committee is concerned the hotel was very helpful, getting their man to put up the hangings and so on. The manager says words to the effect that we're welcome to go back any time... which at least indicates, 1, they value the business, 2, convention goers, on the whole, are well behaved (at least, only excusably exuberant).

A lot of the success of the last auction, (apart from the heroic efforts of the auctioneers) was due to the free booze that the TRICON people provided. Apart from the stuff Cyn brewed and I bought they paid for £25 of the stuff. One thing I would have liked to see would have been a Hum & Sway. I had an idea or two for that myself....maybe I'll be able to try them out at the Worldcon.

LONDON in '65, TRICON in '66, BRUM 3 in.......?

I wonder what they will christen the Easter 1966 con? And the 1967 one?.

STOURBRIDGE, mate, In '78.

anybody interested in a 5th November party...Dave? ken.......