LONCON '53 (1953)
This was a one-shot produced at CORONCON, the 1953 UK National SF Convention by divers hands. Who was responsible for each section was scrawled down the side on page 2 of the original wheras I've added their names in italics at the start of each. Given the timescale evident within, I suspect a stencil was left in a typewriter until full with peopl adding bits over the course of the con.
THE CONVENTION IN SONG AND SLIGHTLY
Fandom's second basic interest reared its beautiful head early on in the proceedings, but up to that point it had differed violently from the usual get-togethers. There were drinks, for instance. The first hour kept to the seheduied programme. There were drinks. There was Bea Mahaffey. There were drinks....well, you get the idea. Then the Liverpool group brought out a pimphlet ...sorry, pamphlet. SEX & SADISM. It was advertised (blatantly) from the platform, and the Convention immediately degenerated.
Everyone brightened, and opinions flew back and forth. Spillane was mentioned. Even Hank Janson was mentioned.,..tho' no-one seemed to know that Hank collaborated in the company that started NEW WORLDS, The whole thing has so far inspired me to the following -- it's only 6.10 on the first afternoon of the Con-- those polished tetrasyllabic triodes will have to wait :-
Answer me oracle,
The time is now 6.40, Hey ho for the auction!
No title chums, who cares?
This is a so-called item by Ken F. Slater, impressions to date on the London Convention 1953. Time 21.30 on Saturday. Good beer in this hotel. Frankly, since arriving at about 15.00 I've not heard much of the official programme. The first half hour was spent talking to Charlie Dunccmbe, who was doing a fairly efficient job of getting money out of people. In the entrance to the joint was a mass of folk, and in the distance I could hear muted tenor of Ted Carnell intermingled with sundry bass rumbles from the assorted authors and audience. Then I found Ted Tubb, and Ted found my bottle of whisky. Just one short snort, was all. Then we came back and I found sundry other folks, such as Tony Thorne, Dave Cohen, Ernest Harmer, Bill Temple, J.J.Curle, Norman Weedall, pratically everyone from Liverpgol and a few hicks from the sticks of LAndon, like Ron Deacon. Someplace in the middle of this we (or I) found the bar.Things are misty. I don't know what has happened, much, but I have a distinct recollection of being introduced to Bea Mahaffey twice, and having her rapidly stolen on each occasion Such a pity, but still.... I do wish they'd eat more and drink less.......
Monday the 25th. 10 a.m.
JAMES WHITE is here at the moment suffering from Convention Head. He tells us that BEA is making what amounts to the GRAND TOUR of oF YURRUP. Starting for some peculiar reason in Belfast, she plans, after visiting the CORONCON, via LIVERPOOL naturally' to Continue to COBLENTZ and on to SWITZERLAND, ITALY, FRANCE, back to the U.S. by air from Britain.
This is being written in room 326, and just along the corridor, in 320, lies Fandom's sleeping beauty. Bea did promise us yesterday to sum up her impressions of the Con this a.m.,but as James tells us she only left the Rattigan party at 8 a.m., we guess we'll just have to wait for the Willis conreport. As James has lost a day somewhere (the last time. he got
out of bed was Sunday morning) he denies being here at all,but we don't mind THAT.
Probably the most hectic convention session was held on the Saturday night and sunday morning of the con period. This commenced after the program for the day had ended, in room 326, present were Bill Temple, Walt Willis and wife, James White, Ken Slater, Frank Milne, John Roles, Norman Shorrock, Eric Bentcliffe, Eric Jones, Terry Jeeves, Jim Mooney, Norman Weedall, About an hour and two bottles of whisky after the debauchery had commenced the first of a series of visits from the hotel staff was made, this in the person of the head porter was an admonishment for noise. The faint hearted fans in the person of Bill Temple, Walt and party departed at this first sign of the storm to come.
After some deliberation the remaining sots adjourned to the next room to continue the discussion. Eric (J) sat on the crisps. Frank sat on the crisps. Ken Slater was different .... he sat on the salt biscuits. At this time it was decided that a joint story be composed, although this was commenced the beginning was also the end.. "The Sleek Red Spaceship Shreiked through the....". Far more was actually done on a poem "To Thce Stars", the first stanza of this mighty work soon to be published in asbestos covers, read. "Down the street of a thousand Spaceships, By the sign of the 'empty pub, stood a slant-eyed chinese author by the name of Volsted Tubb".
A resounding tattoo on the door announced the presence of another porter, with the same complaint. This was cured by a liberal application of Whisky. After he had been disposed of the party split into two factions, one to attend a "Slatercon in room 103", the other proceeded up the fire escape onto the roof where a "Roofconvention" was held, high spot of this was the disposal of "Empties" down the chimney pots, Eric Bentcliffe discovered an empty paint pot which he decided to dispose of in the same manner, unfortunately this was too large and is now wedged firmly. An attempt was made to send Norman Weedall down after it, but for physical reasons, this proved an impossibility. Meanwhile, on the staircase, Frank Milnes, Ken Slater and Terry Jeeves, were engaged in evasive action with an inimical porter, which resulted in the loss of one member. (Terry) Back to the roof again, where Norman had now been extricated from the chimney pot. The chairman officially closed the 'Roofcon', and the various delegates returned to their respective bases via the fire escape.
IT'S MANCON IN '54!