Monday April 15th


As we hit the sack, the curate across the road waded into the cathedral bells ..... and we roused to the last hellish breakfast. Service was slow. The waitress told us they were cleaning the silver in the kitchen. Could she have meant counting it? We observed a curious phenomenon at the table: the coffee got hotter the longer we sat there. It was John Brunner who gave us the explanation: it was slowly coming up to room temperature.

After that, we all adjourned, picked up Bruce, who was expressing dismay that he had missed earlier cons, and had two Bloody Marys apiece. Then we moved slowly out to the car, passing Betty Rosenblum on her way to the beach. When I was demobilised, leaving the Bull gave me a distinct thrill; this time, it was no such pleasure. Every con has its, flavour; and the Petercon had a bouquet all its own. I'd say '63 will go down in the records as a real vintage year.

Darroll Pardoe with Tony Walsh's sandwich boards, unknown (db)


At both Harrogate and Peterborough, the Shorrocks have brought two of their four with them - the oldest and the youngest, the former to look after the latter. And if that sounds like child slavery to you, then obviously you don't know the Shorrock family. Janet Shorrock manages to get her full quota of enjoyment from the weekend, largely in the company of Susie Slater - also a veteran of two Cons now. The Bulmers brought their two little girls, but these were never seen far away from one or the other parent. Harry Harrison and his wife brought one of each - a boy Tod and a girl toddler - who seemed somewhat shy but still ran happily about the hotel. Sundry other juvenile fannish progeny showed up from time to time; in fact I can't recall having seen so many fannish offspring in one place before.

I remember on the Monday morning passing along the corridor on the way to my room, to find It entirely blocked by a mixed quintet racing along it on hands and knees, comprising Janet and Alan Shorrock, Susie Slater, and the two Harrison kids. Then they crawled into one of the bedrooms, and vanished from sight. I hope to see them all there again next year, and more like them.


It was a good convention and I am positive that there are few who would disagree with me. Witness to this is borne by the fact that on the Monday morning when, with most of the Londoners we left to catch our train, over 50 registrations had been made for 1964. At this stage I would like to express my appreciation to the organisers for putting on a most enjoyable show. They must have worked exceedingly hard indeed for our benefit.

For me, the star turns were Ted Tubb, whether as auctioneer, panellist or the Dior of the Fancy dress parade; the Doherty talk; Metropolis; Aldiss both as MC and as himself; Harrison for his rampaging humour; the Hotel staff who, though not always available, gave cheerful service for hours of noise; the four Salfordians as a sign of the future of fandom, but above all the sociable atmosphere created by all those attending.

One final thing before we end. Why, in Ghu's name, do we bother with moronic reporters who turn up every year? The only decent report appeared in the only decent paper, The Guardian, and this was done by Geoff Doherty who just listened and then reported. The others were a waste of time and effort. As Harry Harrison said when he saw Monday's 'Telegraph':

"Four bloody hours for seven lines - and then they've misquoted!"



Thanks are due to Greg Pickersgill for copies of convention reports. Below is a listing of the original reports used in compiling this composite report, with links. These contain much extra material:

.....Rob Hansen