THE BIDIn 1964 Arthur 'ATom' Thomson won TAFF and so got to attend PACIFICON, that year's Worldcon, which was held in Oakland, California. As the man on the ground, he was charged with presenting the London bid for the 1965 Worldcon and had been carefully briefed by the bid committee on exactly what he was to say before setting off for the US. The bit below is taken from his trip report ATOM ABROAD....
On the Sunday morning I awoke mumbling the lines of the London in '65 Worldcon bid. The Worldcon business sesssion was that day. I had to make good, and London had to get the '65 convention or I'd never be able to go back to London where Ella Parker could get her hands on me. Going down to the mezzanine I met Ed and Leigh Hamilton in the elevator and chatted with them about the '64 Easter convention they'd attended in Britain. Dave Kyle came up and said he was going to put in a standby bid for Syracuse in case due to any internationa; situation London couldn't hold the con. I thought of telling him they'd never dare drop an Atomic bomb on London if Ella Parker was in the throes of putting a Worldcon on.
The time for the business session came along. I loaded Wally Weber up with London progress reports and membership tickets then went with him to the meeting. A couple of regional conventions were dealt with first. Paul Turner speaking up for Long Beach for the Westercon an describing how the place was loaded with pretty girls in swimsuits. Bob Silverberg after him delivered a hilarious deadpan bid for a Worldcon on the Virgin Islands, which sounded so good I began to think of voting for there myself.
Bob Silverberg rose to give the funniest bid in history, for the Virgincon or the Johnson - the sponsors planned it for a hotel St John's, Virgin Islands, and hadn't decided which to call it. Bob dwelt at length on the desirable features of the site - only $595 by air from New York to St. Thomas, capital of the Virgin Islands, and from there, one can take a boat which passes within a short swimming distance of St. John's . . . This island's greatest scenic attraction is an animal preserve, filled with all manner of strange and fell creatures which very seldom leave for other parts of the island. The hotel has no convention meeting room, but there is an excellent outdoor meeting place. (The con will take place during the rainy season.) And as a special feature, the local natives have been per suaded to give their famous Sterility Dance for the benefit of the fans. However, we must hurry and have the con soon, for the natives are a dying race... anyway, there were, Bob said, plenty of pretty girls available.
Dave Kyle put in a token bid for Syracuse, which is actively seeking the '66 con, and then withdrew it in favor of London.
Then Arthur Thomson put in the London bid, He explained that the con was to be the 28 August weekend in London; that the con would be in the Mt. Royal Hotel, Marble Arch, London; and that the dues would be $3 for attendees, $2 for non-attendees. Arthur, no man to fall behind in a competition, explained that there were lots of pretty girls walking the streets of London, too. Alas for ad-libbed jokes: this remark not only broke up the meeting, but made ATom himself collapse into helpless laughter. At least the con committee types seem convinced that science fiction conventions are hotbeds of the boy-chases-girl kind of lust, even if...
Oh, yes: London won the 1965 Worldcon.