Geoff Lindsay

The old guard of fan faces here in London has virtually retired to the sidelines. We still run into well known fans from time to time at the Globe on the first Thursday of the month, but the old place is no longer a weekly rendezvous of pros and fans. It's probably sad to see people like Ted Tubb and Ken Bulmer, who have done so much for fandom, drift away to the outer fringes, but it's generally conceded that they lost heart with fannish affairs after the London Circle rows toward the end of 1959. The Ratigans are active only in OMPA and the Buckmasters are now living in Scotland, where Ron is at present stationed. Daphne is keeping the fannish flag flying, however, with an excellent sercon discussion magazine called Esprit and she is also the OMPA Association Editor this year. There has been little activity since the Easter Convention from Mike Moorcock and Sandra Hall who were engaged early in the year and Ivor Mayne is now living it Sweden. The most active London fans during the past three or four years were the Inchmery group and it will be know that they split up in extremely sad circumstances. Little has been since heard or seen of Vince who seems to have lost heart with fandom completely.

This is not to say that London fandom is either dead or dying. Far from it. On the credit side of the ledger there is the Science Fiction Club of London which is an extremely active and thriving group. The Club meets twice a month at the home of Ella Parker, a lady of uncertain age who was unknown in fandom three years ago. Ella is a fabulous personality in everything she does and she must take much of the credit in gathering round her a bunch of enthusiastic and energetic young fans. Amongst them are CRY letterhacks George Locke, Ted Forsyth and Joe Patrizio. Jimmy Groves and Bruce Burn are members of the gang, whilst other members include Ethel Lindsay, Arthur Thomson, Ken and Irene Potter and Brian Burgess. Ella, Jimmy and Ted seem to be the centre of two groups, actually, for Ella holds open house every Friday evening to members of the British Science Fiction Association who either live in or around London or who happen to be visiting at the time. Obviously the Parker Penitentiary is the subject matter for a full length article in its own right.

If London is once again stepping out in front as the leading British fan group, the provinces are certainly not inactive. There are still the two main socially inclined fan groups in Cheltenham and Liverpool whilst over in Northern Ireland the wheels of Irish Fandom are by no means dead, as the recent issue of Hyphen showed. Ian McAulay of Eire has now moved up to Belfast and his ready wit is an acquisition to this group which is already by no means lacking its humorists. John Berry has cut down his output of late and appears these days to be writing regularly only for three or four fanzines.


Lindsay's full report on the state UK fandom at the turn of the year can be read here: