I'd like to pick a small bone with some of our members living in and near London. I warned you that no personal invitations would be sent out to attend the Friday night meetings at my house for BSFA members. This still applies. Some of you have taken me up on it and come regularly, but there are still more of you who, up to now, haven't put in an appearance. We have roped in two new members since these meetings began. Patrick Kearney who, unfortunately, after only two visits has had to go into hospital (I hope this was only coincidence, Pat?) and Phillip Slater who did the same as Pat and brought his membership fee with him and paid on the spot. Until those two did that the record for joining in the shortest possible time had been held by Mrs. Joyce Shoter (Sorry, Joyce. No pun was intended there). Joyce wrote, I answered, she sent her subscription, all in the space of one week or just under, which is pretty good going. We now have another member I'd like to welcome among us: Dr. Ellis Passer of South Africa; he is another who wasted no time at all in joining. Ellis hopes to be in England for a visit in December and I hope he'll be coming along to one or more of our meetings as he promised. You see? It doesn't pay to let Friday pass without attending; you never know who is going to turn up, and Iíll lay odds it will be the one week you donít bother to come that some out or town visitor will be here.
At the meeting of Friday Sept. 16th we had the pleasure of Ian McAulay's company; unfortunately this was one week on which the attendance was poor: only Jimmy Groves and Mike Raynor turned up. I know Ted Forsyth would have been here but for the fact he'd gone home for a week to visit his parents. I was most disappointed and I know Ian was too, that more of you didn't come. Ian had been hoping to meet quite a number of you for the first time; the more so as he seldom gets the chance to come and see us.
Chris Miller was another member I met for the first time this Summer. I'd been looking forward to meeting Chris and having some good chinwags with him. It so happened that he was here when most everyone else was too. At least we've met, and as he'll be going up to Oxford soon (work hard, Chris) I'm hoping he'll be able to come and see me pretty often. Alan Rispin was another who dropped in on his way to and from a holiday on the Continent. I don't know who he's hiding from, but he's grown a magnificent beard. If you were trying to fool me, Alan, it was wasted effort; I recognised you straight away! I had the pleasure of entertaining your Librarian, Peter Mabey, and the Treasurer, Archie Mercer, here for a weekend on the 10th of Sept. Ostensibly they came for a committee meeting, but the Saturday turned into a party with about 14 assorted members and others, including some I hadn't expected to see again until next year's Convention. It was a riot. John Phillifent put in an unexpected appearance and got the shock of his life, I think, when he saw how many were here; he'd been expect ing to find only the committee in session, and here we were having a good time instead!
Joe Patrizio will now be living in London! Joe has got himself a job here and has moved in with his life-long friend Ted Forsyth. (Why don't you all move to London?) With so many of you here now I've got high hopes that the Friday night meetings will be well worth your while attending; I'm even hoping that George Locke - who is serving his time in the army - will be able wangle an evening now and again. He was here this week, newly returned from two weeks leave in Ireland. And once or twice we had Ken and Pamela Bulmer here for an evening.
This sounds like a roll call of visitors, but I think it might be of interest to you to know that as far as possible I do like to have a personal visit from you - any of you - when the opportunity offers. I don't suppose I'll see any of them again until the holiday season starts up next year.... oh yes, the Convention at Easter. I hope you will all be coming? As many of you as possible, at any rate.