This is SKYRACK Number 9, dated 1st November 1959, and published by Ron Bennett, 7 Southway, Arthurs Avenue, Harrogate Yorkshire, England. 6d per copy, six issues for 2/6d. 35 cents for 6 issues in the USA, subscriptions toBob Pavlat, 6001 - 43rd Avenue Hyattsville, Maryland. News of interest to fandom, whether of a strictly science fiction or a social nature, gratefully accepted. Cartoon : Arthur(Atom)Thomson. Contributors : Harry Turner, Sandy Sanderson, John Berry, Ian McAulay, John Hautz, Peter Davies, Sandra Hall, Joy Clarke, Eric Bentcliffe, Ray Nelson and Alan Rispin.
LONDON CIRCLE DISRUPTS
Although it had been hoped that the overnight Symposium held at the beginning of October would strengthen internal relationships, the London Circle was disbanded at its business meeting of Friday, 16th October, following the resignation of Chairman Ted Tubb. It was agreed to revert to the system of seven months ago, social meetings at the Globe and no business meetings at the White Horse. The Globe meetings will continue to take place on the first Thursday of each month. It is still intended to hold the 1960 convention in London and the provisional date has now been changed from Whitsun to Easter.
Some London fans held a meeting in a room made available at Inchmery on Friday, 23rd October, when a new Club - the Science-Fiction Club of London - was formed. Ella Parker was elected Chairwoman and Jim Groves, 29 Latham Road, East Ham, London E6, is Hon. Secretary. Meetings will be held twice a month. The membership is already over the dozen mark and plans include the formation of the first 8mm cine film unit in the London area, and group participation in future conventions with both films and tapes.
MANCHESTER-HARROGATE TIES WERE STRENGTHENED over the weekend of 17/18th October. On the Saturday, 17th, Harrogate fandom journeyed across the Pennines to see the first in a series of three Rugby League Test Matches between Great Britain and Australia. The visiting Australian team were winners - a surprise but worthy victory - by 22 points to 14. Eric Bentcliffe showed up after work for a Piccadilly meeting and Sid Birchby skipped a meeting to join us for a drink and a chat. Sunday, 18th, was even more hectic, with fans visiting Harrogate for the Autumn Audio Fair.
HARROGATE MINI-CON. On Sunday, 18th October, Alan Rispin hitch-hiked over to Harrogate and became the first out of town fan to visit the Spa in 1959. He brought over the first issue, an introductory two pages, of his new fanzine HUNGRY in which he describes himself and the London Symposium with quiet humour. Alan turned up just before I was leaving to meet the Manchester train from which Eric Bentcliffe and Harry Turner joined us for lunch and a brown ale session at the local. After lunch Harry listened to jazz records and Alan, Eric and I played brag. When the money was centralised, we went to the Grand Hotel where the Audio Fair was being held. Eric crossed out the “Admit One” on his ticket and substituted “Admit Four” and we sailed in past the. ticket collector. Terry Jeeves had come along with members of the Sheffield Tape Recording Society of which he is the Treasurer and we were due to meet him at the Ferrograph stand at 3.30, but Ferrograph, the favourite firm of fans, were absent and we wandered about in the milling crowds, looking for Terry. We ran across an old school friend of mine who had had a long talk on Ferrograph with Norman Shorrock at last year’s Fair and had come back this year to take Norman’s advice and look over the Ferrograph machines. At this point, Alan and I became separated from Eric and Harry and bumped into Terry and his Sheffield friends. We took them into town to point out local tea-shops and returned to Southway for a natter after Terry had been announcing to all and sundry that one stand was giving away sample tape, and Alan had been greeting strangers as though they were long-lost friends. Later Eric and Harry rang up to say they were at the station waiting for the 7.30 train and Alan and I joined them there. After a cup of coffee we moved on to the platform and waited for a train which didn’t appear. I left them still waiting at eight o’clock and went off to watch the Liverpool play,”No Tram to Lime Street” on television.
LETTER FROM HARRY TURNER. “Congratulations to yourself as being the first fan to entertain me with a Dave Brubeck track. I would like to let you know that we did get to Manchester last night.The 7.30 came chuffing in with great unconcern about 9pm.. We eventually finished up at Victoria about 11.15 after British Railways made sure that all train connections, buses and cheaper forms of transport were packed up for the night. Eric and I beetled over to London Road and squeezed on to a train packed with Welsh refugees. It stopped at Stockport and Eric got a taxi and I flagged a lift most of the way to Romiley. Next year we shall go to the London Audio Fair. After all, there may be a Ferrograph stand there.” And welcome, Harry Turner, to the ranks of Hitch Hiking Fandom.
VECTOR 5 arrived last week. This is the official organ of the British Science Fiction Association, which may be joined by sending the Treasurer (Archie Mercer, 434/4 Newark Road, North Hykeham, Lincs) £1 for a year’s membership. This issue is produced by Mike Moorcock, Bobbie Gray, Sandra Hall and George Locke. The issue has been delayed because of the illness of Doc Weir and the marriage of Bobbie Wild, and after Bobbie had done the initial work on the issue, Mike and Sandra stepped in to complete the magazine. On the whole the fact that this is a compositely-edited magazine shows, but at the same time the editors can feel pleased with their product. Apart from the expected BSFA news and views there are several items of general interest. Ivor Mayne contributes yet another Cheltenham trip report. Mike Moorcock talks about SF for juniors and mentions that Superman is inferior to Billy Bunter. Ken Slater chunters on books, Ken Bulmer chatters on the ignorance of non-sf types and Bob Richardson plugs London for the 1960 convention. There are letters, illos by Jim Cawthorne and a compact history of the SFCD by Julian Parr.
NEW WORLD TEA DRINKING CHAMPION. History was made on Sunday, 18th October at 170 Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, N. Ireland. In an attempt to bring back the coveted tea drinking trophy to Irish shores from the hands of World Champion Don Allen, Ian McAulay and Johnny Hautz of Southern Irish fandom challenged John Berry to a tea drinking contest. Bob Shaw was scorekeeper and Walt Willis was brewer and umpire. A feeling of tenseness is reported to have fallen over the gathering as the score crept higher and higher. Hautz and Berry maintained a cup for cup total until they reached the 20th cup. Johnny Hautz who was obviously in severe physical stress then quickly sank four and half cups to create a new world record of 24 and a half cups, thus beating Don Allen’s 24 cup record, created in Belfast in 1957. Hautz then withdrew from the fray, but John Berry, who had been about to retire was spurred on and during the next quarter of an hour drank another five and a half cups, thus creat tng a new world record of 25 and a half cups. When interviewed the new champion modestly said,”Blurp.” The contest will be written up in detail for a forthcoming issue of CRY OF THE NAMELESS. (JB & IM)
DEFEATED CONTESTANTS WRITE. Ian McAulay sends a couple of pictures of the critical stages of the contest and adds, “Regrettably, I had decided on a slow pace as being good tactics and at this stage had only consumed 16 cups. I carried on to 18 and then had to abandon the effort. Somehow I feel that I am not cut (hollowed would perhaps be a better word) out for big-time tea drinking, and in future will compete only for the love of the sport.” Johnny Hautz mentions that a half pound of tea, 3 pints of milk and 3 gallons of tea were consumed and that ghoodminton was played, and also that the group discussed the breaking up of London groups following my own stay in London. John says,”I was going strong on the description of a build up of critical mass in London - and its subsequent fission into numerous conflicting masses. Quiet from Walt for a second and then - ‘You might say that the critical L.C. was bombarded by a Bennettron’”
APORRHETA is expected within the next few days. The next issue of LES SPINGE will not now appear until around next March.
ERIC BENTCLIFFE writes about the Harrogate Audio Fair, ”British Railways did their best to sabotage the day.The 7.30 train arrived in Harrogate at 9.05. Harry Turner Esq was last seen walking in the general direction of Romiley at approx 12.30. Still, it was worth it to see the Ferrograph stand!” ALAN RISPIN writes,”The train was one and three-quarter hours late in Manchester. I hitched. from Peel Green and upon alighting from the car, I discovered my right thumb neatly wedged in the door lock. As the car was accelerating just then I decided upon a prudent course of action so I bawled ‘STOP!’ as hard as I could. .The car stopped and I recovered my thumb, rather badly bruised,but still attached to my hand. My first hitch accident and about 200 yards from home!”
JOHN NEWMAN author and one half of Kenneth Johns, has been ill in the West Middlesex Hospital for some five weeks with severe sinus trouble. BOYD RAEBURN has also been ill with viral meningitis, but is happily now recovering. From 5th November, his address will be: 89 Maxon Avenue, Willowdale, Ontario, Canada. # Ray Nelson writes to say that Number One Fan of France, Jean Linard (24 rue petit, Vesoul, Haute Saone, France) is seriously ill and is in hospital for two major operations. Sincere wishes for a speedy and complete recovery, Jean.
JOHN BRUNNER’s new book “The Brink” has been published by Gollancz and has received good reviews from the Tribune, Reynolds News and the BBC critics. # I have landed myself a new job, in Harrogate, and shall be leaving my teaching appointment in Leeds at the end of term, in December.# Following the move of Ken and Irene Potter to London - ah! the lure of The Smoke - Harry Hanlon, also of Lancaster, is seeking a job in London, and Mal and Sheila Ashworth, the Yorkshire representatives of Lancaster fandom, are also contemplating the move to London.# Ron Buckmaster is being posted in the New Year to Kirkcudbright, Scotland, a small port with a mere 2,500 population and 27 miles from Dumfries and 50 miles from Gretna Green. Rumour has it that Ron and Daphne will probably be making a house to house search for fans! # Say, Terry Carr, Kid Ory was in Yorkshire this last week. Harrogate fandom enjoyed a masterly display of traditional jazz at Bradford, 27th October.