Harry Turner's Footnotes to Fandom
Chronological Notes - 1943-1955    | FOOTNOTES Page | Obituary Page |

Items from Fanzines & Letters.

1943

Whit Sunday BFS organised the Pendle Expedition... Mike, Ron Lane, Roy Johnson, Don Houston

April 23 & 26 BFS sponsored a convention, the MIDVENTION (originally scheduled for Birmingham, but took place in Leicester, attended by 14 fans).

August ... Gus Willmorth LASFL fan, arrived with American forces in Britain. (Check on visit to Lincoln and and Cranwell Radio School with mate - stayed over weekend using beds of folk on leave - date in letters?)

August 11 I've got a job illustrating Beyond, the BFS typewritten mag. At least I'm doing an illustration for a Smith epic (of Runyonesque quality) which the editor thinks the best of the contributions. Not DRS at his best but the idea is good—it's about an invention which speeds up the time rate round an automatic lathe, so that it turns out hundreds more parts than normally. Unfortunately when the inventor attempts to raise the speed the lathe visibly rusts and crumbles before the eyes of the astonished works manager...

October 8 Letter from Marion: Beyond arrived on Friday... Can't say I'm keen on your 'Dimensional Prisoners'. I don't think that pseudo-cubist stuff gets you anywhere... I thought the illustration to Smith's story was about the only decent one...

October 11A Futurian arrived from JMR with the news that Zeus Craig has another son, so young Philip has been promoted to Big Brother. (I had made fast friends with young Philip on visits to the Craig family before call-up)

November 14 Beyond is a weird mixture. I notice one early reject of Zenith appearing! Apart from the Smith story I was not enthralled...

November 25 Talking of fans, thanks for the letters you forwarded; one was from Ron Lane about a forthcoming convention at the New Year. I'd like to spend a day at it if some of the old crowd arrive, but doubt I can manage it.

December 4 Have you got those copies of Tomorrow sorted out for the Convention stint? . . . put say a dozen copies of each issue on one side. Also there are those Astronauts and BIS Journals knocking around: they'll perhaps make someone happy at the con.

December 6 Letter from Marion: What a visitation last night—at 7.30 the doorbell rang and in walked Mike Rosenblum, Ron Lane and two other fans. Lots of discussion about the con... seems that 6 people have promised to come and they also expect two Americans and a Canadian.

December 26 A dozen of us have been told to expect a posting... There are some vacancies at Cranwell for maintenance mechanics, otherwise it means going out on the 'chain', which usually means a life of moving around, changing stations every few weeks. I suppose I'll be going before my leave is due, which messes up plans for getting home.

1944

31 Dec 1943-1 Jan 1944 NORCON convention held in Manchester... Mike, Gus Willmorth, Ron Lane, Peter Knott, Roy Johnson, Ron Holmes, George Ellis, Ron Bradbury.

H.T.: Meanwhile, it had been decided that I was needed at Cranwell and I travelled up there over the New Year.

Jan 2 1944
Letter to M.T.: Hope this isn't an unpropitious start to the New Year. Didn't enjoy travelling up here on New Year's day instead of dashing to Manchester. I got thy last letter on Friday, just in time, and it was a depressing thought to know you'd still be hoping to see me and would be busy getting ready for the weekend.
   No lockers here at the moment, so can't unpack. Met a bloke who'd been volunteering for everything - even overseas - to get away from here.. He'd volunteered for the civvy job offered to us at Yatesbury - but rumour has it that there were over 7000 applicants for a dozen vacancies!.
   It's cold here... the only difference between sleeping in the hut or out in the open, is that inside you're at least out of the draft. The cold seeps through the blankets at night so we insert our ground sheets between the top two blankets: it's hard on ventilation but at least stops some warmth leaking away.

Jan 3 1944
Letter from M.T.: On Saturday night the conference arrived... I was startled because in my depression I'd clean forgotten it. Luckily the flat was fairly tidy and there was a fire on, so I squeezed them all in there and loaded them with Astronauts and Tomorrows. The purpose of the visit was to borrow a stapling machine! The Flat was throroughly examined and even the ornaments and pictures came in for a few comments, so don't be surprised if a description appears in the convention reports.
   There was one fan immersed in the ballet section of the library, along with his girl-friend (or wife?) - a tall fair chap with a faint stammer, who seemed to have come from Birmingham and said you'd promised him a copy of the Penguin Ballet about a year ago... Did you give that to Ron, or have we still got two copies?
   There was also an American who sat on the table and studied Low's cartoons, not saying very much. Mike Rosenblum had enough to say for the whole gang though... They were going over to Ron Lane's for tea and had to buzz off after a short stay and after I'd assured them that there was no chance of you turning up.

Jan 6 1944
H.T.: I imagine the fair-haired bloke would be Ron Holmes - but don't know who the girl-friend is. Don't remember ever threatening to give him the Penguin Ballet - I'm sure I gave the spare to Ron Lane.

Jan 10 1944
H.T.: Met M. for day at the weekend - wet day of course: soaked while looking for somewhere to eat.

As a new arrival have been slapped on to all sorts of duty rotas to fill the gaps; only consolation is that I won't get the duties for a long while. Have to take a Browning gun course and join the gun crew at the operational site, which will excuse me from guards, gas defence and other chores. Though it means being confined to camp one week in four.
   My reputation as a poster artist has somehow reached the ears of the officer who does all the routine artwork here (posters declaring RADAR POINTS THE WAY and RADAR IS A WEAPON OF OFFENCE are intended to promote a suitably aggressive spirit in the WAAF operators!) So I may scrounge a few perks from the situation

Jan 13 1944
H.T.: Weather warmer - less preoccupation with finding warm spots, though we're caused a lot more work because of damp affecting the sets. Working on operational gear at the moment, keeping track of the planes buzzing around.

My letters round about this time are preoccupied with gunnery courses, locating an old coal storage box to store my possessions in, and the prospect of getting a hot bath (with no lights in the ablutions and no hot water etc.) However, Marion wrote.

Jan 15 1944
H.T.: Just as I was due to leave the office last night (Marion was working with Manchester Transport) somebody told me my brother was outside, waiting to see me. Somewhat surprised at acquiring a relative, I went out and there was the Webster! I suppose the curly locks and Scottish accent must have made folks jump to conclusions. It seems that Sid Birchby is getting married today (Saturday) to a Manchester girl. She's in the ATS and he met her and fell for her while hitch-hiking in a lorry. Isn't that romantic?
   So Doug and a few others have assembled for the wedding. Doug said he'd heard from you about July and that he really thought you ought to write to him every 4 or 5 months - so what about it? I told him about the New Year convention, but he seems to have fallen out with the Rosenblum gang. He said John Burke was home on leave just now but as they're in Wales he didn't know whether he'd be able to pay a visit.

Jan 19 1944
Enclosed find a very hopeful and encouraging letter from Wally Gillings... Wasn't he lucky to get out of the army?

Feb 14 1944
Reference to items received from Ron Lane: "What do you think of Gemini? And what of Parnassus?

I'm still preoccupied with getting frozen stiff working up aerials, pumping grease into reluctant turning gear, having to go on a bull course, etc.

Feb 15 1944
Letter to M.T.: Harry Barry was talking about sf and mentioned your name - immediately one of the corporals, Sid Farley, looked around and asked "isn't she the editor of a magazine put out by the Junior Astronomical Association?" Apparently Sid knows someone in the JAA - who, I wonder? - but WORK intervened before I could pursue the matter. And a copy of TOW with your story has appeared in the hut, with Harry Barry, obviously one of your devoted fans, letting everyone know that "Harry's wife wrote that".... Been doing posters for a brains trust, and there's a wall newspaper in preparation...

Feb 19 1944
Letter from M.T.: Fancy having you on a Brains Trust - they must be hard up for brains. Questions on art, astronautics, Trotskyism, T.S.Eliot, and the technique of sex, for Mr Turner's attention, please!

Feb 24 1944
Letter from M.T.: ... a new fanmag from America called diablerie. Very well got up as regards printing, and in several colours. The thing that tickled me was the announcement in the editorial that this is a fanmag for Male Fans - and then they go and send it on to me! Perhaps they think I'm a male of the species because it was simply addressed to Marion Turner, and I understand Marion is a male name in the states...

March 1 1944
Letter from M.T.: There's a mysterious visitor coming to see me tomorrow night, and I'm in the flat now with a gorgeous fire on, so that I can tidy it up for the occasion. He came on Saturday night in the blackout and asked for Marion, so your mother told him I was away meeting you. Said his name was MacDonald and that he would call back on Thursday, and also said he'd called before some time ago but there was no one in.
   Problem, which MacDonald was it? Not T.L. I guess, as your mother thinks it was a young person, so, in view of the fact that Edwin the Mac has called before, it must be him. The odd thing is that he should ask for me - but of course he would know it's not likely the boss is at home.

March 3 1944
Letter from M.T.: Had a visit from Ron Lane and Edwin the Mac last night. Edwin is at Heaton Park which sounds just like Cranwell. He says there's lots of Yanks there, all very unpopular with their allies. His stay at HP is only for a few weeks, and then he expects to be sent overseas in his capacity as a bomb-aimer. He seemed quite philosophical about it all - not wildly enthusiastic nor yet particularly cheesed. Seems to spend most of his time visiting Ron Lane.
   Ron tells me that he's been called up for coal-mining... only consolation is that he'll be able to train near home; he had the choice between the Navy and the mines... Mike Rosenblum and some other bloke is/are supposed to be coming over on Saturday, so Ron suggested they call round. Had a letter from Wally ... seems quite gleeful "at being home again. No wonder!

March 16 1944
Letter from M.T.: Had a pc from Ron Lane to say he's expecting John Craig on Sunday, also the inevitable Mike and possibly Edwin... Ron is off to the mines on Monday, a prospect he doesn't relish, and Edwin is at Scarborough but may be back by weekend. Be nice if only you could get to meet Zeus...
   Had visit from Benson Herbert... He took your address; he's touring the country picking up odd lots of paper; wants to collect enough to get about a dozen books out within a few months. As usual, he assumed that the collection of books was your library till I gently put him right. .. seemed a bit surprised to find that I was an admirer of Theodore Dreiser - it seems fans don't read him as a rule.
   Anyway, I've made a new fan for Thorne Smith, since B. had apparently never heard of him... He looked at The Glorious Pool and The Passionate Witch and begged to borrow them, swearing to return them soon.

March 20 1944
John Craig didn't turn up yesterday. He's at Clitheroe, fairly near... Ron, Mike and George Ellis arrived.


March 23 1944
Letter from E. Frank Parker, editor of the British Fantasy Society editions of BEYOND

Dear Harry,
     'Twas delightful indeed to hear from you. Curiously enough, I, too have had a slight change of address (we've moved downstairs for the sake of the youngster), and that, to some extent, explains the rather long silence from this end.
     The other reason is the slow way in which stuff has been coming in for issue No. 2 of "Beyond, BFS Edition". However, the pile has assumed somewhat more promising dimensions recently, and I'm hoping to "go to press" next month, with a view to getting No. 2 out in May. That'll be just 6 months between successive issues, a gap which I hope will be cut down as things proceed.
     The news that you can still do some art work for the zine is more than welcome. I fear the artistic efforts in No. 1 suffered rather by comparison with your own technical excellence, and more than one of the readers has said, in effect, "Get more Turner, or else!" So here goes! In a short while, I'll send you a yarn to illustrate - don't look so pleased: that, if I can manage to keep you at it, will be only the first: - And meanwhile, dare I ask that you might do something in the nature of a cover pic? The one on No. 1 was an outstanding success, the general opinion being that criticism boggled before such technique! You'll be seeing the letters soon.
     We were wondering down here whether there was any hope of seeing you at the Easter Convention, which bids fair to be quite a big "do", I gather from your letter that you haven't as yet received the "are-you-coming" questionnaire which we sent, anticipating a possible change of service address, to your home base..But of course, questions of leave are awfully difficult in the Forces, and we daren'tt do any more than just keep our fingers crossed and hope!
     All good wishes, and thanks a great deal for writing.
     Zestfully thine,
  (sorry, I've got into the habit of signing off that way?!)

Frank.


March 29 1944
Letter from M.T.: Had a letter from Ron Lane who seems to be finding the mines better than he expected. Wants me to write something for Gemini.

April 15 1944
Letter from H.T. from Cranwell: There was almost a revolution at Lincoln the other night. Stan Hawkins and Sid Farley went to the flicks and arrived back at the bus station to find a huge crowd from late trains awaiting the last bus. The bus was mobbed on arrival and an inspector tore off many intending passengers. This disorganised the rest of the queue, as he insisted those he'd hauled off the bus should go to the rear of the queue - which they refused to do.
   This defiance raised the inspector's ire; he went red around the gills and issued an ultimatum - no more buses would leave until the miscreants went to the back of the queue. Hawkins leapt to the defence of the mistreated airman, retaliating with a fighting speech about Democracy and What Do You Think I am Wearing This Uniform For? until he had the mob on his side.
   The baffled inspector retreated, infuriated, to the safety of his office, while a driver came up to Stan with an awed expression to hoarsely mutter "You've done it now, you've been funny with an inspector!" and crept away to die of shame. More fighting speeches from Stan, raised feelings to such a pitch that the inspector hurriedly phoned for more buses, before the mob broke down the place...
   So we all eventually got back to camp, where Hawkins was busy enrolling members for the "Anti-Lincoln-Motor-Services Party".

April 20 1944
Letter from H.T.: You ask about Hawkins... He has to be experienced to be believed... There's Hawkins the Super-Egoist, Founder of the Hawkinocracy, a system of government in which everyone works for the good of Hawkins. There's Hawkins the One-Man Brains Trust, who has an answer to everything. Hawkins the Poet & Songster - his lines never scan and his voice combines the rasping of a file, the flatness of Lincolnshire, and the volume and range of a klaxon horn. There is Hawkins the Infallible, the man who never boobs... He's Hawkins the Calc-Mech, and all calc-mechs are Mad. The Lincoln bus station revolution is but one tale in the Hawkin's saga. Remind me to relate the true details of the Great Grantham Sit-down strike, and the matter of the Lincoln One-Way Street, some time.

May 1 1944
Letter from H.T.: May 1: Had a pc from Arthur Clarke, now an F.O. and resident in Cornwall at the moment; he asks for T.L. McDonald's address to get some gen on lunar matters.

June 23 1944
Letter from H.T.: Hut 198 will never be the same again. No longer will the sound of the Hawkins be heard competing with would-be instrumentalists. The lad's been posted - gone from us this very morning and nearly missing the bus while bidding us an affectionate farewell. According to his account, the move is the result of long persistent effort, though rumour has an alternative explanation.
   It seems that a short while ago, Hawkins crossed swords with one of the operator instructresses (nothing unusual in that of course) who told someone she thought Stan was very rude. Stan replied by sending a message that he thought she was rude too. and a truce was declared. Then Stan started a 'Politer Mechanics' campaign; everytime we spotted the lady we raised our caps and greeted her with "The compliments of Corporal Hawkins".
   This cheesed her off, and when a Hawkins poem appeared in the wall newspaper in honour of the campaign, she retaliated with a pome about Stan. This was generally voted to be better than Stan's... Unable to voice an adequate reply, we presume he was shamed into appealing for posting in the face of this defeat. But maybe that's just another Hawkins legend. A pity no one recorded all the facts on Hawkins, to preserve the Hawkins mythology intact for future generations.
   Every morning this week, he's got out of bed and blasted us with a rendering of 'Ice Cold Katy'. The heaving of boots only served to increase the volume.

Aug 10 1944
Letter from M.T.: Had a letter from Wally. Says he's collected quite a lot of material, enough to warrant starting the mag if all goes well. That rocket article he wanted you to illustrate appeared last week in Answers, illustrated horribly Wally ses by a staff artist. He says the buzz-bombs were getting him down a bit until the lull occurred, but no damage, fortunately.

Sept. 1 1944
Letter from H.T.: Gus Willmorth also written and sent on the promised portfolio of Wallace Smith drawings... He seemed to like the the cover drawing I'd sent [for Geirrod?] The mag will be produced in Los Angeles I think, the cover's being lithoed there... accent on mythology.

Oct. 4 1944
Letter from M.T.: Last night, just as I was sallying forth to my class, who should I meet but Ron Lane, accompanied by a bloke whom he introduced as Frank Parker, coming to visit me. They accompanied me to the university...
   With regard to a cover you are supposed to be doing for Frank, I have to tell you that because of his new job which keeps him travelling round the country, he can't carry on with the mag, so some bloke in Newport is taking it over and he is anxious to have the design.... He seems a nice soul and hopes to meet you some day.
   By the way, did you know that John Burke is in France now. Is he still in the RAF? Last I recall, he was dodging around from RAF to Army.

Oct. 29 1944
Letter from H.T.: Reference to a weekend visit to Cranwell camp from Gus Willmorth and friend. They just turned up and we fitted them up with beds of two blokes on leave in our hut. They dined at the canteen without, surprisingly, arousing any comment. I was due to meet Gus in Lincoln but arrangements misfired, and I was wandering around the streets shouting 'Gus?' at every GI that crossed my path until I found one who responded!

Nov. 24 1944
Letter from M.T.: We've had a Christmas card from Sam Youd in Italy - fancy him being sufficiently civilised to send anyone a Christmas card - army life must have improved him!

Dec. 23 1944
H.T.: We've another radio in the hut to fill the gap left by the departure of the Hawkodyne and the Barry-tone. Reception's quite good and we listened to ITMA, and the 'Appointment with Fear'.

Spent Christmas with Marion at a Lincoln hotel. Woke up during the night by the sound of flying bombs which travelled inland...

Dec. 27 1944
Letter from M.T.: When I got to the office today there was breathless chat about an alert on Saturday night, and it turns out that the sirens went about 5 am and several V1's came buzzing over. Anne said she counted 9 thuds, but the official count is 11. They've fallen round the Manchester area and seem to have done a lot of damage, although none fell in the city. They're supposed to have been launched over the North Sea.

1945

Jan. 1945
H.T. on gunnery course in frozen Norfolk.

Feb. 2 1945
Letter from M.T.: There's a copy of Gemini arrived - package surcharged 4d which the postman didn't bother to collect - which has several pages of Zed off-loads; the stencils must have stood the test of time without drying out since they've reproduced quite clearly... There's a brief extract from a letter by you criticising the 'Jazz' cover design. And the famous Bruce Gaffron cover is on view!

Feb. 8 1945
We were laffing at the generous announcement on the wireless that loans of up to £150 would be granted to young couples to start in business... I wonder what sort of business you could start for £150? Unless it was a match-sellers or shoe-shine business.

March ... Last issue of FIDO (see p.34 THEN #2 ... ref to Fanarchy)

March 13 1945
H.T. letter from RAF radar site at Easington: This place seems to be one of the few chain stations run solely by RAF blokes - nary a WAAF in the vicinity... I wonder how long this site will be operational: the sea's wearing the cliffs down pretty fast, and there's been a recent fall in two places on the cliff. Most folk are wishing the process would speed up and remove the technical site altogether! It's a pretty deadly hole...

I spent some time wandering round other stations and managed to wangle some leave when son number 1 was due to arrive at the end of May. However, on my return to base I found I was due for an overseas posting. When Marion wrote the next few letters, I was spending my time at Blackpool, getting kitted out and being lectured on Japanese booby traps and such-like esoteric matters, though no one was supposed to know our ultimate destination. And thereafter I was despatched up to Glasgow to take up quarters in a converted Dutch cargo vessel doing duty as a troopship, and set sail (or steam) for unknown lands...

[Note: H.T. was sent to India to prosecute the war against the Japanese by keeping temperamental radar systems running. Then he found himself stuck there after Japan surrendered!]

June 20 1945
Letter from M.T.: Bags of mail for you today, all forwarded from Cranwell... Ron Lane appeared last night and was introduced to your son. He brought back Lust for Life, also two books for you to look at, one of them the letters of Cezanne, so I hope you'll get home at weekend to squint at them. Apparently Joyce Fairbairn and JMR are coming to Manchester for the weekend... It'll be quite a reunion if you can get home.

July 14 1945
Letter from M.T.: Just before 6 pm the bell buzzed and who should be there but Mike Rosenblum and Joyce; apparently this was the weekend they'd decided to spend in Manchester, not the one Ron told us. They were on their way to see Ron... Joyce is working in a steel factory in Sheffield... Mike looked very respectable for once; said he'd only heard about our offspring a fortnight ago. He told me about someone who had embarkation leave and actually got as far as to embark, remained on the ship for three weeks & then was sent back! Is there hope yet, or are you far away by this time?

July 17 1945
Letter from M.T.: Such an invasion on Sunday. I was expecting to see Joyce & JMR and possibly Ron, but when the bell rang about 10.30 am, we had no less than seven visitors, including Ron Holmes and his wife (married in March) - George Ellis, and Joyce's friend Solly, who is a physicist at Malvern.
   Seems that Frank Parker has a second son; Gus Willmorth is in Europe and Milt Rothman in Paris. Nobody knows where Zeus Craig is, or John Burke either; they just seem to have vanished... The gang decided to go and see Benson Herbert, and after Ron phoned to warn him of the impending invasion, they surged off with promises to return later.
   Later in the afternoon, Ron appeared and seemed surprised the others hadn't arrived. He'd been seeing Solly off on the train and arranged to meet the others here. We sat and chatted, and Ron had a good look at your Modern French Painters while I battered the lumps out of a bowl of dried egg for a custard for tea. Ron said he'd seen three copies in Jardine's and instantly grabbed one, only to be told they were all on order!
   We went into the library and studied your books -I kept finding books I hadn't seen before; what a lot you must have bought while I was in the nursing home, you rat. As no one turned up, Ron went home for tea.
   They all turned up at 7 pm - apparently they'd wandered into town, visited the Tatler News Theatre and then prowled round in search of something to eat. Joyce suggested trying to get in touch with old JAA (Junior Astronomical Association) members and try to get a meeting.
   She nearly got a job sending out the time pips on the wireless - it was some place in an observatory at Dorking, evacuated from Greenwich, where they check the time from the stars.
   However, she said it involved living in an ancient residence on top of a hill with three old fellas and a cat. She decided it wasn't worth it, especially as the work was all routine, which is why she's researching at Sheffield instead.

July 18 1945
Letter from M.T.: Had a letter from Andrew Salmond of the JAA today, now a sergeant-pilot and just returned from 2½ years overseas: he wants to know what's happening in the astronomical and sf lines. He's stationed at Harrogate. It's odd that Joyce should have been talking about getting in touch with ex JAA-ites and one should promptly just roll along to make contact.
   Ron Lane called this evening... he'd just come back from, a book-hunting expedition, clutching a large Paul Nash folio - weren't we looking at that at Jardines ? - and said he'd managed to get a copy of Mann's Magic Mountain.

July 20 1945
Letter from M.T.: Letters at last! I had such a surprise when No's 1 & 2 arrived yesterday. No dates on them, but I have a fairly good idea when they were written. How discreet your letters are - no word of what those distant coastlines are that your ship passes! But I expect the ever-vigilant P/O Parker would have whipped it out if you had...

July 26 1945
General election result announced 3 weeks after polling day to allow votes from troops overseas to be included. Harry Turner now in India.

Aug 8 1945
Letter from M.T.: What a surprise on Monday - Doug Webster appeared dressed as an Italian POW ! He apparently decided to set forth on his tour in his agricultural uniform, in the hope that it would help him to get lifts. In Scotland Italian POWs wear brown battledress instead of green - it took him a while to realise why he was an object of suspicion down here and lifts were few and far between...
   He eventually pushed off in the direction of Harrogate. I gave him Andrew Salmond's address, just in case. It appears that John Burke is now in Newcastle but is expecting to go to the Far East; Joan Burke and Bronwen are in Worcestershire, where Joan is looking after some children.
   No news of John Craig - he seems to have disappeared completely. Doug looked more hardbitten and weatherbeaten than ever, and said he hoped to finish up in London.

So you got to         at last? The censor neatly snipped it out & I can't imagine where you've been - it couldn't be B-MB-Y, by any chance?

Sep. 7 1945
Letter from John Craig, BAOR: Your cry from the wilderness reached me not in so much of a wilderness for I am in a very charming little German village called Neubeckum, in Westphalia, near to Munster, comparatively that is, about 30 miles away. It was with a pleasant sense of the touching that I learned of the advent of your offspring.
   I feel very flattered that you should have named him Philip... I think our own Philip still remembers you - by God, I forgot, we've had another one since then. Gregory, he's just two - tut,tut, how time does fly - is it so long ago as all that when you stayed with us?
   I've been around a bit and, apart from being away from home, have managed to have a pretty good time. Last November sailed for Italy and landed in Naples; from there to Bari, where we were destined for Jugoslav operations which never came off, so we spent the winter in Bari drinking quarts of vermouth and going to very excellent symphony concerts.
   In March we hied up to Leghorn and sailed for Marseilles, having had a look at Pisa and Florence (oh yes, I managed to wangle a week's leave in Rome in January). Finally landed up, after a trip through France, in Ypres, where we had a 'rest'. And so into Germany, where I have moved from place to place. I see that the censorship still is (or was) operating in your area, so you can't tell me exactly where you are. I gather it is in India, but no doubt restrictions have been lifted. ... Give me Europe every time... saw some excellent art exhibitions in Rome, including a modern art show with some original di Chiricos which impressed me no end.
    ... As for discussing things of moment... what interests you this day. My own interests are wide and diverse. I had same little success with writing (not sf) at the beginning of 1944 but have lapsed since. Won a competition for a fantasy in the LFA this year, but as we moved out of CMF I never received the prize. Bad show. Am particularly intrigued with modern British painters: Armstrong, Adrian Hill, John Tunnard, Edward Wadsworth, etc.

Sep. 7 1945
And from Marion, the same day,: Webster visited the Craigs...he says that every visitor is hailed as 'Uncle Harry' by Philip and drawings demanded, and received with expressions of disgust if they didn't come up to your standard! I'd love to meet this young Philip - we weren't even married when you met him - won't Zeus be surprised to hear you've got a Philip of your own now?

Oct. 23 1945
Letter from M.T.: Had a visit from Ron Lane last night. He brought back some books of yours he'd borrowed and retired with The Sword in the Stone and Rats, Lice and History. He's been to London... and stopped with Benson Herbert... Benson has asked Joyce Fairbairn to edit a magazine to be called New Frontiers...
   She wants me to write for it and you to draw, but the specifications are so vague that I can't make much of them!... It appears that Joyce met Sam Youd and the pair fell straightaway; rumour has it that they are going to be married when they can... Sam has gone back to Italy, presumably to await his demob. Well, well, wonders will never cease.

1946

November(?) HT arrived home from India

1947

Winter HT bowled over by winter and freeze-up. Aware of pollution at [Anchor] chemical works
Searching for home – ended up at Moston; 9 Willow Bank, Church Lane

1950-ish

MVSFC meeting, reunited with Eric Needham, met Eric Bentcliffe, Brian, Frances and Sandy Sanderson. below: cartoon from Fantasy Advertiser, 1951 [collected by H.T.]

Cartoon from Fantasy Advertiser, 1951

1951 Festival of Britain, South Bank, London
The Festival of Britain on the South Bank, London, 1951

1952

5 October 1952 ... MANCON was held in Waterloo Hotel, attracting around a 100 fans - no London fans turned up "Manchester is too far away".

The first ManCon

   ("Brought about the fannish resurrection of Harry Turner" ses THEN #2, p.61. "Following his return from service with the RAF in India... Harry Turner had met up again with Eric Needham, who had also seen service in the RAF. Having made contact with the new generation of Manchester fans at Mancon - a group whose main members at this point were Bentcliffe, Cohen, Brian Varley, Frances Evans, H.P. (Sandy) Sanderson, and Terry Jeeves - he and Needham stayed in touch and, early in 1953, Turner became involved in an attempt to revive Astroneer. Though intended as the group's official organ it had only seen one issue, the mantle of group fanzine falling instead on Space Times).

Autumn ... First issue of Nebula Science Fiction.

1953

THEN #2, p.68-9 support for Fanarchy - London fans "are social group, without secretary, dues, or organisation"...

SPACE TIMES Vol. 2 No. 4 April 1953
Published monthly by the Nor'west Science-Fantasy Club.
   Edited Eric Bentcliffe and Eric Jones (EB at Stockport; EJ at Cheltenham; and Terry Jeeves, Art Ed, at Sheffield). Hektoed cover, rest duplicated.
   Editorial by EB: A few months ago in a valiant attempt to settle the conventional disagreements that have been making Fandom rather an unhappy place, Vince Clarke brought out INITIATIVE INCORPORATED, a circular addressed to the folk who do things in British Fandom. The object ... was to air and settle the grievances about who should hold the two-day conventions in the years to come, and what system of rota or voting should be used. Unfortunately, no two people could agree on any one thing...
   However, this question of Convention sites is still to be settled, and whilst we do not intend to give ST over to comment and argument on the matter, we should like to know what you think is the answer to the following problems.
   a) The London fans, with few exceptions, are against the idea of a major convention being held outside London.
   b) Northern fans, again with few exceptions, do not believe that they should have to travel to London every Whitsun and think it only fair that Conventions should be held elsewhere.
   c) How should the next Con site be chosen ?
   There you have the three main points that must be decided upon. Let's have your opinions...

... these are the opinions of the Editor, and not necessarily those of any other member of the Space-Times staff.
   At the Convention last year, an announcement regarding the Mancon was made; at the same time people who lived in London but who were prepared to travel up to Manchester for the day, were asked to raise their hands. Some thirty people did so... YET, only one person from London actually showed up that day...
   We agree that (as several London fans pointed out!) Manchester is a long way from London. However, we might point out that it's the same distance both ways... we have attended the last two London conventions. The first we thoroughly enjoyed, the second was not so hot, most of the visitors from abroad who helped to make the '51 show go with a swing, were absent in '52. And the organisers showed themselves to be lacking in new ideas... one of the reasons why we are in favour of a different Con site each year, because this would mean a fresh viewpoint each convention.

"The ego spot" turns its lecherous eye onto....
   FRANCES EVANS, the club's pin-up girl who came along to see what SF fans were like, and stayed. Frances walked in on an early meeting of the club to find the members discussing when they could expect a female fan to appear on the nsfc horizon. It's noticeable that since she joined the club, certain male members have attended far more frequently than before. Frances, alack, is married, but she is steadily converting her husband into a fan so we forgive her for this.
   Vital statistics. Age?? (no, we are not feeling caddish tonite). Height around five feet five. Hair brown... And of a photogenic build. As was agreed by a Manchester Evening News photographer who, at the trade show of The Day the Earth Stood Still, posed her with Gort the Robot.
   One of her favourite stories is Mr Zytz Goes to Mars, favourite drink, gin, favourite drunk, Sandy.... Frances advocates: More 'beefcake' on magazine covers.

Astroneer cover by Harry TurnerAdvance notice of Astroneer, to be edited by Harry Turner and Paul Sowerby...
     Read it HERE

SPACE TIMES Vol 2 No 5 May 1953 Cover by Ken McIntyre
Coroncon denounced (by the editors)as the biggest flop ever... complaints at monopoly of London Circle and plea to adopt US convention methods.
   Others continue in similar vein: Dave Cohen, Frances Evans and Brian Varley.
   Brian Varley in A BLOODY PROVINCIAL AT THE CORONCON chides Bert Campbell (editor of AUTHENTIC) for his remark of "for god's sake rescue her from those bloody provincials" when Bea Mahaffey was seen chatting to a group of Northern fans in the White Horse.
   ROMPING THROUGH FANDOM WITH THE LITTLE WOMAN by Henry Ernst... comments on the Varley analysis of Fan Types (HT: I didn't write this, did I?)
   H.P. Sanderson posted to MELP 17.

SPACE TIMES Vol. 2 No. 6 June 1953 Anniversary issue. Multilithed cover HT (Attack of the Carrotaliens) in sepia and green.
Editorial: First issue, a single-page newsletter, appeared just a year ago.
   EB writes of a meeting of Medway Science & Fantasy Club on 22 July attended by Illustrated reporter Maurice Goldsmith (who spoke at the Coroncon) and photograper.
   Ethel Lindsay noted as new subscriber / Arthur Clarke's marriage only 36 hours after meeting Marion Torgeson reported / Astroneer and Zenith both published.

Space Times, July 1953, cover by Harry TurnerSPACE TIMES Vol. 2 No. 7 July 1953 Cover HT illustrating "End of Voyage"

SPACE TIMES Vol. 2 No. 9 (15) September 1953
Stencils cut by Eric Jones in Cheltenham, Terry Jeeves in Sheffield, and Stu Mackenzie in London. Printing scheduled for Cheltenham but done in London. Posted in Manchester ! Eric Jones decides to retire this issue and hands over production to Stu Mackenzie in London.
   Letter from Sgt Joan W. Carr.

SPACE TIMES Vol. 2 No. 12 December 1953 Christmas Ish Multilith cover by HT in red on pale green paper.
London Letter mentions that Lou Mordecai is moving to the Globe and the London Circle is going with him / Ad for Fantasy Art Society at my address / NEWS FLASH that covers will be Multilithed from January... (Did I do any more covers?)

1954

THEN #2, p.110 ... "Combozines... The first in Britain had been put out for SUPERMANCON and featured a number of special two or four page versions of contemporary fanzines, bound together."

10th April HT & family moved to Romiley, where Now & Then was born

SPACE TIMES Vol. 3 No. 4 April 1954
Edited by Stu Mackenzie & Brian H. Varley

HYPHEN 9 July 1954
Chuck Harris edited: Viną looked after production.
   Writing "as a successful candidate for the TRANSFANFUND '54", Viną Clarke says: ... the final TransFanFund, although reaching a total greater than most of us expected, (£94.15.ll) has not quite reached that minimum amount of £115, which would leave everything on the green. ... I'd probably take a chance on it--our American friends seem to have gathered a number of offers of free transport and accommodation over there--but I'm only a typical fan with a fan's penchant for The Long View -- which means looking to the future but not taking up unplanned action.
   I've two or three personal reasons why this is embarrassing at this particular time, the most pregnant of which is that I'm at present minus a job. In ordinary circumstances this would be a trifle light as air, but right now... No, it's no go. However, I don't think anybody really expected the Fund would be big enough this year; the total is a delightful surprise and means that, next year, the Atlantic crossing by someone in fandom is a certainty...

Walt Willis: THE MAGNIFICENT FLOP/ Supermancon report.
   The sun was shining on Manchester when Irish Fandom arrived... we were met by Fred Robinson and Terry Jeeves, plenipotentiaries for Eric Bentcliffe, and escorted to the hotel. After everyone has fed their sensitive fannish faces we drifted along to the Convention Hall to make sure that everything was all right. It was... the public address system had just broken down. Pleased to see that all was proceeding on traditional lines we drifted out again and mounted guard on the front steps to look out for the motorised convoy of Londoners.
   After an hour or so the others--fake fans all--got tired of waiting and deserted their posts.... eventually rewarded by the sight of a London taxicab tearing past loaded... with fans, the top layer consisting largely of Walter Gillings wearing a tropical pith helmet with a home-made aliminium propellor on top. My opinion of Gillings soared.
   ... Bert Campbell's motorbike had broken down outside Rugby and nothing had been heard of him since. This was so completely what might have been expected that nobody believed it for quite a while, and the Northerners obviously expected Bert to materialise in their midst at any moment. I think it was this, and not the official programme, which was responsible for the general air of expectancy throughout the Convention that any moment something might happen.
   At precisely 11.30 I went along to the Convention Hall to see if the Londoners would carry out their secret plan to draw attention to the official starting time with a rocket take-off count. Judge of my horror to find some brash Northern neofan called Harry Turner getting up to declare the Convention open and calling for witnesses that it had started on time.
   Some of the older fans would have collapsed from shock at this unheard-of breach of hallowed tradition, had not Dave Cohen swiftly restored an atmosphere of security with a few ritual apologies and by failing to introduce half the notables present. One of the apologies was that because of the failure of the public address system it was not going to be possible to start the proceedings with a rocket take-off count as the Manchester Group had planned.
   (During the lunch break, at the hotel management asked the Committee to move the Convention Hall from the first to the ground floor).
   ... After some more apologies, including one for the number of apologies, the afternoon sessions started a mere 55minutes late.

... The talk at tea-time was all about the startling news that the film show that evening was to be Things To Come--NOT Metropolis. Shocked murmurings were heard when the announcement was made. Small indignation meetings were held. Neofans staggered about, white and trembling, their world crashing to ruins about their ears. Old fans shook their heads forebodingly. No good would come of this mad craze for novelty. A Convention without Metropolis! It was unthinkable...
   But there was even worse to come. No one discovered that the show was illegal under a twenty-year-old statute, the films arrived safely, on time, and wound the right way, no one ran around asking the audience if anyone had a 35mm projector, the projector did not break down, the film was not put on backwards, or even upside down. In fact the whole showing went off without a single hitch. It was terrifying, like the end of the world.

... I could mention the interesting affair of Burgess's entrails. These were several pounds of assorted livers, lights and other internal organs which Burgess had bought in London slightly too long ago, brought to the Convention, and deposited in Peter Hamilton's room for safe keeping. Unfortunately he had omitted to tell the occupant of the room about them, and when Peter Hamilton found them he thoughtlessly threw them out of the window into the canal.
   Burgess came around later to collect them and was highly indignant at Peter for putting out his lights. He explained that he had intended to put them in Norman Shorrock's bed. I am sorry to say however that this eminently reasonable explanation was not in accordance with the facts. Actually the entrails were part of the props for a highly secret item the London Circle proposed to put on tomorrow--a fake human sacrifice to culminate in Ted Tubb throwing entrails among the audience; just another of the wonderful London Circle ideas which when the time came they found they hadn't the guts to put on.
   Sunday:... After this Ted Tubb began to take over the Convention. Little more was seen of the Convention Committee, and nothing of 11 of the 22 items listed on the official programme. Instead Ted Tubb reigned supreme, first ad-libbing his way thru the remnants of Terry Jeeves' script for the mock trial of Bert Campbell... and then winding up the Convention with a riotous series of monologues and interviews...

...Dave Cohen and Eric Needham stood by the door with distraught faces and courageously asked representative fans what they had thought of the Convention... Every one that I heard was to the effect that the official programme had been a fiasco, but that they, personally, had enjoyed the Convention.... The Supermancon seems actually to have strengthened fandom, a thing which no Convention has ever done before.
   Apparently the Supermancon Committee wrought this fannish miracle by staging the worst-organised Convention fandom has yet seen... It was as if all the sins of British fandom--the smugness of the North, the malice of the South, the snobbery of the Old Guard--as if they were all expiated by the Supermancon Committee as they crucified themselves in the Grosvenor Hotel.
   The point was that they bore their agony in such a way as to demonstrate the inherent goodness of fen... they met every disaster with such informality and good humour that they won people's sympathy. In the face of this sporting attitude the London Circle (though admittedly things might have been different if Bert Campbell had arrived on schedule0 dropped their plans for sabotage. ....The official programme was allowed to die peacefully by mutual consent.
   ... The Supermancon Committee deserve credit for other things than committing suicide. They booked an almost ideal hotel--not too respectable, only slightly too big, and above all with plenty of lounges where people could talk, in a sort of perpetual party.
   RAN'M: a small con report by Hic-HARRIS
   ...The actual programme was pretty horrible, but the Committee had done their best, and they did at least have the good sense to pass their weary burden to Ted Tubb as soon as he arrived. Ted is not always scintillatingly witty but he has enormous zest and such rapid fire delivery that his poor jokes get lost in the laughter at his good ones.
   Auctioneering is his speciality, but he's perfectly willing to get up and ad lib about any damn thing at all. I didn't see much of the official programme--I wanted to meet people instead of watching movies or listening to talks that I couldn't understand.

...To hell with the official programme... The parties were much more enjoyable.

Advert announcing foundation of OMPA -- The Off-trail Magazine Publishers Association... details from Ken Bulmer or Viną Clarke.

FEMIZINE 2 Convention issue, Summer 1954
Ed. Joan W. Carr / Material to Ethel Lindsay, 126 West Regent St., Glasgow.
   Front cover is emergency measure to get out con report... Harry Turner has in hand the problem of the future cover design...
   A woman's eye view of the Convention compiled from reports by
   Frances Evans, Ethel Lindsay & Ina Shorrock
   (Fran met Ethel at the bus depot on the Friday night, didn't stay long at the con and then took her home. Sandy turned up, being on six weeks leave from Egypt and intending to put in a surprise appearance at the con.)
   Saturday dawned too early--much too early. I thought I would never manage to get ready by the time the car called... The car was needed to carry the copies of FEZ 1, a blackboard, and an assortment of other things for the Con, as well as two bodies. Having arrived at the hotel, we soon set up the FEZ stand, and then we settled down to wait for the other people to arrive.
   Ina: ...missed the opening, but we heard the Bran Tub was a great success. Not surprising when you consider that most of the parcels Frank Simpson handed out for 6d each contained good value.... The afternoon session began with a seemingly serious talk on the Atom by Frank Simpson, a research chemist...
   In the evening there was a showing of the film Things to Come, and unlike previous Loncons the film did arrive and didn't break down. When the film ended, Liverpudlians adjourned to lounge 133, specially booked for a party, but I remember little of this because pat Doolan and I spent most of our time filling empty glasses. It was great fun.


-- I'm just relaxing as a precaution against collator's cramp - --- Harry Turner


Frances: The party was undoubtedly the outstanding success of the Con. It must have led to a few thick heads, broken glasses, and broken zap-guns before it was all over, but everyone had a good time...
   Ina: Next morning I was one of the few who were up for breakfast. Sharing a table with Harry Turner and Sandy Sanderson, we watched a few others crawl in with their eyes propped open. The rest of Sunday morning I just cannot recall...


I would like to put on record the fact that the Supermancon Combozine was a wonderful piece of work. To the Wizard of Repro, Harry Turner, we pay homage.
   -- j.w. carr

HYPHEN 11 November 1954
Edited Walt Willis & Chuck Harris, 170 Upper Newtownards Rd, Belfast.
   Arthur Thomson's first cartoon published... an alien in a queue of unobservant fans for a lecture on "Is Space Travel Possible?".
   Editorial announces Viną Clarke's withdrawal from actifandom.
   Lettercol "POST SCRIPTS" includes DRSmith:
   Turning over the page I am stricken with horror and remorse to find that I used to induce nightmares in the troubled brain of the infant Clarke (AV). I must hasten to correct his mistaken ideas of my appearance; I am but slightly over half as high as his conjecture, slenderly built in proportion, with mild, prematurely aged features--ugly, I grant you, but inspiring pity rather than fear.
   To spare myself the agony of further disclosures I will merely mention that I have so little bodily strength that i have to use a hammer in both hands to depress each key of my typewriter--which I trust will be noted as an excuse for the frequent inaccuracy with which the keys are hit.
   Archie Mercer: I have noted your point about respect for, knowledge of etc, the fannish past. I don't know at what point in said past you first reared your 'ugly' head therein ((1947))...
   Brian Varley: You seem to have raised quite a hornet's nest with your 'bias' against the London Circle. It's rather amusing to contemplate what might have happened if Bert Campbell hadn't been at the rear of the procession. If their intentions had been half as base as many Northern fans suspected I imagine we would all be now busy scraping the bottom of the filthy tricks barrel in preparation for the next Loncon. In a revolting sort of way it's a pity Operation Armageddon wasn't carried through. Just think of the glorious conspiracies that could be being hatched.
   HT (at the start of p28): Balls to Mike Wallace. Why do some people maintain that a fan is necessarily maladjusted? What's so 'normal' about football, cricket, etc as forms of relaxation ? Why are they more or less normal than fanning ? Perhaps our psychologist will explain. I rather fear that Mike himself clings to the belief that fans are not as other mortals, otherwise he would not write such twaddle. Ghu save us from fanphilosophers.
   Sid Birchby: HYPHEN 9 should be preserved for posterity to warn them what happens at SuperMancons...

1955

FEMIZINE 5 February 1955
Contributions to Ethel Lindsay: subs to Frances Evans; fanzines to Sgt J.W. Carr, MELP.
   Wigwam by Pamela Bulmer: "...what more intriguing subject could there be than Hither Green. I wonder what madman had the weird notion to call it Hither Green. In the first place, it is far more Thither than Hither and i have yet to come across a Green. There is, of course, a sorrowful patch of sodden vegetation which one might in desperation imagine in its dim and distant youth to have been intended as a Green.
   But anyone who has had cause to traverse this station knows very well that it wanders thither and more thither and will only be hither when treated in a logical fashion. We all know that women are far more logical than men and it will not, therefore, come as a surprise to any femme to learn the truth about the strange occurrences variously reported in other magazines. In actual fact it happened this way...

This particular weekend we had Harry Turner staying with us and Vince and joy called over in the evening. Having missed the last bus they decided to brave the uncharted depths of Hither Green. At this stage I should mention that the station is built in a 'V' shape, the only connection of the two sets of lines being at the junction of the arms of the 'V'.
   The engineers, not being content with this clumsy effort, decided to build no less than three exit/entrances, to say nothing of the numerous dark and dusty passages which no one but long-established and trusty employees of British Railways have ever dared to explore.
   Occasionally the rotted remains of an alpenstock and the odd skull or two are found forlornly on the Down line on wintry mornings. Not only this, but the three main exits land you in three entirely different areas.

When we first moved to Catford my dear husband thoughtfully warned me to come out of the station this end or it might be confusing. Of course, he didn't tell me how I would know which was this end. I alighted from the train and promptly followed everyone to the exit, this being in the opposite direction from that which I had come by in the morning.
   Cheerfully I handed in my ticket and proceeded to trudge homeward, when to my dismay I noticed the scruffy little patch of green was missing. I realised immediately what had happened and returned to the station. I retraced my steps. At least, that is what I thought I was doing. After following various devious and very dark subterranean passages I suddenly found myself on a platform and a short way along this was a bridge crossing the lines. Having only a very hazy idea of the platform from the morning, I remembered having climbed a bridge, so I climbed 'back' along this one. Once more I ventured into the unknown. This time I found myself in a large square being pushed and shoved along by hundreds of bowler-hatted office workers. With some difficulty I extricated myself and once more sought the sanctuary of the station. I was seriously considering returning to London Bridge, taking another train and hoping that would land me at least in my own time continuum. In fact. I was beginning to think I had found a rival to the Maze.

Almost an hour, miles of platform and several trains later, I found the right exit and finally arrived home utterly exhausted. Ken once attempted to explain to me what a Moebius strip is and since my experience seemed twice as complicated as this I am convinced that it must have originated from Hither Green Station and any fan who has the diligence to search there will no doubt find the original Moebius strip. Think of it! We laid on a Moebius strip (does anyone know how to spell the flaming word?) just to make you feel at home!

Anyway, after six months travelling, I felt I could take on the responsibility of seeing our guests safely on their train. Inside the station I immediately turned right and followed the bridge I know. Ken, however, was determined to prove that women were unintelligent and said that obviously the quickest way was to go along the platform to the inky depths of the subway below. Not wishing to cause a scene I followed meekly; but I must confess that I felt a glow of pride when I heard a lusty yell: "Not that way, mate. It's closed".

We turned back and I naturally thought that we would all now follow the route which I had proved to be without booby-traps. But Ken had other ideas. He decided to try the other parallel platform and attempt to gain access to the subway from there. I was thankful to see that my guests had not altogether lost faith in us and were now hopefully following me. We arrived at our platform safely.

Ken was not so lucky.

Of course, it was his own fault. If he hadn't tried to prove that his way was the quickest when obviously it wasn't, he wouldn't have landed up in a sewer and staggered up safe and sound in the charge of not one, but two, porters long after we had arrived andwere beginning to become a little worried. I did not have to work out in my own mind which was the quickest way--I knew instinctively, which all goes to show that women think far more quickly and concisely than men.

We are thinking of obtaining a large supply of Vargo Statten magazines and laying a trail from the station mysteries to our door. Because, you see, we have Chuck coming to visit us next week--ah well, that will, no doubt, be another story. ■

1958

STEAM Vol. 4 No. 3, June 1958, produced by Ken Bulmer
Includes a reprint of NOW & THEN No. 8.

Produced by the SEPTUAGENARIAN FANS ASSOCIATION™

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