A Weekend in the Country (UK)

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Convention
Name: A Weekend in the Country (UK)
Dates: 1982-1984
Frequency: annual
Location: York, UK
Type: fan con
Focus: The Professionals
Organization:
Founder:
Founding Date:
URL:
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A Weekend in the Country was a small Professionals convention that was held in the U.K. in the 1980s.

Also see: A Weekend in the Country (US).

About

Felicity Parkinson offers the following recollections:

[A few] dates for Weekend In The Country cons:
  • No.1, 5–7 March 1982
  • No.2, 4-6 Feb 1983
  • No.3, 3-5 Feb 1984

I'm pretty certain only three were held and they were all at the Ashcroft in York. You can tell from the dates that they were held while the series was still being first shown. In fact I remember from the first one, an Australian who was over for a visit and attending the con remarked (a propos of one of the con sessions) that we hadn't yet seen Discovered in a Graveyard, whereas they had already done so in Australia. Things were delayed here because ITV went on strike.

It wasn't a slash con per se, even though Professionals fandom was really slash from the outset. People had to be very careful about what they said in public. Ken Bulmer was the guest of honour at the first convention, and certainly slash wouldn't have been mentioned in his presence. I'm also not sure whether everyone there was a slash fan, and the other point is that people were a bit paranoid that Brian Clemens would get to hear of slash fandom. It wasn't like Star Trek, where we were on the other side of the Atlantic and a whole continent away as well. Professionals slash fandom was British and Brian Clemens was on the doorstep, as it were. But it was talked about in private discussions and I did order a slash zine at the first convention.

One of the sessions at the first one was a character study of Bodie and Doyle, done by two fans listening to what was said in the episodes that had been shown so far. I remember some of the discussion got quite heated at times and I can see that I've scribbled comments all over my pages. This from someone who at that point had only seen about a dozen episodes! The following year we had a similar character study done on Cowley by the same two people. They decided to leave out Wild Justice and Operation Susie from their study because of the contradictions in them compared with other episodes.[1]
Some fans confuse Nattercon with A Weekend in the Country (UK) but according to one commentator they were
...organised by different groups of people, and with a distinct chronological break between them.[2]

One fan remembers that there were about 30 fans present, all women except for one husband. Over the course of the weekend, fans watched twelve episodes: "Well, this was a time when not everyone had a video and, of those who did, not all would have managed to tape some of the early episodes of the series." She remembers there was an auction—there were no Professionals zines, of course, for sale, so she bought a Starsky and Hutch one instead. This fan tells of the character panel and how contentious it got at times.[3]

References

  1. ^ from Byslantedlight’s Live Journal: "Pros Fandom History - post the third..." posted 13 October 2009, accessed 18 April 2012
  2. ^ Talk:Nattercon
  3. ^ from DIAL #16