Beauty and the Beast UK Chamber

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Fan Club
Name: Beauty and the Beast UK Chamber (also: UK Chamber)
Dates: 1990s?-1997
Founder(s):
Leadership: Alison Whelen
Country based in: UK
Focus: Beauty and the Beast
External Links:
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Beauty and the Beast UK Chamber is a Beauty and the Beast fan club based in the UK.

It was the very first Beauty and the Beast UK club, though had members from the UK, Europe and the USA.

The club published numerous fanzines and hosted several conventions, including annual events such as a Winterfest in Feb/March and Masques in October/November.

The group also served as an umbrella for other UK local groups such as Laura's Cavern.

From an ad placed in Volume 2 Of Love and Hope:
"'Beauty and the Beast UK Chamber' - the first UK based fan club for the TV series. Club magazine (The Chronicle) 40+ pages of member input - stories, articles, reviews, letters, poetry, art, quizzes & information - March, June, Sept & Dec. Also produce 'The Journal', 16 pages, April, July, Oct, Jan between Chronicles to keep members up to date. Voted best club magazine for 2 years since inception of the British Annual Awards. US Membership $22 (US dollars, cash please). Send to: Sheila Waters, [address redacted]."

Some Publications

Its Demise

In 1997 a member of the club sent the following letter to Volume 4 Of Love and Hope:
"I'm sorry to say that here in England one of our fan clubs, in fact

our oldest fan club seems to be about to close. To be honest, it seems more like a suicide! I really don't want to go into details but the 'Council' of the U K Chamber were so disheartened by the low attendance at Winterfest this year that they have included a letter in their publication 'The Chronicle' which lambastes the entire membership! I can foresee many resignations as a result and many more who will simply not renew (myself included). The purpose of this post is really only to let those unfamiliar with the situation and newcomers to fandom, who may hear something about it, know that other fan clubs in Britain (or elsewhere) do not turn on their members in this fashion. Other clubs realise that non-attendance at conventions may be caused by many factors and not that it is merely a sign of 'apathy'. The U K Chamber has organised 14 conventions in Britain over the years, Winterfest in Feb/March and Masques in Oct/Nov, and those who have attended have always enjoyed them and appreciated all the hard work that the 'Council' have put in on their

behalf. The U K Chamber will be missed."
The club responded with an open letter also published in the newsletter:
"The Council of the UK Chamber planned to hold no more conventions after

Winterfest 1996. However, people pleaded with us to hold another Winterfest. People who had rarely or never previously attended our conventions promised they would come to Winterfest 1997 were we to organize it. As it seemed quite clear to us that we could count on having the same number of attendees as at previous conventions we went ahead and organized Winterfest 1997 and invited Caitlin O'Heaney to be our guest. Unfortunately people didn't make good on their promises. Furthermore, these absences went unexplained.

We have always been aware (and frequently expressed the fact) that many people cannot afford to attend conventions, others simply are not interested in attending such events, others may be going through a time of crisis and for one reason or another cannot attend a particular convention. This we understand.

However, it would have been nice if those people who had PROMISED to come had contacted us and explained their reasons. It is difficult to believe that ALL of them were experiencing a crisis at that time. Due to the fact that so many people let us down we were faced with the unpleasant task of informing Caitlin that we could not afford to have her attend, thereby depriving her not only the enjoyment of a convention, but also the Dublin Film Festival which she had planned to attend during her visit to this part of the world.

If [the member] had read the letter in the Chronicle properly she would have seen that the word 'apathy' was used in reference to another matter entirely.

Lastly, I would like to ask why we should not be allowed to air our grievances to our membership? The current Council of the UK Chamber has given a large part of 6 to 8 years of their lives to our membership and this fandom. [The club member] seems to feel that we must accept everything that comes our way but we should not be allowed to comment, we should not be allowed to express

our feelings of hurt. We don't agree."
The fan later clarified:
"My purpose in writing to the forum of OLAH was to reassure USA fans

who may be contemplating attending the A Moment In Time convention in

Manchester in August that there is no connection with the UK Chamber [and therefore will not be impacted by the fan club's closing]....."