Blake's Seven 10th Anniversary Charity Appeal

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Blake's Seven 10th Anniversary Charity Appeal was a fan activity to raise money for charity in the name of Blake's 7.

Fans donated items to be auctioned off at Space City and Scorpio.

Proceeds from the sale of the reprinted zine Episodes were donated to this cause.

There are photos of the presentation of the total amount in Horizon Newsletter #10 (December 1989).

From a October 1988 zine editorial:

If you have any spare money left after buying this zine, why not think about donating it to the BLAKE'S SEVEN lOTH ANNIVERSARY CHARITY APPEAL. B7 clubs/groups from all over the world are joining together to raise money for worthy charities nominated by some of the B7 Actors/ Actresses to celebrate Blake's Seven's 10th Anniversary Year.

People donating money choose which of the charities they would like their money to go towards. Charities/Sponsors: Gareth Thomas - Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital; Paul & Janet Darrow and Sally Knyvette - Intl. Fund for Animal Welfare; Michael Keating - Cancer Relief; Brian Croucher - The Terrence Higgins Trust (AIDS Charity); Jan Chappell - Friends of the Earth; Peter Tuddenham - NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children).

Cast and fans have donated items - some to be auctioned on behalf of the Appeal, most to be put in a Grand Prize Draw. Currently over 100 items donated for the Draw, including scripts, photos, zines, subscriptions, BBC B7 video episodes, and personal items from the Cast Sponsors (including; MANY photos, scripts etc. autographed by all the Guest Sponsors named above plus Steven Pacey & Josette Simon, and hopefully others to follow, a B7 related make-up demo video tape by Sheelagh Wells (i.e. how to make up a mutoid, 1001 yukky things to do with rice krispies!) with some extra special surprise items on the video, comp tickets to future plays the cast may be in, a.special audio tape with messages from some of our Guest Sponsors, incl. Michael Keating reminiscing about his early years as Vila (he claims to have been 16 at the time!, Peter Tuddenham and his magic voices, and Michael Keating has volunteered to raffle HIMSELF for the charity!!!

Money can be donated in any currency, although sterling or US dollars are preferred. [...] You MUST also state which of the 6charities you wish to nominate (only one charity PER CHEQUE please) and state where you heard of the Appeal.

As at mid-August 88 the Appeal stands at just under £1,000 actually banked or pledged, How about helping to make it more? If enough money is raised, apart from helping the very worthwhile charities. there will be a good deal of favourable publicity for our favourite programme. Lets make sure the BBC takes notice of us in this B7's 1Oth Anniversary Year. Donate your money NOW.... with our thanks.

If you would like an update on Charity Appeal news in the autumn, or the full 3 page information leaflet now available, please contact Diane Gies or Heather Nachman. [1]

Gareth Thomas Raises Many Glasses, and Some Money

Gareth Thomas, the actor who portrayed Roj Blake, did some fundraising at Space City:

Gareth's more serious side was in evidence now. I joined the autograph queue...and came close to him as he was expressing his feelings about the fan reaction. It scared him very much, he said, but he accepted it and he mas also very grateful because he needed the fans. Coming to the convention was his way of saying thank you.

The mood was more jovial as things moved onto the Closing Ceremony and the prize-giving. By now, Gars was clearly (if he'll forgive me) less than 100? sober, and although this in no way impaired his fact it did seem to bring his emotions closer to the surface. Paul did the honours at the Closing Ceremony, introducing the guests one by one, although Primi and Sally had gone by this time, too. Gareth came onto the stage and went off again, none too steadily. Everyone who deserved a hand - the guests, Committee, the stewards, etc. - was given one, and it seemed the whole thing was almost over. But Gareth had one more card to play.

"What I'm going to do now," he said very deliberately, "what I'm going to do now... " and he proceeded to remove his tobacco, his wallet and his pipe from his blazer. He then set about auctioning the garment for The Great Ormond Street Hospital (his chosen charity for the 10th Anniversary Appeal). He went on pushing, persuading & urging until he reached his target of £100, paid by the same lady who had purchased the Elvis glasses. She was very rightly given a very big hand, as was Gareth. He stressed again how much he needed the fans, and how he had come to say thank you, and how sometimes he had to be a human being "not just Blake". Of course, he was under the influence, but the sentiments came from his heart, and he would do himself a disservice if he felt the least bit ashamed of anything he did that day. Even if sitting down to have his hair cut for charity in the blooper room afterwards was pushing his luck a bit! There was a final showing of the blooper tape, and Gareth allowed Sheelagh to snip a few locks from the back of his head, with the comment that Paul should be next. [snipped] [2]

References

  1. ^ from Horizon #12 (October 1988
  2. ^ Horizon Newsletter #21, con report by Tim Pieraccini