Intercon (UK Star Trek: TOS con)

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Star Trek Convention
Name: Intercon
Dates: June 23–25, 1978
Frequency:
Location: Fulcrum Centre, Queensmere, Slough, England
Type: fan-run
Focus: Star Trek: TOS
Organization: Intercon and Terron Enterprises
Founder: Sallyann Griffin, Margaret Bertram, Peter Ree-Jones, and Jane
Founding Date:
URL:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Intercon is a Star Trek: TOS con, the fifth British Star Trek Convention. It was held in 1978.

The name of the con is derived from "Inter-Continental" -- "... because we had Trek fans from Germany, Holland and even Australians present. Plus some Americans but these were not new to British cons, whereas the fledgling groups from Europe certainly were." [1]

The con charity was Leukaemia Research Fund.

A programme of events were held over Saturday and Sunday including Trek episodes, sci-fi movies, a guest speaker (unamed), Fancy Dress, a disco at the Heathrow Hotel, an auction, an awards ceremony and a fashion show/cabaret.

The auction list included various zines, art work, Star Trek books and scripts, a Star Trek bed sheet set (pillowcase and a fitted bottom sheet in single-bed size), and Captain Kremmen audio tapes donated and signed by Kenny Everett. Kenny Everett donated the tapes for the auction on condition that the brand new "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper" be broadcast every hour over the PA, which the con com did. Reports were that the fans "took it well to heart." [2]

For some other information, see Robin Edmond's Intercon site.[3]

Description

Latest on the con is that to date we have guests: Anthony Daniels, Dave Prowse, Jon Pertwce, Alan Frank, Matthew Mulkan (NASA), and Brian Johnson (Star Wars Special FX). Films: War of the Worlds, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, The Power, and hope to have at least five Trek episodes. (Tribbles, City, Battlefield, Shore Leave, Deadly Years). Room rate at the hotel has dropped to £8-50 per person for double/twin room shared and £11.50 for singlos. We also have somo model displays booked - one includes a 10 foot long space ship and others are two working models of R2D2 plus more. We hope to have a set of the Smash commercial with two Martians and the cat. Wo also plan a film feature which I devised called Space in Advertising which will show all the current and perhaps some old TV ads which used space and sci-fi subjects. We are planning to follow a rough plan as used in the USA cons whereby all the films are shown continually throughout the two days so people can choose when they go to watch them. Having a complete cinema at our disposal allows us to do this. All the usual events will be there too, like the Fashion Show, Fancy Dress, etc. Dealers room will also be open together with display rooms for the art and design competition entries. The Auction will be hold on Sunday afternoon and all items must be known to us by 1st August. This is so that we can put a complete list in the programme and not have last minute items which delegates will not know about. We hope to put all items on show prior to the auction for people to be able to have a look at them first. A full catering service will be available at the Centre at reasonable prices and there are numerous restaurants and cafes just outside the Centre itself. For people entering in the Fashion Show we are using the Stage in the main Con hall, which has full lighting and audio play facilities so soundtrack can be put onto cassettes beforehand. The Con Book is 11" x 8" and will be a full glossy format. It will contain the usual photos and ads and we hope will be useful as a yearbook as well as being a souvenir of the con itself. We have worked hard to make this the biggest and best con ever held held and we only hope people will turn up and support it. We honestly believe they will bo the losers if they don't.[4]

Lots of Amenities!

From a flyer: "All rooms have private WC/bath, colour t.v., computerised drinks/snacks console, air conditioning & double glazing."

The Caribbean Evening

The Caribbean Evening was an alternative to the con disco.

Caribean [sic] Evening at the Heathrow Hotel on Saturday 2nd. This is an evening of tropical entertainment in the hotel's swimmin [sic/] pool. There will be limbo dancers, steel bands, acrobats, etc, and price includes some drinks and full dinner. Numbers are restricted to 140 persons only at an approx price of £7.50 each.

Some Photos

A Related Gathering

There was a mini-con related to this larger one, held in the spring of 1978:
By courtesy of British Rail, Simone and I arrived at the Fulcrum Centre with two young friends in tow in plenty of time for the opening. While Simone went off looking for Sylvia Billings who was, for a while, giving a creditable impersonation of the Scarlet Pimpernel, I stood at the head of the queue and experienced my usual 'knees turning to water' sensation at the sight of so many Kirk/Spock posters but managed to maintain a certain amount of dignity as I fell through the door at the off signal. Thereafter I did my best to buy up the contents of the stalls before anyone else had a chance, stood in for Simone while she went off with tho same idea in mind, and even managed to sell a few zines in her absence. The highspot of the afternoon was of course, the film show. The whole thing over-ran by about an hour, but I didn't hear anyone complaining... The auction had a lot of Star Wars stuff no-one was keen on, in fact many large posters did not sell. The Fulcrum Centre is certainly a pleasant building and the glass walls enable you to sit and watch people outside. Occasional seating providod is comfortable, What I did not like was the little time there was to buy things because everything was in the same room; I hope this is not the case at the main con.[5]

Open Letter

There is an open letter addressed "to all Star Trek fans" regarding Intercon '78 and "certain allegations [that] were made at Terracon '77 regarding the organisation and funding of next year's proposed convention at Slough." The letter defended the costs of the hotel room and other fees, and it assured fans that no profit would be made. It was signed by Sallyann Griffin, Margaret Bertram, Peter Ree-Jones.

This letter was printed in STAG #26.

An excerpt:
We agree with everyone who voiced a protest at this years Con about next years hotel prices. These prices are high and no-one would deny this but please bear in mind that the hotels in the South East do not depend on Conventions for their business. These hetels deal mainly with foreign tour companies who can guarantee filling the hotel with guests at a very high room rate. The prices quoted on the flier which was issued at the Con this year were provisional prices only and we are working on the hotels concerned to get these reduced and are also looking for alternative accommodation should we not succeed. One thing we guarantee is that the prices shown will certainly not be increased; though we must point out that these prices do include all service charge, VAT and full English breakfast.

Con Reports

Intercon '78 was a good con and those who have written to us about it enjoyed themselves. The only thing a lot of you mentioned was that although it was a good, well-run con it didn't have the atmosphere of other ST cons, it didn't somehow feel like a ST con. We think the problem was that there were too many people there who just weren't ST fans. They were either STAR WARS fans come in to see the guests, or just people come in to see what it was all about. We don't see anything against holding cons for media SF in general but we feel there is a definite place for ST only cons. Even if only 200 ST fans want to go to a con they should be catered for and a con run to suit that number.[6]
We found the Fulcrum Centre easily and with much grunting, groaning and heavy breathing we unloaded the car and carried the heavy boxes of zines upstairs into the dealers' room. Though it was still early the place was beginning to come alive and as people filtered in we decided to collect our con books and badges before too many other people had the same idea. This done we did a quick tour of the sales tables and after buying as many zines in five minutes as I would normally receive through the post in a year we headed back to tho STAG table. A look at the programme showed that a number of films of particular interest were·to be shown. Having no intention of missing any of them [name redacted] and I excused ourselves from sales duty and headed for the Thames Hall for the first film. During the day a total of six films were shown and Anthony Daniels, of STAR WARS fame, gave a very interesting talk, displaying a strong sense of humour. He answered questions from fans and later signed autographs in the dealers' room. Early evening entertainment took the form of a fancy dress competition with some interesting entrants. Unfortunately there weren't very many of them. Throughout the day during breaks in the programme the dealers' room was open where business was brisk but not overwhelming. Saturday evening was spent in the companyof friends at the Heathrow Hotel (O.K., hands up everyone else who watched Starksy & Hutch!!) and despite the need for an early night, conversation and the consuming of coffee and biscuits went on well into the morning... We didn't have to be at the Centre quite so early on Sunday so we were able to get up at a more respectable hour. We arrived in plenty of time to take up positions for the first film and after that the auction was held. Remembering my shock at the high prices paid at last year's con auction I decided that I would miss this one. So, finding a quiet corner in one of the lounges, under the pretense of reading one of my zines, I ... er ... proceeded to catch up on lost sleep. Dave Prowse made a flying guest appearanoe in the afternoon and also signed autographs. All too soon it was the prize-giving and then it was all over. We packed up the STAG table, loaded the car, said our goodbyes and drove back...[7]
It's a sad fact, but Intercon... was in some ways doomed from the start. The organisers wanted to run a convention nearer to London and the South but had fallen in love with the superb facilities available at...[8]
There is one article in the last newsletter [9] that I would like to comment on, it is the Intercon '76 report. I know that all memories of events are personal, but: as mine were so positive, I would like to redress the balance a little.

After three years of travelling to the North and Midlands, a Con in the London area was very welcome, and the Fulcrum Centre, while separate from the Hotel, had marvellous purpose-built facilities. I barely remember the coach shuttle to and from the Hotel, and l don't recall any problems with it.

I appreciated the way the organisers had had the forethought and diversity enough to include other current media as well as the solid Trek foundations of films, competitions, etc. 'Star Wars' and 'Blake's Seven' fans were made welcome, and since they had grown in fandom since the inception of Intercon (they were barely thought of when the Con was planned) it was enjoyable to see friendly and patient guests, who knew that they were at a Star Trek Con and added another dimension to it. So did the Dancing Stormtroopers. To this day, whenever I hear the opening chords of 'Starship Trooper' I remember the Intercon disco, as it was 'our' record before it was anyone else's, literally.

For me, Intercon was one of the most balanced, and more importantly, happy Cons that I have attended, and served as a model several years later when a group of us began organising our own Cons. There may have been negative moments, but I can't remember them, if there were.[10]

Saturday, September the 2nd was the day that hundreds of STAR TREK fans, not only from England, but from as far away as America and Germany, had waited for. This marked the start of the two-day STAR TREK convention, INTERCON 78, held just outside London at Slough. I arrived at the futuristic Fulcrum centre at 9.00 AM; by this time there was already quite a number of people forming a que outside the building. Being a dealer, I was allowed in and started setting up the sales table for the STARSHIP EXETER ORGANISATION in the Berry Hall. After I had all the sales items laid out for display I decided to meet some of the people from the other STAR TREK clubs - after all, that's really what TREK conventions are all about: Meeting people.

The doors to the sales room opened at 9.30 and within a few minutes it was crowded with "Trekkies", and unusually for a STAR TREK convention, a large number of STAR WARS fans. A story I heard later during the convention was that at least one person had registered thinking that INTERCON 78 was a STAR WARS convention (apparently due to some misleading publicity) and to his surprise, he found it was a STAR TREK gathering; the organisers gave him a refund and he left. Whilst the sales room was open, other programmed events were going on in different parts of the centre: various episodes from the STAR TREK TV series were shown (including such favourites as THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES, THE DEADLY YEARS, CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER, and of course the famous "Blooper Reel". A number of Science Fiction films were also shown including WAR OF THE WORLDS and ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS.

But in the Dealers Room time seemed to fly past, and at around 11.30 I was joined by Steve Jones who had offered to help out on the sales table, giving me a chance to look around at some of the other items on sale and attend a few programmed items. I first visited the display room, situated behind the Dealers room. Among the displays included were photographs from various TV shows including STAR TREK, BLAKE'S 7, DOCTOR WHO and THUNDERBIRDS, two of the puppet robots used in the SMASH commercials on television, and one of the ray-guns used in BLAKE'S 7. There were also displays of some new STAR TREK books, STAR WARS toys and games, and some very good model kits of space ships. I returned to the club table and we continued until 2.00 PM when the room was closed and we descended a floor to the bar for lunch - bars are a very important feature of an convention! After ordering a couple of pints which arrived in strange plastic containers, we were suddenly accosted by a young reporter from the SLOUGH OBSERVER who asked us about our views on the convention and the continued popularity of STAR TREK. [11]

At 3.30 we all filed in to the Thames Hall to listen to the Guest of Honour's speech by Anthony (C3P0) Daniels. After the theme music had died dowm, he talked about and answered questions on the making of STAR WARS, which included a wealth of information such as the fact that the hero had not originally been called Luke Skywalker and the original title for the film was to have been THE ADVENTURES OF LUKE STAR-KILLER! After a most enjoyable hour, I returned to the sales hall where Anthony Daniels spent the next hour signing autographs. I left the convention at around 6.00 that evening, before the Fancy Dress contest, after a very tiring day working behind the club table - only to be faced with the amazing view of two Stormtroopers in full battle dress coming out of the McDonalds across the road in Slough high street!

Sunday the 3rd was the second day of INTERCON 78. I arrived a little later than I had the previous day, and hurriedly set up the sales table. Fortunately, the convention itself started late because none of the organisers turned up on time, so I had all my items laid out in plenty of time. When the doors finally opened, another day of madness began! The person in change of the films didn't turn up until very and consequently the films were shown in a different order to that shown in the Programme Booklet, and one of the TREK episodes had to be dropped. The sales room was once again closed at 11.00 AM when the Auction began.

Bidding was high: a STAR WARS storybook which would probably retail at £1.45, autographed by everyone involved in the making of the film, sold for £50.00! Sets of production stills for STINGRAY and SPACE 1999 sold for about £20.00 each. I bought a really nice oil painting showing the Enterprise in orbit around a planet for only £6.00. Soon the auction was brought to a speedy end when it was announced that Sunday's Guest of Honour, Dave (Darth Vader) Prowse had arrived but could not stay long as he had to open a garden fete in Surbiton only three quarters of an hour later.

He started by talking about himself and the work he'd done before he had appeared in STAR WARS which included appearances in such horror films as THE HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN, VAMPIRE CIRCUS, FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, as well as the adverts for The Green Cross Code currently showing on TV. He then went on to tell the audience about the upcoming sequels to STAR WARS. Shooting begins on STAR WARS 2-on February 6th 1979 and it will be premiered in May 1980. He went on to say that George Lucas is planning 11 sequels (although Darth Vader may well be killed off around the fourth] with the hope of eventually putting them all together in a massive 24-hour programme detailing the full Adventures of Luke Skywalker for showing in cinemas. There then followed a brief question and answer session with the audience before he left to open the garden fete, promising to return later in the day to sign autographs.

There then followed the lunch break and once again the sales room was closed during this period. During this time I talked to Janet Ellicott about the plans for the proposed Anderson Convention planned for the Centre Hotel in London sometime in June next year, and although there are no definite plans yet, I was told the subject would not be solely limited to the various Anderson series' but will to all British Science Fiction series on TV.

That afternoon the Dealers room opened again, but by this time not so many people were in attendance as most were either in the fashion show or watching WAR OF THE WORLDS. About 5.15, as promised, Dave Prowse returned to sign autographs, and once again I left the convention at 6.00 that evening.

I have attended a number of different types of conventions - Fantasy, Science Fiction, Comics - but a STAR TREK con is a very different experience: They are a much more friendly gathering, probably because everyone knows everyone else -and if they don't then they soon will! I'd like to thank the organising committee for all the hard work they must have put into INTERCON 78 to make it such an enjoyable and smoothly run convention. [12]

References

  1. from IDIC #6
  2. For more about this, see Robin Edmond's Intercon 78 site; reference link
  3. reference link
  4. from STAG #30
  5. from STAG #28
  6. from STAG #31
  7. from STAG #31
  8. Sadly, the copy of IDIC #5 in my possession is missing two pages, and the rest of this con report... There is a lengthy, point-by-point rebuttal in IDIC #6 by a member of the convention committee regarding this con report.
  9. she is referring to IDIC #5
  10. from IDIC #6
  11. From part of that article: ""The visitors themselves provided the best show at the Star Trek Convention held at the Fulcrura at the weekend,,. „ Imagination ran riot with one 60-year-old, if a day, Princess Leia straight out of Star Wars, complete with high heels, hambag and perm...Do they think they are just slightly barmy? "Certainly not," said a peeved Martin Galliers, a physicist, dressed in engineering blue. "It is just a bit of fun, I go along for the ride, my wife is the real fan."...The weekend cost £4,000 to stage and the organisers will donate all profits to the Leukemia Research Fund,.." (Extract from SLOUGH OBSERVER)"
  12. report by Carl Hiles in Starship Exeter Organisation Newsletter v.2 n3.