Jay Felton

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Name: Jay Felton
Alias(es): Julia Mary Felton, Julia Felton
Type: fan writer, zine publisher, editor, Fan Club organiser, costume-maker, cosplayer
Fandoms: Star Trek, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Supermarionation, Captain Scarlet, anime, Sapphire and Steel, slash, The Professionals, Starsky and Hutch, Knight Rider, costuming, masquerade, cosplay
Communities: The Network, Anime Hasshin, Empathy Star Trek Club, U.N.C.L.E. HQ - Britain, Fanderson
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Julia Mary "Jay" Felton, who also wrote as Julia Felton, was a fanwriter, fan editor, zine publisher, cosplayer, clubrunner and equestrienne. Her main interests were in Star Trek, anime, Supermarionation (particularly Captain Scarlet) and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. She was also interested in Sapphire and Steel, Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise novels, The Professionals, Knight Rider, Starsky & Hutch and Blake's 7.

Jay became active in British Star Trek fandom in the late 1970s. She credited Helen McCarthy with introducing her to fandom when she moved to London [1]. She was also a member of the Far Isles Medieval Society for several years, as Gillian of Cofentree.

As British media fandom developed Jay became particularly engaged with writing, publishing and costuming. In 1979 she and Sam Armitage won the "Best TV Costume" category at the Mediacon masquerade for their entry "Carbon and Crystal", a riff on Sapphire and Steel. In 1982 a group entry with friends as the Tracy Sisters in an alternate-universe Thunderbirds won "Best Fancy Dress" in the masquerade at Fanderson 82. Jay's costumes were never simply reproductions - she always gave them her own unique twist. In 1983 she appeared in costume with a group of other Anderson fans in a British TV tribute to Gerry Anderson on Noel Edmonds' show Time Of Your Life[2]

Jay first got involved in U.N.C.L.E. fandom in February 1981, posting an ad for other fans interested in forming a club. This brought her into contact with the US club U.N.C.L.E. HQ and led to her setting up U.N.C.L.E. HQ - Britain with Susan Cole and Lynda Mendoza. Among the club's achievements were an U.N.C.L.E. minicon in 1982, the first ever U.N.C.L.E. merchandise guide, and an index to the U.N.C.L.E. HQ newsletters.

In the same year she set up the Purple Unicorn Press, devoted to fan publishing, often but not exclusively U.N.C.L.E.-related. Zines included:

Hello...Goodbye by Debbie Rees, U.N.C.L.E./Beatles crossover script, 1981

The Dunwich Affair by "Caroline M. Seacroft" (pseud.), U.N.C.L.E./H.P. Lovecraft crossover novel, 1984, 1990 (reprint)

Spectrum is Scarlet[3] by various authors,edited by Jay, Captain Scarlet, 1985. This zine and a planned follow-up, SPECTRUM IS BLUE, is also credited to Jay at Mysteron Press.[4]

Relative Encounters by various authors, edited by Jay and Hindman, U.N.C.L.E. stories,1986, 1897, 1990, 1994 (reprint of 1986), 1999

Heroes and Partners by various authors, edited by Jay and Connie Crouch, stories from various fandoms, 1993, reprinted, reprint date unknown. Includes a Carbon and Crystal story by Sam Armitage writing as S. Armitage, and an Airwolf story by Jim Swallow, later New York Times bestselling author James Swallow.

The Network, quarterly letterzine/APA by various authors, 1984-2009(?)

Jay also contributed stories and poems to other zines, including Cole's The U.N.C.L.E. Special, Janet Ellicott's Frak issue 5 and KITT, Terri Beckett and Chris Power's Ten-Thirteen, Shirley Ann Cowden's The Striped Tomato (Starsky & Hutch zine) and Marg Baskin's Anime House Presents issue 3.

In the late 1980s Jay became interested in anime through her contacts with American fandom. She was a member of American anime club Anime Hasshin from 1989 and an active videotape trader[5]. Through Anime Hasshin's newsletter she made contact with other fans including Carlo Bernhardi, who later founded British anime club Anime Kyo and the Anime Nostalgia Facility archive site. She screened anime episodes at Elydore in 1989 and 1990 and at Albacon in 1991. As she and Helen McCarthy lived near each other in East London, they alternated monthly anime screening sessions for London fans in their homes. Her interest in U.N.C.L.E. continued, and even though she stepped back from editing and managing The Network she attended the U.N.C.L.E. events run by Jacqueline Van de Poll from 1997 on. Jacqueline took over running The Network around 1995-6, continuing until around 2009.

Jay's passion for horses and riding had been with her from childhood, and in the year 2000 she decided to buy her own horse, her beloved Sharhrih. Her fandom interests and fanwriting were in no way diminished; in 2004 she assisted with a major fan project, the English translation and subtitling of the 1960 TV series The White Horses[6], which at that time survived only in a German commercial print.

In 2014 Jay moved out of London to take care of her elderly mother, whose health was failing. She, her mother and her animals (Shahrih and three cats) moved to a specially converted house in Bedfordshire, where her fan activity continued, though at a slower pace because of her caring responsibilities.

In June 2017 Jay was diagnosed with bowel cancer. She died on 16 October 2018, aged sixty, and her remains were interred in a beautiful area of woodland in the English countryside.