Memories of STAG and Star Trek Fandom by Jenny and Terry Elson

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Memories of STAG and Star Trek Fandom by Jenny and Terry Elson
Interviewer:
Interviewee: Terry Elson, Jenny Elson
Date(s): 1991
Medium: print
Fandom(s): Star Trek
External Links:
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In 1991, Jenny Elson and Terry Elson wrote their memories of the the fan club and newsletter, STAG.

It was printed in Star Trek Action Group #100.

Series

Contents

It was in 1972 that we discovered the wonderful world of Star Trek fandom when we heard about the Leonard Nimoy Association of Fans. It was in the small-ad pages of their excellent newsletter that we realised for the first time that there were other British fans, and that we were not alone! There was a nucleus of about 50-60 fans in this country, and a few fan clubs, some of which folded quite quickly, some of which lasted to entertain us; I'm sure S.T.E.R.B. will be remembered with great affection by all the 'originals'. In those days there was nothing but our own imaginations on which to feed our fandom; no merchandise as there is today, no books apart from the Blish series, and certainly no videos or even 8mm film of the series. So we made our own, writing stories for fanzines, articles for newsletters and collecting photos and slides supplied by Lincoln Enterprises. Then, from our American friends, we heard about a wonderful thing; something called a Convention, which took place in New York. A lot of the stars attended, along with several thousand Star Trek fans! It all sounded so exciting and oh how we ached to be part of it all! An idea began to form, Terry and I discussed it endlessly; a convention of our own! The first British Star Trek Convention. But how could we ever afford such an expensive venture, when there were still only 50-60 fans in Great Britain? There was only one thing to do; form an action group in order to save up for the required financing. We could produce newsletters and fanzines and promote the idea amongst the skeptical fans. The Star Trek Action Group was born! We bought a second-hand duplicator (which spat ink everywhere), cajoled everyone into writing articles and stories, and charged the princely sum of 50 pence membership fee. Not that it helped much. Our membership still hovered around 50 and £25 a year would hardly get us the Convention we'd planned for! To boost funds we organised a Mini-Con at our local church hall. I suppose that was the first real Convention. People came from the length and breadth of Britain, all for one day of slide shows, talks and friendship. Then came the big break-through! An article in our local paper prompted me to write to the letters page about Star Trek. Two weeks later the paper sent a reporter to our house and wrote an article about us, STAG and the hopes we had for a Convention. Four weeks later, the letters began to arrive; a few at first, then more, then a deluge! Unknown to us, that article had been syndicated to local newspapers all over the country and, believe it or not, Australia too! Star Trek fans from John-o-Groats to Lands-End (and Sydney to Melbourne), all of whom thought they were alone in their devotion, wrote of their delight at 'finding' fandom. In the end there were so many letters we had to draft in helpers to reply to them. At last, The Star Trek Action Group could do what it had set out to do. In 1974, we finally realised our dream with the first British Star Trek Convention. George Takei and James Doohan were our guests.... but the making of Star Trek Conventions is yet another story…