Sol III (Star Trek convention)

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Star Trek Convention
Name: Sol III
Dates: 1983-1995
Type: fan-run fan con
Focus: Star Trek
Founding Date:
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Sol Plus III was a British Star Trek: TOS con.

program for the 1983 con


Sol III in 1983 was the 15th British Star Trek convention. It was held in Birmingham, England on May 27-30. The chair was Lee Owers.

Celebrity guests included James Doohan, Bob Shaw, Anne McCaffrey, and Walter Koenig (the latter making his first UK con appearance).

The con was mentioned in an open letter by Lynn Campion (published in Beta-Niobe August 1983 issue) regarding some actions of fans at cons regarding poor behavior and accidents regarding the smoke alarms -- an excerpt:

Early last year, at a convention in Liverpool, the fire alarm was set off by accident. A few months later, at UFP, the alarm was again raised, this time by the disco using smoke bombs without prior warning to the hotel. Then, at Midcon - a good and friendly convention - "the alarm was set off at 3am Saturday morning, apparently as a joke this time. It was not a joke, far from it, in fact. No-one knew it was a false alarm so many people, their slumber interrupted, left the hotel to walk into the cold Leicester night. The fire alarm was again set off at the Grand Hotel in Birmingham, at Sol III, by the disco's smoke bomb effect... had I not been in the disco at the time I wouldn't have known the reason for the alarm though I understand the hotel had been warned on this occasion. Now, it may seem like something of a lark to set off the fire alarm but have you ever stopped to think of the consequences of such an action? Have you thought what would happen if, God forbid, there should be a real fire? Judging by the number of people outside the hotel in Leicester on that Saturday morning, had there really been a fire, many people possibly wouldn't be here now. Many, if not all of you, will have heard about the terrible tragedies suffered in American hotel fires; we should be more vigilant, complacency is dangerous.

Con Reports: 1983

Friday 27th: The Convention really got under way at 4pm with the film "Earth Two" which starred Gary Lockwood and Mariette Hartley, both well known to Trekkers, There were also a number of ST episodes also being shown including: Paradise Syndrome and Yesteryear of the animated series, I got my first glimpse of Walter while in the bar, a friend asked him for a photograph which he duly obliged. He looked nervous to begin with but soon started to enjoy himself and was mixing quite freely throughout the hotel. He was everything I expected he would be. Later that day came the opening ceremony and both Jimmy and Walter came in to a really tremendous reception with Jimmy and Walter were Anne McCaffrey and Bob Shaw, both English SF writers-Saturday arrived all too soon, Saturday 28th: Starting early with WOK which I duly missed to Stewards Duty, Then came Jimmy and Walter's talks which were really good and a question and answer session. The questions were mostly about ST:III. I missed the last part of Walter's speech due again - yes, you've guessed it - Stewards duties. Thankfully the last of the day. Also that day was shown the animated episode 'Infinite Vulcan' written by Walter and it was quite well attended in the video room. Jimmy and Walter judged the Drama Sessions and also the Fancy Dress was judged. During several autograph sessions the lines got steadily larger and I was told later how long they lasted - the 1 hour session lasted 2 hours. It also happened on the Sunday session. I waited in line for most of 1 hour eagerly awaiting my turn, I would like to thank Walter and Jimmy. They sat and signed all that was put before them.

All too soon Monday arrived to everyone's regret. All the awards were presented to the winners by the guests in turn. The Closing Ceremony was quite short but was closed by the last lines Spock spoke at the very end of TWOK. It brought a unanimous cheer from well over 600 people and brought to a close a hugely enjoyable Con. Here's hoping Walter can be brought over for another Convention.


Sol III in 1983 was the 19th British Star Trek convention. It was held in Liverpool, England on March 3-5. The chair was Lin Anderson, who replaced Lee Owens who had resigned.

Mark Lenard was a Guest of Honor as was Lisa Tuttle, and SF writer, James White.

There was conflict among some fans regarding this con, and the direction that the "official" UK cons were going. See Support Your Local Conventions in 1985.

Con Reports: 1985

To say that this Con had been eagerly awaited would be an understatement; we hadn't been to a Con since MIDCON in Leicester last October, and in spite of a supplement of visiting friends and parties we were suffering Convention withdrawal symptoms pretty badly. This was to be our first Convention with the new-look colour zines and newsletters and we were anticipating great things in the Sales Room... Having registered and chucked everything in our rooms, the Bar looked to be an extremely attractive proposition and a couple of drinks later we were ready to face the task of extricating the zines from the car park and setting up our sales table. The Sales Room was spacious and well lit and we had a prime 10 feet of space (the final frontier) backing onto a wall - ideal for displaying covers and the large BSFR Logo-board, beautifully printed and painted by our very own Allister and generously sited to be clearly visible across a packed-room of frantically buying trekkers. By now it was definitely tea-time and time think about food. Someone had spotted a Wimpys near the hotel and a half dozen of us descended on it eagerly... There was time to have coffee and read the Con book in our rooms before the opening ceremony at 9 p.m. I always go to this as it's become a sort of Con tradition that if the guests have arrived in time they'll make a 'surprise' appearance. It's also a good opportunity to see what the Con committee looks like.... Pete and Mark had volunteered to Steward at this Con, i.e. offer some of their weekend to the organisers to belp run events: for instance the videos, the registration desk, watching entrances to make sure that only people wearing a Con badge got into the Con events - after all why should gate-crashers enjoy our facilities for nothing?... Dave and I, wisely again I think, decided we'd have enough on our plate just organising the BSFR table; however, had some tasks I wanted to attend to, namely cassette taping as many of the guest talks as I could reasonably get to.... This weekend saw your committee and friends indulging in a well planned and well intentioned practical joke. Most of you, I'm sure, will have heard of T.A.S., the Leicester based TREKKIE ASSASSINATION SQUAD, great friends of ours, who poke fun (harmless fun) at the fanaticism of some TREK watchers and provide hours of free Con programme entertainment with their well received lampoons and parodies. Well. We had formulated an idea for T.A.S. BUSTERS and to this end Mark drew and Allister printed a T.A.S. BUSTERS logo on T-shirts and posters. We literally plastered the hotel with the posters from Friday on and confronted a baffled Tony Cullen (C in C of T.A.S. and semi-professional beer drinker) bedecked with our T-shirts at the Saturday disco. I think he was highly flattered (the language he came out with, my dears), after all it's not many subversive organisations that have two fan clubs - ourselves and T.A.S.A.S. - and it was a great joke as it had been driving him scatty trying to work out who had dared perpetrate this foul deed... Dave and I did manage to get to the Business Meeting though - Bern kindly volunteered to run things on his own for a while so that all of us that could could attend. The Business Meeting is every Con attendees opportunity to vote on proposals for official STAR TREK Cons eighteen months ahead, and to air any grievances they may have towards the selection procedure or the running of Cons. After much debate, Catherine and Margaret Richardson and Lesley Wood's bid - the only one actually put forward, though this doesn't guarantee automatic selection as, if the vote goes against it, other bids for the slot will be considered at the next major official Con (unless it's dark or a Tuesday ... ) - for another GALILEO Con in Newcastle for August 1986 was approved by a majority of those attending. Congratulations ladies... With all our duties over and the Sales Room not due to open Monday, we could get down and enjoy ourselves into the small hours. Jim had brought his group along and they played loud rock music to a rousing reception. This was followed by the disco into the small hours and we finally retired about 4 am... Monday, tearful farewells in the pub round the corner saw us on the Motorway by 5 p.m., tired and broke and thoroughly happy. [1]

I have one overwhleming thing to say about the con. Where did the weekend go??? Certainly, certain scenes remain vivid in my mind - the rest, one confused blur. I think the memory's cine-camera must have gone wild. Still, I can give a feel of the event by describing the few clear chapters. My first recollection is of the group's journey to Liverpool. Ten fans & about 15 pieces of luggage, all neatly lined up at the coach station. The next thing I recall, we were there (Instant Transportation?), booking into our rooms, lugging heavy suitcases into lifts & generally settling into the hotel. My first panic occurred when my camera, admittedly a cheap, shoddy item, decided this was the optimum moment to pack in. I combed the city thoroughly in search of emergency aid but to no avail. I remained camera-less - stripped of any permanent record of the weekend. The group had its first rehearsal of the play "Dribblebusters", that first evening, which failed most miserably. We simply could not be seen or heard clearly. Consequently, we all left the stage totally & utterly dejected, feeling the End of the Universe was preferable to the forthcoming drama competition. But Saturday arrived & sped by with many a rehearsal of the silly play, a browse around the dealers' room, a natter with old and new friends, preparing a secret surprise for one of our group who had attained the distinction of reaching twenty-one years of age and...many a rehearsal of the silly play. Early evening, we met the honourary guest, Mark Lennard, although we'd seen him briefly during the day. He appeared quite at ease among fans, roaming freely from one event to another. Later, we had one hell of a room party, which ended in eviction as complaints of noise reached the hotel supervisors. Doctor Who (how dare be at a Star Trek con at all?) came & told us to cease all activities so we retired to the lounge downstairs & continued the row there. The famous Star Fleet cake was revealed & a song croaked for our birthday girl. (We successfully deceived her into believing this was the planned surprise!) The rest of evening fades into the arms of alcohol & fatigue. I was up at nine o'clock Sunday morning although my brain finally awoke well past eleven. My colleagues were busy conspiring with 'Extreme Trekkists - i.e. a band of blood-thirsty, no-good fans who kidnap honourary guests & any other Trekkers within walking distance. We arranged for them to kidnap our birthday girl at phaserpoint & steal her away to meet Mr. Lennard privately. She was so taken aback she swore....then swore revenge at us at a future convention. Finally, the dreaded moment had arrived & "Dribblebusters" was performed. It contained such classic lines as:
  • "A bell sounds off stage.
  • Kwirk: Who's there?
  • Voice: Avon calling.
  • Everyone: Wrong show!"


  • "Captain Kwirk enters wearing black cloak.
  • Dulu: What's the cape for, Captain?
  • Kwirk: It's my cloaking device...."
You can, of course, discern the quality & depth of character portrayed (can't you?). The play took the con by storm. It was so popular we're thinking of converting it into a blockbuster movie followed by a book of the film & possibly a film of film. The sequel is now being carefully guarded by the entire Federation Fleet....and Spock. Sadly, Monday arrived all too quickly & the Closing Ceremony descended upon us. We had all been so busy we'd actually missed most of the Star Trek episodes & feature films, but who cares? All in all, a satisfying weekend break. The only setback was the shock of returning to the Trekless world of 'reality'. Roll on the next fantasy break! [2]

Early on Saturday morning, May, Graham and I picked up our case and bags and set off for the train which would take us to Leeds, and from there to Liverpool, where the Con was being held at the Adelphi Hotel. Halfway there we were pleased to meet up with two more fans also going to the Con, who sat with us for the rest of the journey. Arriving in Liverpool at about 9-30 we hurried over to the hotel.


Our duty consisted of door duty in the main hall, and this was followed by Mark Lenard's first talk. He is a very charming man, amusing and chatty - the sort of guest I enjoy because you don't have to rack your trains to think of questions to keep the talk going, he thinks of a lot of things to tell you all by himself. Immediately after this talk there was an autograph session, so we ran up to join the queue, which took rather a long time to get going - mainly due to Mark 'a having a chat with each person in turn. Typically when it got to my turn he was told to hurry up so all I got was a 'Hello, I'm afraid I have been told to hurry up'... but never mind, at least I got to meet him! I'm afraid I missed James White and Lisa Tuttle, the other two guests, but from what I saw of them around the hotel and at the guest panel on the last day, they are both very pleasant people.

Teatlme on Saturday proved to be quite dramatic as some cheeky horror stole my bag from right beside my seat while I was having tea. I thought I was imagining things at first, hut there it was gone! The worst thing I realised was that our room key was in there and if the thief got up there all our hotel money would disappear, so Graham ran off quick and got a porter to double lock the room so the key wouldn't work. About 15 mins later my bag returned - someone had found it in the Gents loo in the corner pub and had sent it back to the hotel. I'd lost about £25, cheque book and card, hut all my personal belongings were still there plus £15 worth of jewellery I'd just bought, so I was really pleased to get those back. Over the weekend 4 other bags disappeared, a camera, and also a dealer's van was broken into and Martin Shaw (who was staying at our hotel, but I never saw him, sob sob!) lost video equipment from his room. We could have had a whole 'Crimewatch' programme all to ourselves that weekend! I've never known a Con so bad, and I do hope it wasn't one of the fans, though most of us are very well behaved and the hotel was open to non-Con-attendees all weekend.

After I'd got my bag back we had an entertaining half an hour trying to find someone to let us back into our room, it took 3 different people before they found the right key to un-double lock the room! Then I had to talk to 2 very nice policemen, so by the time all was over I'd missed seeing the fancy dress.

Later on Saturday night we joined a room party, and as it was Linda's birthday we were all given a piece of chocolate cake, which was lovely. Sunday morning we went down to breakfast, and I can honestly say that the Adelphi Hotel served up one of the nicest breakfasts we've had, mainly because you helped yourself to as much as you liked of whatever you liked, and didn't have to have things that you didn't like (which avoided the usual swopping of sausages, eggs etc from plate to plate, depending on who liked what).

Another stint on the sales table followed, and it does feel weird sitting in the sales room and knowing that you can't buy a thing because someone's nicked all your spare cash! Then we had a steward duty on reception, but that soon changed to one in the main hall, where the Business Meeting was in full swing. Galileo Con 3 in Newcastle, won the bid for the August 1986 official Con. Another talk by Mark Lenard followed - he really is a charming man and very amusing. Later on we got the chance of a rest, and a change of clothes, before the Stewards Party, which was to be followed by the Heroes & Villains party (everyone who dressed up would get a free drink - so I wore my Princess Leia costume)! The stewards also got free drinks, as a thank you for all the work from the Committee of the Con, which was a very nice gesture. Two glasses of wine later I was feeling very happy (wine goes straight to my head!), as we took our places for another hour of door duty (our final duty of the Con). The Committee said a special thank you to some of us for extra stewarding jobs done throughout the Con - Graham and I got a mention, tho' I suspect it was mainly due to Graham, who did a lot of extra dashing about all weekend. Michael Keating turned up at the hotel on Sunday night - unfortunately I didn't see him, but Graham did - and wouldn't let him in to the party because he wasn't wearing a badge! He didn't realise who it was till he turned and walked off! Anyway, Mike did get in later (someone provided him with a badge) and Graham apologised for turning him out. I must say I found it quite funny - most of us are so eager to meet actors from our favourite series, and there's Graham chucking one out of the party! Well, no-one can say he isn't a moat conscientious steward! The Starfleet Academy Challenge took place during the party, that was very entertaining from what I could hear of it, unfortunately I was unable to hear much of it clearly. The PARSEC team won, and it was a very well deserved win too! After that a live band played, they were very good. About midnight we decided that we couldn't stay awake much longer and crawled off to bed (I must have been bad - I even gave 'Blade Runner' a pass!) Monday morning saw the Guest Panel, and this was the only time we saw James White and Lisa Tuttle (apart from when they were walking around the hotel). Then, sadly, the Closing Ceremony (sob sob) and all the goodbyes, and see-you-next-Cons... made worse for us by the fact that we have to miss a few Cons now (thought it was about time we sunk some money into our house, before it falls down round our ears!)

A big Thank You to all the people responsible for Sol III '85 - it was great! [3]

So much goes on at a con that any single report must be one-sided and I confess that on this occasion my main interest lay in the chief guest, the auction(s) and meeting friends. I was not disappointed.

There's only one way to describe Mr. Lenard - gracious. Like royalty, he has the right words for everyone and a phenomenal memory. He also seems to have considerable stamina and was still strolling around the main lounge at 1,15 am on Monday. He was regrettably [agreeable to] having his photo taken. I say regrettably because while everyone naturally wants a souvenir, perhaps fans forget that the guest might prefer a little intelligent conversation. Mr. Lenard (one cannot call so dignified a person Mark) was witty, lively and entertaining during his talks. He and Walter Koenig have been working together in the theatre and they share a similar approach to con sessions. No question catches them unaware. And to answer the first and most pressing question, will Sarek appear in ST:IV? The answer is that Mr, Lenard does not know - yet.

I must also confess that I haven't read any of guest, James White's work, but the author himself combined accessibility with a charm and good humour that will send me to the bookshelves. However, I missed Lisa Tuttle altogether. As I said, a con report is necessarily patchy.

As for the remainder of the programmes, the sales room was not as large as at previous cons (hardly the fault of the committee) but I turned up some good reading material and photos for my collections. As readers may know, I like to go to the auctions, but this time I missed the general/charity sections. There were very few genzines on sale but a photocopy of 'Precessional' reached £15.00, a rather high figure but there was some competition and two copies of Rigel 4/5/6 reached £8.00 apiece. I couldn't miss the adult auction because I was the auctioneer but a number of fans did, since the time and the day were advertised only in the preliminary flyer and who remembers to bring that to a con? I suspect the committee wanted the whole thing under wraps but it probably had an effect on prices.

The business meeting took place as usual and the unopposed bid of the Galileo committee for the con of August Bank Holiday '86 was accepted with 33 abstentions. A discussion was launched by Janet Quarton as to whether there should be only one 'official' con per year but a discussion was all it could be, since one of the meeting's rules is that motions cannot be accepted from the floor. (Three months' notification is needed.) This seems unconstitutional to me. Not everyone can go to every con and therefore the proposer may well not be present to support his/her motion. At tho same time the meeting is effectively silenced.

Not being a night bird, I didn't see the whole of the Fancy Dress but some of the costumes were extremely fine and very witty, as were those of the Fashion Show and the 'Heroes and Villains' party. Altogether this was a good con. Things went smoothly (the hitches were well concealed and there are always some) and a good time was had by all. (I even managed a visit to the video room to see an episode of Police Surgeon in which Mr. Shather played a 'Bad Apple'.)

A word about the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool, Although the public rooms are spacious and convenient, they are not designed for disco decibels let alone live performance. Anyone requiring a night's sleep would be advised to specify a room on the 4th floor and above; on the second the cups were jumping.

STEWARD REPORT: I've kept this section separate, as it has no bearing on the general 'flavour' of the con but I thought that the experiences this time might prove interesting for would-be volunteers. I have stewarded at every con I've been to, starting with Stag Con in '81 (6 major cons & several smaller ones) and the duties here were the lightest I and my partner have had. However, I did encounter one serious problem this year. In the course of keeping the main hall gangways clear (a legal requirement), I was abused by a male fan who refused to move. The abuse included a four letter word. I informed a committee member and later the con chairperson but heard no more. Later I saw the 'offender' drinking with some members of the committee and security team. It does seem to me that if a steward is expected to undertake duties requiring authority then that authority must be reinforced by the committee/security team, otherwise how can the stewards do the job expected of them?

Of course stewarding hath its perks, principally the reservation of seats for the main events. However, the stewards' party is less of a lure. It does seem a shame that having invited your guests to a party, you blast their ears with pop music (James White requested Mantovani, without success and I believe Mr. Lenard's taste runs to Bach) and sit them down to sign yet more autographs!

Enough of this wingeing. A con must have stewards, and it's a satisfying job helping things run smoothly, as well as a good way for new fans to make friends. [4]


Sol III in 1987 was the 23rd British Star Trek convention. It was held at Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool, England on May 1-4. The guests included George Takei.

cover of the 1987 program book
1986 flyer for the 1987 con


Sol III in 1989 was the 27th British Star Trek convention.

It was held at The Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool, England on April 28th-May 1, 1989. A fan could get a room with or without a bathroom, and there was a full English breakfast. Some fiction from the writing contest appears in Infinite Diversity.

front of the 1989 program book

The guests of honor were George Takei, Terry Pratchett, Richard Arnold and Guy Vardaman.

The con committee:

  • Jean Barron, Treasurer, Hotel and Guest Liaison
  • Heather Hillsden, Registration, Accommodation and Press Liaison
  • Carole McFarlane, Dealers' Room, Auction/White Horta Coordinator
  • Lin (Anderson) Trimbath, Main Hall Program, Fancy Dress & Art Coordinator
  • Mark Wagstaff, Security/Stewards, Safety Officer, Video Room

From the concom:

Greetings, Fellow Fans!

Welcome to the Fourth Sol III Convention which, sadly, will be our last for the foreseeable future. Neverthless, we are bound and determined that this will be at the very least, as successful and as enjoyable for everybody as the previous three.

Welcome, also, to our four guests: George, Terry, Richard and Guy whose contribution, we know, will help to make this weekend a memorable one.

In accordance with tradition, the committee will endeavour to be approachable at all times (well, almost all times!) but drastic measures may be necessary if you want to attract our attention, i.e. sticking your foot out when the next blur flashes by you cr, for the alcoholics amongst us, the offer of a drink may do the trick! We are here to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible but sometimes tribbles do get into the engines and we need to be told when this happens. We can't solve your problem if you don't tell us about it.

We think we've included everything you need to know in your con package so, go ahead and enjoy yourselves.

Many con reports describe at great length a fun con at a terrible hotel but do not, in any way, blame the concom:

Whilst mentioning Sol III, the report [Pam W] wrote concerning 'Snakes and Ladders' [a con report in Enterprise Originals] was a pretty fair assessment, in 
my opinion. In fact, Pam, I could add a few,
more 'snakes' of my own!! It is a crying shame when a Committee works as hard as the Sol III Committee did, only to have much 
of their efforts nullified by 'hotel 
sabotage.' I would like to add my own 
assurances to all concerned, that the 'snakes' were in no way the fault of the Con 
Committee and would like to add my own pleas to the Sol III team to reconsider 
their position with regard to future events. 
Fandom can ill afford to lose your organsational expertise... and dammit... you run a good Con! [5]

Con Reports: 1989

I have been a fan of Star Trek for many years, but only in the last few months have I become actively involved in fandom by joining any clubs. My recent interest has been sparked by the new TV series and the films. Sol III was my first convention.

I would like to give some impressions of my weekend. I arrived around 6.30 pm on Friday evening to register and pick up my convention information pack - I was impressed by its contents.

After registering I went into the main lounge to study the programme. I was confronted by a sea of people appearing to know one another. I found this a bit disconcerting as I was on my own. I was soon talking to people and throughout the whole weekend I found myself talking to complete strangers who I hope to meet again at the next convention. The atmosphere was very friendly all week-end.

I explored the place; the main hall was large and wall laid out and the video rooms were okay. I became very used to them as I intended to spend some of the weekend watching ST:TNG for the first time.

Before the opening ceremony I met another couple of visitors who were also attending a convention for the first time - it was nice to know I was not the only new-comer. My first disappointment came when I had to leave before the opening ceremony because it was delayed. Being my first convention I decided to travel from Bolton each day. This meant arriving late (hence I missed Richard Arnold's STV talk on Sunday morning) and having to leave early. Next time I'll stay at the hotel so I don't miss anything for this reason.

On Saturday it was a case of being in 2 or 3 places at once. I missed the bloopers as I started the day in the Dealers Room - an Aladdin's cave of treasure (and a good place to give the bank manager a heart attack!). It was very crowded - how about a one-way system in these rooms?

I thought the standard of guest speakers was very good and Richard Arnold's talk along with Guy Vardaman was very interesting, especially the story of Whoopl Goldberg visiting the STV film set. Both of George Takei's talks ware very good. They should have used the roving microphone for all the guest sessions as sometimes the questions could not be heard.

George Takei was a terrific Guest of Honour and the highlight of the weekend was when I managed to talk to him and got his autograph. He is a very friendly person and easy to approach. (I am a GHT member, I'm sure there'll be a few new members baaed on his appearance).

I was surprised at the number of women at the convention. Normally science fiction is male dominated. Is it because Star Trek concentrates on characters rather than technology'?

I prefer the film uniforms to those of the Next Generation and was disappointed by the small number of original TV series uniforms being worn. More people were in uniform that I had expected...

Amongst my highlights of the convention wore watching STTV and the 'Trouble With Tribbles', 'Mudd's Women' and 'The Changeling'.

All considered I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and would recommend a Star Trek convention to anybody with the slightest interest in the phenomena.

See you at Rec-Con. [6]

The SOL III committee always runs a good convention, and this was no exception. Unfortunately, they say it is to be their last - please, folks, change your minds!

Usually we arrive pretty late on Friday, but this year both Valerie and I had time due and were able to get the Friday off, so we arrived mid- afternoon. Booking in meant queueing for an hour, one disadvantage of arriving early; or was it just the the Adelphi's system of asking for payment on arrival? We were told that this is their regular practice, but no other con hotel has ever asked for this.

Getting the car off-loaded for the sales room wasn't easy, either; the Adelphi suffers from the terminal complaint of all city centre hotels older than about 1950 - It's surrounded by busy roads and double yellow lines. In this case I had to double-park at a T-junction beside a taxi-rank just long enough to heave the boxes off, then leave the others to get on with carrying them into the hotel. Thanks to everyone who helped carry the boxes in.

With everything laid out, we were able to sit down, relax and unwind, and chat with friends - something that, for us, is the highlight of a con.

Normally we see very little of a con outside the sales room; this time however, we did get out of it from time to time. I was scheduled to show episodes (Amok Time, Deadly Years and Catspaw) on 8mm film in the main hall first thing each morning; the Sunday episode was however cancelled to make way for a 'lead-up' film for ST V, and slides from it, shown by Richard Arnold and Guy Vardaman. Many of these were shots of the cast and crew on location, and (obviously) told us very little about the film. One clip - also printed in the most recent newsletter of the Official Fan Club (this is well worth getting - available from the SF bookshops) -shows Bill Shatner, unroped, clinging by his eyelashes to a vertical cliff. Since George Takei told us that he wasn't allowed to do his own riding in the film (the insurance companies objected) someone asked why Bill was allowed to climb like that. Answer - he wasn't. It was a trick shot; he was only three or four feet from the ground. (We had already examined it in the OFC newsletter and decided he was probably crawling on the ground with the clouds matted in - the other possibility.)

We made a point of getting to Richard's and George's talks (Guy was on with Richard). They are all very interesting speakers, well worth hearing. At this point I'd like to thank Carla Salveta. She shared our table, selling second hand zines, and manned the whole table when we wanted to catch part of the programme.

The fancy dress competition on Saturday goes from strength to strength; the only pity to that some of the costumes seen around during the weekend are not entered. There was also a party on Sunday night to which we were encouraged to go in costume, and some magnificent ones showed up there.

After the fancy dress we want up to Jacqueline Comben's room for the Enterprise Originals get-together. We always look forward to these dos as the best part of conventions, as I already mentioned, is chatting with friends. Unfortunately we couldn't stay as long as we wanted thiis time; we were late arriving because the fancy dress ran late and we had arranged to go to the GHT meeting which was being held at the same time.

On the Sunday we also had the sponsored swim. I haven't been in the water since last Midcon, but I made the distance and collected £118.50 for the charity. Richard and Guy brought some things over - autographed photos, etc - and these fetched roughly £1000. A script of Measure of a Man (TNG second series - an excellent episode) that was autographed by the cast fetched £250. The official charity was Arthritis Care, but the con committee decided to give something to the Hillsborough Disaster Fund too.

Because we already had everyone's autographs we didn't go to the autograph session on Sunday. This was a mistake - the autograph session was enlivened by Guy's decision to emulate a stunt artiste, using the balcony as a stage. This balcony is quite high, and his stunts came close to giving the committee heart-failure. He was eventually coaxed down, much to everyone's relief (or disappointment?).

On Monday, of course, part of BBC's Open Air was done from the con. They were set up very early, about 9am, and I had great fun first thing persuading them to kill their lights so that I could show Catspaw! George was interviewed, answering several telephoned enquiries, and one of the committee and three attendees were also asked one or two questions.

Looking back over the weekend, I think a good time was had by most of the attendees. (Unfortunately the Adelphi's security record is not good and several people had things stolen - it's very easy for someone to walk into a hotel off the street. All they have to do is look confident. And there were several other people staying at the hotel apart from us - there seemed to be bus parties in every night - so that someone mundane wandering around wasn't going to be automatically questioned.) The Adelphl staff was friendly and helpful (an awkward manager from previous years had left). The cheap con food was good, though a change of menu each day should have been possible. The restaurant food was excellent too and very reasonably priced. [7]

There are three very long con reports of the 1989 con in Enterprise Originals #9. All three describe a fun con, but complain mightily about the terrible hotel conditions and policies.


Sol III in 1992 was the 33rd British Star Trek convention. It was held at The Grand Hotel, Birmingham, England on May 1-4.

cover of the 1992 program book

The guests of honor were Wil Wheaton, Barrie Ingham, Richard Arnold, and Guy Vardeman.

from the program book
from the program book

The con committee:

  • Jean Barron, Treasurer, Hotel and Guest Liaison
  • Heather Hillsden, Registration, Accommodation and Press Liaison
  • Carole McFarlane, Dealers' Room, Auction/White Horta Coordinator
  • Mark Wagstaff Security/Stewards, Safety Officer, Video Rooms

Con Reports: 1992

From a fan who appeared to mostly eat and buy:

The Saturday dawned bright and early; getting up at seven is easy when you are going to a con. One small problem; the corporation buses were on strike so I had to catch one of the privately run ones and it took me an hour to get into town and walk across the churchyard to the hotel. I stood in the queue waiting to get my con pack and talked to two people in front of me; it was their first con and they asked me if I thought they would enjoy themselves. I said "You bet. Once you have been to a con you are hooked." I managed to get the con pack at last and was trying to put my badge on when someone said "Hello Jenny." I turned round and nearly had a heart attack; there was this 'person' dressed as a Klingon. He thought it was very funny that I didn't recognise him but the costume was brilliant. I eventually sussed out who it was. By this time the sales rooms were open but I was on a limited budget so I had to go careful. I had said to my penfriend in Australia I would try to get her some badges or stickers, which I did although they were a bit pricey. I also got her two nice postcard holograms, one of the logo and one of the new Enterprise. I found my friend's stall and bought a tribble that squeaked. My friend appeared and said "Do you like my 25th anniversary jacket?" I said "Yes," then she told me the price of it. Eek!!! Too much for me I'm afraid. I wandered around the tables and managed to get a mug from ST:TMP, some writing paper, stickers, badges, a lovely photo of Spock which was being sold for charity, and a gorgeous poster of Spock for a pound; I had been eyeing such a poster in the restaurant. I didn't buy any zines because there weren't many there. Time to eat, so I decided on a sandwich and a cold drink as it was very hot in the hotel. I was sitting there when a voice hailed me from another table so I joined them and met quite a few people I hadn't seen for ages. After talking for some time we decided to go out about 1.30 to have a meal. There was about 30 of us altogether so we trooped into a restaurant much to everyones shock and amusement. They put us upstairs (so as not to frighten the other customers away I think, as some of us were in uniform or dressed as Klingons) and our meal arrived. I noticed a little girl sitting at a table with her mom; she was fascinated with what was going on and kept asking her mom who we were. Obviously her mom was as baffled (excuse the pun) as she was; the waitress finally told here what was going on. After the meal I went back to the hotel for another quick trip around the sales room. About 4 o'clock I departed and went to get a bus home. It was chaos and I had to stand most of the way but I eventually got there. I couldn't believe I had spent such a small amount at a con (probably the least I've ever spent). Roll on the next con, it's so much fun. [8]


Sol III in 1995 was the 39rd British Star Trek convention. It was held at Norbreck Castle Hotel May 26-29, 1995.

front cover of the 1995 program, Donna Rouse

The guests of honor were: Dwight Schultz, Eric Menyuk, Harry Harrison, Richard Arnold, Alan Whibley, Mike Tucker and Chas Evans.

Also: Mike Tucker, Alan Whibley, Chas Evans, Bo Maxwell, and Steve Tidey.

The con com:

  • Jean Barron, treasurer, hotel and guest liaison
  • Susie Burton, registration, accommodation & press liaison
  • Heather Hillsden, registration, accommodation & press liaison
  • Carole McFarlane, dealers' room, auctions, art room
  • Mark Wagstaff, security, stewards, safety officer

The two role-playing games at this con were "The Stuff of Dreams" and "Mosaic."

Two theme parties were "Night of Masks" and "A Night on the Holodeck."


  1. ^ from Voyager #10
  2. ^ from Not Tonight Spock! #10
  3. ^ from Beta-Niobe, May 1985
  4. ^ from Communicator #23 (May 1985)
  5. ^ from Enterprise Originals #10
  6. ^ from IDIC #4
  7. ^ from IDIC #4
  8. ^ from Star Trek Action Group #106