UFP Con

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Star Trek Convention
Name: UFP Con
Dates: 1980-1994
Frequency:
Location: the UK
Type: fan run
Focus: Star Trek
Organization: UFP
Founder:
Founding Date:
URL:
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UFP Con was a Star Trek series of conventions that were held in the UK.

program book, 24 pages

1980

This con was in Coventry on May 24-25th, 1980. The 1980 con committee consisted of Kim Knight, Janet Blowers, Ros, Dave and Simone. It was the 9th British Star Trek convention.

These films were planned, though it unknown if they were shown: "There will be five films: "Baffled", "Kingdom of the Spiders", "Big Bad Mama", "A Whale of a Tale" and "The Devil's Rain". Our apologies to Leonard Nimoy fans but it's all we could get." [1]

There is a detailed con report in the con zine, Chronicles, which was issued in two parts.

There was a costume contest, an art competition, a writing contest, and three con skits: "The Ten Inch Tribble with the Toothless Grin by Lesley McCartney, Ann Neilson, Gordon and Sandi Cowden, "The Five Fantasies" by Chrissie Farr, and "Legend of the Solar Winds" by Pat Thomas.

From the Convention Booklet

U.F.P Con ‘80

The Command Team Tender Their Grateful Thanks To the Following:-

  • Our Guest, Joan – for her presence.
  • Leonard Nimoy for his generosity and help.
  • William Shatner.
  • Dennis Michael of DDA.
  • Duncan Clark of CIC.
  • Fred Davey of John Bennett for his help with the trophies.
  • Anne Page for her services as MC.
  • Rog Payton – for services above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Chris Chivers – he thought he was only providing the audio equipment.
  • Mike Eason – for providing artwork at very short notice.
  • Kim’s Auntie Stella who lugged stationery and awards and spoke sweetly to numerous people to get them.
  • Our command Assistants who stood in for us when we had to be in two places at once. Our Security Team – where would we be without you?
  • Janet’s Mum who pasted and licked for hours.
  • The De Vere Hotel and its staff, especially Julian Martyr, who didn’t know until it was too late what they were taking on.
  • Kim’s and Janet’s families – who provided beds, food and understanding in moments of crises.
Thank You.

Con Report: 1980

We enjoyed the con, but were not too happy with the hotel. We found some of the staff were less than helpful... In general, we felt the hotel was treating the convention attendees as second class citizens; we certainly did not get the service one would expect from a four-star hotel. Would you believe they actually removed the bedspreads from the beds before we arrived and replaced them after we left? There was no room service worth mentioning, and meals (other than breakfast, which was included in the room charge) had to be paid for on the spot. The attitude of the staff, of course, was in no way the fault of the con committee, who did their best to iron out problems as they arose. [2]
We found the hotel and it straddled the road,
And there was a banner saying UFP Con in the foyer,
And we got our badges (mine broke quite soon) and a smart con book,
And it had the Enterprise on the front, upside down,
And beautiful Philip had grown a beard and looked a bit like Borg,
And he had a thing that trundled round the floor and beeped, and it fired at me,
But I didn't mind because of his golden curls,
And I ate a chicken vol an vent and saw Simone... [3]
My first convention - we arrived in Conventry Friday afternoon around 2pm. tie booked into our B & B then headed to the hotel at Warp 8, collected our programmes and "badges, I looked at the programme and saw Bill was about to be on in some films in the Fairfax Suite. Excitedly, Ron and I hurried along there. There were three films, Whale of a Tale, Kingdom of the Spiders and The Devil's Rain. In parts of 'Kingdom' people were swooning and laughing and at the end when all those horrid spiders turned on Bill, everyone was moaning and watching closely. Fortunately he recovered to a sigh of relief from the audience. And in Devil's Rain there was a part where all the devil worshippers were chasing Bill, people yelled "Trekkers.' They get everywhere. That set me off - what an amazing audience, I loved being able to sit there and call out or swoon when Bill was on. Lots of people seemed to have the giggles - one word out of place and there were roars of laughter from the crowd. Later, I began chatting with some other fans. It was really amazing - I felt I'd known them for years.

On Saturday I watched films, saw the fashion show which was of excellent quality, and began mixing with the others, taking pictures of T-shirts and really getting to know people. That night at the disco was fantastic - I danced all night! I had all my badges on, and sounded like a mucisal instrument myself when I began dancing. When they played Starship Trooper, everyone applauded and got up to dance - there was a tremendous feeling of warmth and happiness in the room, the air was full of it.

Next day I got up, went half asleep to breakfast, saw more episodes and went to the sales room. There I chatted to Janet, caught a glimpse of Sheila, who looked very busy at the time, and chatted to Sylvia, who told me the WSFF photos are personally signed - that was when I decided to join his club. I entered some drawings in the art competition, but as I expected, they didn't win anything.

On Sunday night I saw Big Bad Mama with Ron. He took his camera with him, but it was too dark for it to work, It was funny how quiet everyone was waiting for Bill to come on. And when he did, what a cheer he got.' Everyone went dead quiet on the bed scenes (though they were very brief and disappointing). And woe, at the end when the other gangster yells at him and machine guns him dead and you see him fall, everybody moaned with him then cheered when the bad guy was shot up by the cops. (I was using my tribble as a hanky). After the closing ceremony we went to Lynn's room party, chatted all night, then retired. [4]
On our arrival at the hotel, we noticed immediately that, apart from the registration desk, there was only one table and a couple of chairs in the lobby - in other words, this lobby would not be a "gathering place." We missed seeing familiar faces as we trooped in and, worse still, as the weekend progressed, we discovered there was no convenient place in which to congregate or trace wayward friends. The lounges provided were small and out of the way - hardly anyone seemed to use them, the next thing we became aware of was the freezing temperatures in the bedrooms. This was eventually remedied after several requests were made for the heating to be turned on. (Vera, the Housekeeper, was very helpful in providing extra blankets and a blow heater in the interim.) We didn't realise until we read STAG'S newsletter that the bedspreads had been deliberately removed for the duration of the con! On the first morning, we made the acquaintance of the Kommandant. Were sure all those who had breakfast in the Terrace Room know who we mean. It was then we realised that, as far as the hotel management and staff were concerned, we were not to be treated as guests but rather as a lessor breed of persons. We were not allowed to choose our seats in the dining room but were grudgingly admitted in ones and twos and told exactly where we were to sit, usually with strangers - so much for a convivial meal with close friends. It was noted that non-conventioneers were shepherded to tables on the other side of the room. We knew in advance that there would be no tea-making facilities in the bedrooms - a great inconveniece when coffee and tea were served in the public rooms at certain times of the day and we never seemed to 'catch' those times. Gathering for tea in somebody's room is a popular pastime at cons and adds greatly to the friendly, informal atmosphere - we missed that facility. [5]
I loved the UFP con, and thought it was one of the best in recent years. It was really nice to meet Joanie Winston again after several years, and have a good long natter to her about the 2nd International Star Trek con in New York, which is where we first met. And I did think it made all the difference having a guest who was directly concerned with a Star Trek aspect rather than one who had no connections with it or, at the best, very obscure ones. In a very real sense, UFP con was a true Star Trek con, and I enjoyed that. It was also great to be able to appreciate more of the con than I'm usually able to (I'm usually incarcerated in the dealers' room all day). Okay, so things didn't always go smoothly or according to plan for the organisers, but that, I think, is one of the beauties of Star Trek Conventions. So we're not professional and no-one makes out that we are. Cons are organic & for the love of Star Trek and people go to one for the love of Star Trek and not because they want a slick, ultra-organised, multi programmed con orgainsed by professionals with an eye on the profits. It was the organisers' very first stab at this sort of thing, and I think they did very well indeed.[6]
I'm sure many of you out there have wondered just what Kolinahr really is. Is it really the ultimate control of all emotion, or was it just a crafty ruse for Spock to get out of Starf leet and have a holiday in the sun? Well, I can exclusively reveal just what this strange custom is — it's the art of being able to survive a Star Trek convention .... Well, if it isn't included in the actual Vulcan tests it should bel Anyone who can survive four days on virtually no sleep deserves to pass.

Like most people I travelled up to Coventry by British Rail (Yes, dreaded delays, grotty tea, no seats, and expensive!). My three companions on this great expedition were Sue (I'm the president round here) Toher, Phyllis (wine-maker extraordinaire) Gregory and Donna (co-founder of the exclusive' flyboy' club) Wilderspin. We finally managed to meet together on the wonderful BR crosscountry train to Coventry, and after I was attacked by a Klingon bag which leapt under my feet and sent me sprawling down the aisle of a compartment, we actually managed to find some seats. (Whose bright idea was it to go by train anyway!?l). After a boring train ride (train rides are always boring when other passengers don't think your jokes are funny, and don't appreciate ST talk), we arrived at Coventry Station where we persuaded a taxi driver that he wanted to take us to the De Vere. 1 kindly let him hump all the B/A zines we brought with us for sale into the cab amid cries of "Blimey! What the hell have you got in here?" Still, the poor man did get us to the hotel in one piece (it was close though!) and just to show how much I liked him I let him hump the zines out of the car, amid more cries.

Once inside the hotel we all quickly checked in and registered for the con before going up to our rooms. Sue and I were sharing a twin room, and Donna and Phyllis, plus the fifth member of our intrepid little group — Jayne Turner — were sharing a triple. Our room was on the fifth floor (though I will admit several times I ended up at the wrong door on the wrong floor — all the floors looked alike! In fact during the course of the weekend it was not uncommon to hear people asking themselves "What floor am I on?"), and after settling in we all went in search of picnic food to last the weekend.

On our arrival back at the hotel we met up with Jayne, who had just arrived, and retired to the triple room for something to eat and drink. (Jayne had brought a kettle and all the ingredients for tea and coffee, and Phyllis had homemade wine — this was going to be a good weekend!)

The convention itself began proper at 4 pm with a showing of Bill Shatner's film "A Whale of a Tale" in the Fairfax Suite. There were several rooms being utilised throughout the weekend — films were shown in the Fairfax Suite (a building just out of the actual hotel); videos, which were going constantly, were either in the Pine Room I, Pine Room II or a small room in the Fairfax; and main events such as opening ceremonies, fashion shows, etc. were held in the Connaught Room. For those unable to see a showing of a film or video these were repeated at least twice over the weekend — videos more than twice.

The video rooms opened at 5 pm with a choice of either "Court Martial", "Metamorphosis" or "Conscience of the King". Other videos showing over the weekend were:— "Errand of Mercy", "Doomsday Machine", "Arena", "A Private Little War", "Bread & Circuses", 'Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Charlie X", "The Apple", "The Changeling", "Obsession", "Wolf in the Fold", "Catspaw", "Squire of Gothos", "Return of the Archons", "Who Mourns for Adonais?", and "Deadly Years". Back in the Fairfax at 6 pm was a showing of Bill Shatner's "Kingdom of the Spiders" film which Sue and Donna went to see. I hate spiders so I watched "Errand of Mercy", then decided to set up the club table, which was in the Cavendish Room. There were a lot of tables in the room, the majority run by amateurs such as clubs, but several by professional booksellers.

Directly following "Kingdom of the Spiders" was, I understand, yet another Bill Shatner film "Devil's Rain" (Friday was definitely Bill Shatner evening!), although we missed this as we didn't realise it was on.

The official opening of the con took place at 9:30 pm (approx.) and when I arrived in the Connaught I was surprised to find Sue and Donna competing to see who could out-drink the other (and they'd forgotten to include me!). Yes, the bar had been open since 8 pm and they'd made good use of it. (You'll be hearing from my lawyers about these libellous remarks, Fran Ball — Sue!). The opening ceremony commenced with a short speech by Kim Knight, who introduced the other members of the committee and the special guest, Joan Winston. I expect most people have heard of Joan (or Joanie, as she likes to be called) in their involvement in Star Trek — she was on the committee for the first ST con in America (the same group ran 4 more conventions after this) and has recently written a book about running conventions entitled "The Making of Trek conventions — or How to hold a party for 5000 of your most intimate friends". She was also involved in the campaign to have the real-life space shuttle named "Enterprise". Joanie gave a brief introduction speech and quickly established herself as a very witty speaker. When she had finished I was really looking forward to her session on Sunday afternoon.

During the course of the opening ceremony Kim announced that Leonard Nimoy's film "Assault on the Wayne" would be showing at about 11 pm in the Fairfax. You've never seen two people sober up as quick as Sue and Donna did at this news. At 11 pm there was a queue of people outside the Fairfax waiting to be let in. As I said before, the Fairfax was not actually in the De Vere, more sort of round the side and along a bit — and the looks the locals were giving us as they emptied out from nearby drinking establishments and other fun places was a picture . .. still, I think they got used to us as the weekend progressed.

The film was good, particularly so as we hadn't seen it for a long time, even though the copy shown was only black and white. After the film we retired to room 401 (the tripie) and sat up until about 2 am the following morning, drinking coffee, talking about films, episodes, and all the other things ST fans talk about.

I hate alarm clocks . . . especially ones that ring at 6:30 on Saturday mornings! Still, with breakfast planned for 7:30 am and the sales room open for dealers at 8:30 am — with me doing the first stint on the club table — I dragged myself to the bathroom to wake myself up, then quickly headed down to indulge in my favourite hobby (No, not ST!) — FOOD! Nicely filled, albeit temporarily, I made my way to the sales room and commenced trading. The tables were due to be open at 9 am, but things started happening before that. The first event of the day was Bill Shatner's film "Big Bad Mama" which was due to be shown in the Fairfax at 8:30 am. Sue had originally planned to go and see this, but the horror of finding water in the bathroom taps put her In a state of shock and she decided to go and buy things from the sales room instead (if Sue was parting with money, she had to be in a state of shock!!!). The video sessions for the day began at 9 am.

At about 10 am. Sue suddenly appeared at the club table to say that Leonard Nimoy's film "Baffled" was going to start in half an hour in the Fairfax. Anyone who knows me also knows I love this film (any spare photos, etc. you might have going, my address is on the front of this newsletter!). As the minutes ticked by i began to get worried about missing the beginning. I'm sorry to the person who was about to buy something from the table as I rushed off, but it was either that or I'd have a nervous breakdown. After "Baffled" another of Leonard Nimoy's films was shown — "Deathwatch". I decided to leave seeing this until Sunday as I was still high on "Baffled", and left Sue, Donna, Phyllis and Jayne waiting in the Fairfax. Back at the club table things were brisk, and I had a chance to speak to many club members who came up to say hello. It's really nice to see members at conventions — it gives both Sue and i a chance to put a face to the name.

At 2:30 pm in the Connaught the fashion show was due to take place. However, for the first convention out of all I've attended I missed it. As the programme for the weekend was so packed there was no set time for official lunchbreaks, and at 2 pm it became necessary for me, anyway, to get something to eat. By the time we had eaten our lunch the fashion show was over, but I was informed the entries were up to their usual high standard.

The fashion show was followed by the auction: part 1 (part two to be held on Sunday morning). As usual there were several items I wouldn't have minded, but the bidding went considerably higher than my non-existent funds could go to. Oh well,there's always next time! Rog Peyton acted as auctioneer, doing his usual excellent job, and auctioning whatever came to hand.

At 5:30 pm our group went to our rooms to rest and watch 'Mork & Mtndy' {well, Sue likes it!). Sue was feeling pretty tired — two Leonard Nimoy films running is a bit too much for her. Me, I was raring to go for the disco due to commence at 8 pm.

As is usual with ST conventions, the disco and fancy dress are combined in that the fancy dress parade takes place, then the disco commences after judging has been completed. This one was slightly different in that the disco began at 8 pm, ran for V/2 hours then stopped for the fancy dress parade. I think I prefer the fancy dress first, then the disco, but still had a good time during the first VA hours.

The fancy dress was excellent and the authenticity of the costumes worn by competitors was of an extremely high standard. The competition itself was divided into two sections — Star Trek, and non-Star Trek. The Star Trek entries covered everything from Klingons to Vulcans to Andorians, and was won by "ilia". The non-Star Trek section also consisted of a wide range of costumes, the winner being "Super Dodo". After the fancy dress the disco resumed and carried on until about 2/2:30 am. It can easily be said that the record of the evening must have been 'Starship Trooper' — played about six times (at least) while I was there, it got everybody up on the dance floor and singing along — great stuff I After the disco it was back up to one of the rooms for more late night chatting.

Sunday morning was just like any other Sunday morning — after the night before! (I wouldn't have minded but I think I missed out on 'the night before'}. Just toast for breakfast this morning — fried egg didn't seem like a good idea, at least not the way the hotel fried eggs! Sue was nominated as table watcher for the morning (her cries of "But the table's not going to do anything!" did not impress me). "Deathwatch" was due to commence at 8:30 am and I wanted to see it... a strange film! The video rooms opened at 9 am and ran through all morning, stopped, and started again at 5:45 pm.

Part two of the auction was held in the Connaught at 10:30 am where the remainder of the items on the auction list were sold — I avoided this room as money which was scarce the day before was now non-existent. Back in the Fairfax at 12 noon (I'd say it was 'high noon' but the room was on the ground floor!) was the second showing of 'A Whale of a Tale'. Sunday wasn't so packed — at least not for me anyway as I'd either seen the things that were being shown, or wasn't too interested in them — so I was able to partake of lunch at my leisure.

The afternoon session began at 2 pm with a new item to ST cons — a drama competition. Entries in this included singing, dancing, and costume collections. The entries were good, and some very funny, but the outright winner (certainly in my opinion, and everyone else's, judging by the riotous applause) was a starfleet alien quartet singing their own song, "The Ten Inch Tribble with the Toothless Grin". It was absolutely brilliant! In fact they were such a success that an encore was demanded — several times.

The next item on the agenda was Joan Winston, who gave an interesting talk on her work for conventions held in New York, and what it was like to be at the ST:TMP premiere. After Joanie had finished her talk there was time for a short question and answer session, during which many varied questions were asked. The programme, by this time was running a little late, but I wasn't too worried as the next item was a second showing of "Baffled" in the Fairfax, which I naturally went to see. Directly following "Baffled" was "Big Bad Mama", which we all decided to stay and see. I've seen the film before when it was shown on the cinema circuits, and still think it's amusing — even though it has 'those scenes in between Bill Shatner and Angie Dickinson (not that it worried the Bill Shatner fans who were practically in the screen anyway).

"Big Bad Mama" marked the penultimate item of the con — the ultimate being the Awards and Closing Ceremony. After the film everyone gathered in the Connaught, where the Closing Ceremony was to talk place. I heard several cries from the bar of "Quick, give me a drink. I've just seen Bill Shatner get killed".

Well, when you get to the Awards and Closing Ceremony you know it's almost over. The week
end we'd all been looking forward to for so long was suddenly nearly over and with that fact came the
 realisation that you have to get back to the real world the next day .... Still Cloud Nine lasts a little
longer. The awards were quickly given out and the closing speeches made, the con was officially 
over. Or was it? A group of Klingons suddenly appeared, and before anyone could stop them, Joan Winston was proclaimed a hostage of the Klingon Empire (will these Klingons stop at nothing?). The Klingon commander then announced (amid hisses and boos) that money would be collected for the release of Joan — the money to be given to the Muscular Dystrophy Charity. Within a few minutes £150 was raised. I'd just like to point out that the leader of the Klingons looked remarkably like Martin Smith — well done lads for thinking up such a novel idea.

For the first time over the weekend we actually ventured into a Wimpy! (To boldly go where no . . . aw, forget it!) — well, there wasn't much else open on a Sunday, night at 10:30 pm. That ordeal over we retired to the bar in the hotel where we were treated to a rendition of songs, etc. by a group of Correlians who will remain nameless (mainly because I can't remember their names!), and a little recitation (made up on the spot) about the trouble these Correlians had had with the hotel dining staff and an incorrect bill for ice cream. The De Vere staff were, for the most part, unpolite towards convention attendees (except when we paid our hotel bills — they were nice when accepting money). We had a bit more trouble with the staff — the person in charge of the bar was quite rude in trying to get us to leave early, saying we wouldn't get drunk if we stayed on coke all evening. (This is our polite translation of what was said. As this is a family newsletter we have no intention of repeating what was actually said!).

We left the bar, and headed for room 401 where we opened a bottle of homemade wine (cheaper than bar prices anyway — and more potent), and the next several hours were spent in a massive joke session. By 4 am we decided it was time to call it a night/morning/Monday, etc.

Monday morning arrived very quickly and we reluctantly packed {threw everything in suitcases was a more accurate description!) — Yes, it really was all over. We said goodbye to Jayne and before long it was time for us to get to the station for our train.

As the train sped back to Southampton, the journey seemed dull — the drop from Cloud Nine had been straight down this time, not the gentle slide it had been after past cons. The weekend had been so full, what with ail the films and episodes, and now the real world was seeping in with a vengeance. It must have been a good con — I'm still suffering from post-convention blues now!

Thanks, Kim, Janet, Amanda, Simone, Ros and Dave (the UFP committee), it was great. . . now, when did you say the next one was? [7]

1982

This con was held April 30-May 2, 1982 at the The Grand Hotel, Birmingham. It was the 13th British Star Trek convention. Kim Knights and Janet Blowers were co-chairs. William Shatner was a Guest of Honor.

Con Report: 1982

In England, I attended UFP Con, one of the two big cons produced every year. 600 fans attended, and among the guest stars were William Shatner and Marcy, and Sonni Cooper, who spent a great deal of time publicizing her Trek novel (it sounds quite interesting). Unfortunately, my first day at the con was completely spoiled by the two fans who were responsible for organizing it, I'm sorry to say. They had lost my art registration forms, and completely went back on their word, which I had in writing, concerning some items I wished to enter in the auction— and they were very hostile about it as well. I would never want to go to another con run by them. On the positive side, there was Bill, beautiful and vibrant as always, but not quite as frenetic, due to jet lag. He also favored members of the new Wm. Shatner Fan Fellowship with a special meeting. The organizers of the club were there, coaxing fans to sign up, and bid on some enormously expensive photos. An especially long teaser from ST:TMPII was run three times. Although everyone freely expressed and exercised their "media" likes and dislikes, there was practically no contamination with other "media" in the con itself, a remarkably sane approach. As a result, there was no hostility between factions, and a remarkable feeling of enthusiastic unity of purpose lacking in U.S. cons. No exhibitionistic weapon-wielding weirdos held fights in the corridors; everyone behaved in a sane and orderly fashion...I thought I had died and gone straight to heaven!!! There were some very nice handmade items for sale, and many English zines, all of them Star Trek, with two or three exceptions, mostly Blake's Seven. The table with the only "multi-media" zine there was the only table with no one around it. I can't say how delighted I was to discover that my low opinion of Star Wars is shared by almost all British fans, and they are not afraid to say so, because no fan would THINK of attacking them personally for what is a matter of taste. Almost all British fans do not like multi-media zines and will not buy them, not even the better U.S. ones, and there are no British Star War zines. What a blessed relief not to be bombarded with this stuff at every turn! By the end of the con, I was trying to figure out a way to put a second mortgage on my house so I could afford to attend the next British con! I'd even try going in a leaky boat! I was also delighted to meet some former friends-only-by-mail and to find out that they are even nicer in person. Special thanks to Sheila, Valerie and Janet of ScoTpress (and to Shauna even though her nails need trimming') , and to Meg Wright and her family. You couldn't meet a nicer bunch! [8]

1984

This con was May 4-7, 1984 in Manchester. Kim Knights and Janet Blowers were co-chairs. It was the 17th British Star Trek convention.

David Gerrold, making his first appearance at a UK con, was a GOH, and it sounds like he made his usual splash: the con program for UFP 1986 makes reference to a specific room party and an inflatable banana.

Con Reports: 1984

A con report from the guest of honor: David Gerrold:

The convention is a small one by American standards, only about 600 or 700 people — but everybody is smiling.

I am immediately suspicious. A convention where people look like they're having fun?

Very quickly, I discover that the English fans are a breed apart. They are intelligent, thoughtful, responsible, playful, fun-loving, courteous, literate and simply delightful human beings. It's like being at the world's best party, you can float from conversation to conversation to conversation, and every one is worth being a part of. I'm invited out to enough dinners to solve the hunger problem for a small nation. I'm offered enough beer to drown an Irishman. And all I have to do is stand up and talk about Star Trek for a little while. I'm beginning to be afraid that I can't do enough to repay these people's kindnesses.

It finally crystallizes in one small incident that, for me, clearly demonstrates that these fans have a totally different attitude toward their guests than you or I are used to. [for the rest of this con report, see David Gerrold's 1984 UFP Con Report.] [9]

One fan, [Rosemary W] writes of her anger over David Gerrold's actions at the UFP Con, a convention he had volunteered to attend:

The event took place on both Saturday and Sunday of the con. On Saturday, Mr. Gerrold picked up a copy of Thrust and said he found such literature 'annoying to say the least.' He then flourished the cover -- there were small children in the audience and, despite being asked to refrain, he continued to do so -- and gave 'mock readings' in a derisory tone, accompanied by jeers from one sector of the audience. Later, he apologized for having given 'offence' (his word). However, on Sunday, the same behaviour prevailed. Mr. Gerrold used words like 'filth' and 'perversion' with regard to zines, in particular K/S Relay. Readings were given from Sun and Shadow, and it was implied this was a K/S zine. The same suggestion was made of Precessional. The atmosphere of the whole auction was not pleasant... Perhaps readers of UT have encountered such a phenomenon before, but I was considerably saddened by it, as it seems so contrary to the spirit of Star Trek [but came] from one who is regarded as a creator. [10]

A fan's different perspective:

Early Saturday morning, 5 May, Graham and I set off for Manchester laden with 2 HEAVY suitcases full of items to sell on the club sales table, plus the usual bags of clothes, emergency food rations, etc etc etc. We arrived just in time to get trampled on, as the sales rooms opened just as we were trying to set up the sales table. However we managed to put out everything we'd brought with us, and spent an hour selling before we had to go off to a stewards' meeting. Jan, Graham and I had all volunteered as stewards as well as dealers, which made for a VERY hectic weekend!

I soon discovered that I'll never be a Starfleet navigator... I spent the whole
 of Saturday getting lost! The Midland Hotel is full of long corridors, and with
not having time to walk around before our duties started, I hadn't a clue where
I was going (I spent a fascinating 10 minutes walking round the 2nd floor with
no idea of where I was!) I even asked Graham on one occasion to take me down to
 the ground floor... he said, "But we're ON the ground floor!) Oh well . In between sales table and stewards duties I hardly saw any of the Con on Saturday, but from what I saw of the people around me, everyone was having a great time. I volunteered for the Star Trek Blankety Blank contest, that was good fun. The one thing I definitely wanted to see - "Blade Runner" - was shown on Friday when I wasn't there (sob sob!J - oddly, most films got 2 showings over the weekend, but that one didn't. On Sunday I actually began to find my way round the hotel (there's hope for me yet!) We saw "Brainstorm" which we enjoyed very much, then I managed to go round the sales tables to spend some money (they were closed whenever I got time to go round them on the Saturday), Later on Sunday was our first real glimpse of the guest, David Gerrold, who showed a film of the making of ST:TMP and some slides of ST 3 (it's looking good!). We'd missed David's Saturday talk but he appears to have been a delightful guest, joining in with a lot of things and making a lot of people laugh. I think he enjoyed the con as much as the fans and was very popular with people. We were sorry we were too busy to see more of him. In between duties and dashing around like mad things we spent some time chatting to friends and sampling the hotel food (which was very nice indeed), Monday morning we watched "Superman 3" (we had a couple of duties in the video rooms, which is how we found time to sit through 2 whole films). Then, all too soon, it was the closing ceremony and time to go home. It was a great con, but in future I think I'll either be a steward OR a dealer, and not both, as I missed quite a lot of it. But it was all fun anyway, and I'm pleased to say the club sales table did well. A big thank you to the people who brought us items to sell.

We were sorry that William Shatner wasn't able to be guest of honour at this Con, as he had work commitments, and we send him all good wishes for his latest film. [11]

1986

This con was May 2-5, 1986 at the Birmingham Metropole and Warwick Hotels. It was the 21st British Star Trek convention.

back cover of the 1986 con program book
front cover of the 1986 con program book
1986 flyer

The 60-page program book has much fan art, ads, articles, puzzles, several pieces of fanfiction, and photos.

From the introduction:
As we all meet for the 21 st time at a major British Star Trek Convention, we gather to celebrate twenty years of the programme which changed the face of science fiction on TV, and in many cases entered people's lives to change them for the better As Isaac Asimov points out it seems incredible that some of today's fans weren't even born when the series first aired in the United States in 1966... As we celebrate the last twenty years, this optimism is something within all of us which we can share, and this is especially important as the shadow of the Challenger tragedy casts over 1986. If we can take our hopes and translate them into the future reality we have seen through Star Trek, then these seven brave astronauts will not have given their lives in vain.

The closing ceremony involved a giant inflatable banana. David Gerrold was a Guest of Honor.

1988

About the 1988 con from IDIC #1: "Apollo Hotel, Birmingham. Afternoon videos, disco, and silly games." It also had an ad for three UFP Con Videos. "1-Patrick Stewart/Sylvester McCoy, 2 - Stunt display/Grace Lee Whitney (parts 1 and 2), 3 - David Gerrold/Diane Duane and Peter Morwood/Next Gen panel. Each tape 3 hours VHS."

It was the 25th British Star Trek convention.

1991

May 3-6, 1991 The Grand Hotel in Birmingham, con committee: Kim Farey, Ros Liddle, Simone Mason, Dave Liddle, Alan Mason.

Both David Gerrold and Richard Arnold were Guests of Honor, and several slide shows were shown. A con report for this convention is in FIB v.9 n.3.

It was the 31st British Star Trek convention.

1994

1994 program book

BRITANNIA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL, April 29-May 2, 1994.

It was the 37th British Star Trek convention.

Con Report: 1994

I went to the UFP convention in London. It was good and bad. It had events and videos etc. but the guests were all telling us how they had nothing to do with TNG and that the series is over so they have nothing they can tell us. The hotel was freezing which made my flu even worse. I felt miserable and had decided to jump into the river but it looked too disgusting. So I got on my bike and went to Virgin and bought three TNG videos. I cheered up no end. What a tonic! [12]

References

  1. from STAG #39
  2. from STAG #41
  3. an excerpt from this very long report from STAG #41
  4. from STAG #42
  5. from STAG #42
  6. from STAG #42
  7. from Beyond Antares #35
  8. from Barbara P. G in Interstat #56
  9. printed in Starlog #86 and reprinted in several zines, one being Federal Information Bureau v.3 n.2
  10. from a personal statement in Universal Translator #23
  11. from Beta-Niobe May 1984
  12. from Star Trek Action Group #115