The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Saturday, 20 October 1990

PanoptiCon 1990

‘Dig It’ – The Beatles
Just amazing: Nicholas Briggs, Gary Russell, Flash, Charlie Happenstance, John Helm, Adam Davies, Andrew Beech, Marc Platt, Mark Ayres, Frank Windsor, Carl Forgione, James Ellis, Mary Tamm, Nicholas Courtney, Wendy Padbury, Colin Howard, SOPHIE ALDRED
…and VANESSA (she was gorgeous). 
‘Kinky Afro’ – Happy Mondays

I met up with Flash at the rail station at about 8:30am this morning and we went off to the Hotel Leofric Royal, Broadgate, Coventry.  After much queuing, registering and receiving of PANOPTICON badges and packs, we went to attend the GHOST LIGHT’ panel in the main hall – on the front row, among various Daleks and close to the TARDIS.  The panel was hosted by Nicholas Briggs (who did an absolutely splendid job) and consisted of Marc Platt (who was very nice), Mark Ayres (quite amusing), Carl Forgione, Frank Windsor (really very good), and James Ellis (who was bloody brilliant!).  The latter pair almost singlehandly – doublehandedly?  Twohandedly? – attempted to rouse a rebellion among Who fans in defiance of the BBC who have still to make any kind of commitment regarding the show’s future.
The second ‘GHOST LIGHT’ panel featured the excellent John Nathan-Turner and the incredibly beautiful SOPHIE ALDRED!  She was absolutely gorgeous.
There was then time for Flash and me to go to the dealers’ room where we bought various items and remarked upon the beauty of certain well-known female fans from the Bath area.  The fanzine Purple Haze looks good.  Ultimately, we spent most of our time – all day, actually – with Flash’s friends from Wakefield, John Helm and Charlie Happenstance (who were brilliant and we all got on really well!).  We were occasionally joined by Adam, who is also a really nice bloke; VERY likeable.
[Incidentally, Charlie and John tell me that Elbow now has, in fact, a job and has moved to Nottingham!  This is all news to me and nobody knows what the job is.]
‘Virginia Plain’ – Roxy Music

Of course, we attended the ‘GHOST LIGHT’ signing session, and Sophie really was beautiful.  I took various photos of her and of myself with her.  On exiting, Flash and I ‘bumped’ into a young woman we’d seen around for most of the morning.  She was wearing a tie-dye top and jeans and she was very attractive.  She even had a kind of Sophie-ness about her, which we mentioned to her.  She seemed a bit stand-offish, but thanked us for the comment.  When we left her, I knew I’d have to speak to her again.  Oh, what a joy, eh?  At a convention full of geeky men and actually meeting a nice-looking girl who likes DOCTOR WHO!
Oh, then there was a surprise guest: Mary Tamm, who came in and did a signing.  I can’t tell if she was aloof or just shy.  The latter I think.
OH YES!  The great thing about Sophie that I didn’t mention was this: when she signed mine and Flash’s various items, she said, excitedly, ‘Ritch and Flash?  Mmm.  Together?  I received the birthday cards you both sent me.’

‘You did?’ I asked.
‘Yes!’ she said.  ‘Yes, I did.  Ritch and Flash.’  She nodded, and smiled.
Great, eh?
Then Flash and I watched some WHO.  We’d already watched ‘GHOST LIGHT’ (or, rather, bits of it as I’d only just watched it at home), so we watched a couple of episodes of ‘THE INVASION’, in which the Cybermen are brilliant.  After this came the TROUGHTON ERA panel with the hilarious Nicholas Courtney and surprise guest Wendy Padbury (pictured).  This was good and so was the signing.  We also saw a bit of the MARVEL panel.

‘You Never Give Me Your Money’ – The Beatles
Flash and I then went for dinner at PIZZA HUT and then returned to the bar to meet up with Adam, John and Charlie.  A hilarious evening of drinking followed.  Back in the main hall, we attended the charity auction and clips screenings.  We did some bidding but got nowhere.  Then I saw the girl from earlier on going by, now in a black jumper and flowery trousers.  She looked great.  As she went by to go to the toilet, Flash offered to get me a photo of her!  So he waited near the loos, and as she came out he gestured to her to follow him – and she did!  He then pointed at the BSB display and she stood where he was pointing and posed.  He took a photo, exchanged brief words, and they went their separate ways!  SHOCK!  WOW!  HOW?  DID? HE? DO? IT?  Turns out he asked her what her name was, to which she replied ‘Ness’.  He thinks the name on her badge was Vanessa Something.  We’d see her often throughout the evening and he even took another photo of her, poor girl!
The best part of the night was when the assembled fans were asked to vote for which DOCTOR WHO story they all wanted to watch on the big screen to finish the evening.  Randomly, we were also offered the opportunity of watching one of the latest (in the US, not the UK) two-part stories from STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.  I’d heard about this one – another Borg story – and was actually keener to watch that than DOCTOR WHO.  Ironic, right?  At a DOCTOR WHO convention I want to watch the latest STAR TREK… Imagine my delight then when pretty much the whole room voted to watch the TREK!  So we did: from Season 3/Season 4, ‘THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS 1 +2’.  And I loved it.

[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on that precede it]
Next time: ‘The Best of Both Worlds…’

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