Birmingham Science Fiction Group

A British SF club (often known as the BSFG) founded founded in 1961 which lasted until 1966. The modern club (with the same name) was re-founded Friday June 25th 1971. It runs Novacon and meets monthly in Birmingham, UK. Meetings consist of a speaker followed by socializing.

The first incarnation of the Birmingham Science Fiction Group was formed in 1961 by Roger Peyton and Cliff Teague and was entirely local, not contacting the rest of British fandom until 1963, when one of its members journeyed to Peterborough for Bullcon, the 1963 Eastercon. Other members included the fan artist Mike Higgs, and Ken Cheslin became an early mentor to the group.

Tony Ventris-Field, a reporter from the Erdington News, joined the club in 1962 and his newspaper gave free publicity to local organizations. The club became the Erdington SF Circle to con the paper's editor and little paper slips advertizing the ESFC were put in SF books at Birmingham Rag Market: "Are you interested in SF? Join the Erdington SF Circle." Ventris-Field wrote and article that appeared on paper's front page in January 1963. There is no indication that the newspaper story had much of an effect on club's membership roster, but one of book inserts found by Peter Weston, then 19 years old. He had already been a solitary reader of SF for 6 years, but now he attended a meeting two weeks after finding notice, and became a regular attendee.

The peak of the club's existence was Brumcon II, the 1965 Eastercon, which the club sponsored.

The BSFG first met at a book store, and Sunday meetings were then held at a Victorian house where Teague lived. Later, the club met at the home of Charlie Winstone, in Erdington. Winstone had a bad time at Yarcon, the 1966 Eastercon, and ejected the group soon after that. Subsequently, the club meeting site became 'The Old Contemptibles' pub in Birmingham, but the pub was not really suitable as a meeting site. One of last few meetings had only three people. The club dissolved on Sept. 25, 1966 (H.G. Wells's birthday) when Darroll Pardoe and Martin Pitt met to toast Wells, then declared the club dead. Birmingham fandom would not organize again until the 70s.

{Need material on the re-formed club}

Their website is http://www.birminghamsfgroup.org.uk/


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