As promised in 2008, we were beside the seaside, in Southport, hosted by Yorkshire Branch. Southport has a huge claim to fame amongst comic book collectors as it was the home of Dan Dare, or more correctly of the vehicle in which we read his tales of derring-do, otherwise known as “The Eagle” comic! That’s why one of the cards on our commemorative card this year showed his fiendish foe, The Mekon; just one card extracted from a whole set devoted to the intrepid Dan Dare which was issued by Calvert. We were a long way from London, and many predicted it was a step too far. But we had set our compass in a North-West-erly direction before, in 1999, and not been disappointed by the turn out, members and public had come out en masse, perhaps to see what we were about. Dealers were happy, and there were a lot of them who made the trip. And buyers reported that they had found cards they have been looking for a long while. Of course, this did nothing to dispel the rumours that there were always different cards in Northerly and Southerly packets to stop too many people collecting too many sets too fast! Sadly, there were fewer overseas collectors than usual. Our Convention was affected by the several weeks of disruption to, and cancellation of, flights, which was all caused by Mother Nature, who unleashed a cloud of volcanic ash that drifted far from Iceland and proved that human planning is no match for weather and for natural events.
Theatre & Convention Centre, Southport