Clevention PR 4 Article on TAFF
TRANS-ATLANTIC FAN FUND TAFF
One of the high-lights of this year's convention promises to be the visit of Ken and Pam Bulmer, the British representatives of the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund, or TAFF, as it is better known. The visit is unique, in that this is the first time a convention will have the added pleasure of entertaining a feminine representative, and, I might add (from the pictures on these pages, and from what I have heard), a very attractive one!
At this point, some of you, perhaps, are wondering just what is The Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund and what is its purpose? To that end, a brief history of the Fund is in order:
Shortly after the 1952 Chicago Convention, a British fan who had been corresponding and trading science fiction magazines and books with Donald E. Ford of Sharonville, Ohio, decided to make the trip over to the 1953 convention in the city of Philadelphia. Several members of the Cincinnati Fantasy Group decided to promote a raffle to help defray as much as they could of the British fan's traveling expenses. At this period, the fund was called, "The British Fan Fund".
Circumstances then arose which caused the original fan to postpone his journey for several years. Not wishing to drop the campaign, Don Ford contacted Ted Carnell and asked him if he knew of any-one else who planned to come over to the United States and offered to assist who-ever it might be. It turned out, however, that no other fan had such plans at that time.
In May of 1953, Bea Mahaffey went to England to visit fans and attend the Coroncon, and, while there, joined forces with Ted Carnell and Walt Willis selling raffle tickets and infusing British Fandom with a generous supply of enthusiasm.
The Coroncon voted to set up a permanent organization to encourage travel between the fans in the United States and England. The money being raised in 1953 was requested to be held over for the following year, and the eventual goal was set at sending one fan from each country over to the other side, EACH YEAR. This organization was named The Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund.
In 1954, the United States had five covers for prizes for which raffle tickets were sold all over the world at various conventions, the drawing being held at San Francisco on Labor Day. In addition, England held a number of auctions and various fund raising campaigns. Walter Willis devoted a portion of each issue of his fan magazine, Hyphen, to the printing of news about "TAFF", as it was later nick-named. Through, Hyphen, an election campaign was held for the purpose of letting British Fandom select their delegate to go to San Francisco as their spokesman and then report back to them about the convention. To vote in this election, one had to pay a minimum fee of fifty cents (50Â¢); thus, additional money was raised.
A. Vincent Clarke won that election, but had to cancel plans to go. Again, the money was held over, and this year, in case the winner cannot go, an alternate will be ready. There is enough money available in Europe (Walter Willis is Treasurer, there) for the boat fare, and in addition, the United States group has $130.00 on hand. Thus, it does seem possible that Cleveland will see the first British Delegate sponsored by TAFF...the first of many more to follow...we hope!
Many individuals have helped out on TAFF, of course. It is not the work of merely three people. To be successful, it has to have the backing and support of fandom on both sides of the Atlantic. Not only fans, but Pros as well. Next year, the plan calls for an election to determine the United States fan to send over to England. Contributions are always welcome. The Clevention is providing free lodging for the British Delegate, this year; Other Worlds has said that they will make a cash contribution, and the Oklacon III, being held July 4th at Tulsa, Oklahoma, has said that they will send in a cash contribution if they show a profit this year. Fans and Pros, desiring to do the same, are urged to contact:
Walter A. Willis 170 Upper Newtonards Roads Belfast, Northern Ireland
E. J. Carnell 17 Burwash Road Plumbstead, SE 18, London, England
Donald E. Ford 129 Maple Avenue Sharonville, Ohio, USA
Like most fans, Ken started reading sf early and went on to become a double prize winner in the Old Tales of Wonder Competitions. Became embroiled in fandom and put out a regular fanmag in 1941, called Star Parade. Joined FAPA, but the war and service in the Royal Signals occupied most of his time. Is best known for his connections with Nirvana, a fanzine, the Bulmer Aqueous Vapour Company and the Off-Trail Magazine Publisher's Association. Was Treasurer of the Science Fantasy Society, likes to engage in hokum just like any U.S. fan, and is currently co-editing Dysteleology with A. Vincent Clarke.
Married a non-fan, who, like many non-fans, thought sf fans were mad, still does, for that matter, but has decided to join us in our madness. Pamela edits Ugh in OMPA and has just been appointed editor of Femizine. Has appeared in Walt Willis's Hyphen, is noted for making Walt Willis laugh, and is generally acclaimed as the most beautiful fan-ed in fandom. Is beginning to write professionally.
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