Eastercon 1, Whitcon, was held at the White Horse pub in London on May 15, 1948 (Whitsun weekend, hence the name.) There had been little advance preparation, but in spite of that between 50 and 60 fans attended. The GoH was A. Bertram Chandler. It was run by Walter Gillings and John Newman and other fans who normally met at Fred Gram's house.
It was nominally to be held just the 15th, but fans, mostly from the London area, but a few from elsewhere in Britain, began to arrive on the 14th. The early arrivals were taken to London bookshops by locals and there was a general meeting at a Lyons Corner House for tea before moving to the White Horse for the main meeting.
Gillings, who was chairing the session, talked about the difficulties publishing prozines in the UK, and said that Fantasy had folded because of the paper shortage. Ted Carnell reported the collapse of Pendulum Publications which stopped publication of the fourth issue of New Worlds. Arthur C. Clarke resurfaced and talked on sf and astronautics. He pointed out that the British Interplanetary Society once been a basically an organization, but now perhaps only only twenty percent were fans. Ted Tubb was the main auctioneer, selling easily everything except Ziff Davis prozines in an auction which produced about $70. Nearly $50 of the proceeds went to the Big Pond Fund. Ken Slater couldn't attend, because of duties in Germany, but he sent two pounds with instructions to employ it in toasts to his health. Dave Newman also spoke. The only unattached woman at the con was Daphne Bradley.
It's ironic that Eastercon didn't start on Easter.
|From Fancyclopedia 2 ca 1959|
|The gathering (brainstormed by John Newman) that marked the postwar revival of congoing in England. It took place 15-16 May 1948, over Whitsuntide weekend, at the White Horse tavern in London. Nearly 60 fans attended, including Gillings, Carnell, ACC, Bill Temple, and Bertram Chandler. New Worlds was declared folded (ending the last surviving English prozine), and a cooperative company was planned to take it over.|
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