Ina Shorrock

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(April 19, 1928 – February 10, 2021)

Ina Shorrock. Art by Eddie Jones from Waldo 1.

Ina Shorrock (née Picken) was a Liverpool fan who discovered fandom in 1950. Her first convention was the 1952 Eastercon, London SF Con.

She was already an sf reader in the late 1940s but when she first met her future husband Norman it was several months before they realised that they were both science fiction enthusiasts. Reportedly she saw a copy of Astounding in his jacket pocket. 'After that I had to marry him, for his collection,' she said. They married in 1950.

She was an original member of the Liverpool Group, and generally acted as a social director for Liverpool fandom. She was also a member of the SFCoL. At the 1954 Supermancon she and Pat Doolan were likely the first British fans to appear in costume when they dressed as 'Bergey Girls'. At the 1955 Cytricon I she appeared as a valkyrie.

At Cytricon III in 1957 she was the first female inductee after the initial founding group to the Knight of St. Fantony and she was present at Cytricon IV in 1958 where she became one of the founding members of the BSFA, member #7. In 1960 she was elected the Association's chairman. She was re-elected in 1961.

Eric Bentcliffe described her in Waldo no. 1 (December 1959, p. 11):

Norman’s wife, and British fandom’s 'Hostess with the mostess'. Ina has superabundant energy, and a gift for making people both 'at home' and happy. She’s a Good Cook, the Mother Of Three, and one of tho most attractive femmes in fandom (both as regards looks and personality).

Almost every weekend, at least two or three fen will descend on the Shorrock household together with the local mob - Ina, it seems has the capacity to cope with almost anything at a moment’s notice, there's always plenty of food, drink and hospitality available and, somehow, she finds time to join in the festivities too.

Ina is an excellent Brag player, a good-jiver, quite a wit - and the best stripper this side of the Kansas City Burlesque...

Hell, if it wasn't for that bum Norman I'd have married her years ago!

In 1974 at Novacon 4 she was one of the judges for the second Nova Award for best British fanzine.

Norman died in 1999 but Ina continued to be a regular attendee at UK Eastercon and Novacon well into the twenty-first century and usually volunteered to help in some capacity, often at registration desks. In a 2010 change-of-address notice in Ansible – when she was about 82 – she was still saying 'Passing fans always welcome'.

After her death, Ramsey Campbell wrote in Ansible #404:

I think Ina was the absolute quintessence of all that was best about fandom. She was certainly the greatest hostess I’ve ever known. She made everyone welcome as soon as they stepped through the front door. We’ll never forget those dinners of hers or the Christmas parties, a great part of what made Christmas for us. She and Norman embodied the Transatlantic Fan Fund with their hospitality, and I know many visitors from abroad felt that way. She wouldn't just leave you replete, she would find you a bed if you needed one, or failing that a couch – at any rate make you comfortable.

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person 19282021
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