Harry Turner's Footnotes to Fandom
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Searching out the Beginnings

The Editors wrote: Old fanzines are only unobtainable up to a point. !n the UK at least, archivists such as Vinc Clarke and Greg Pickersgill do a wonderful job of preserving old fanzines and making copies available to interested parties. There are also other older fans who are prepared to help out, folks like: Harry Turner of Romiley

Reading your editorial musings I can appreciate what a problem it must be for fans of your generation to attempt to sample the accumulation of sixty years or so of fans pubbing their ish. Even with the resources and guidance of those Master Archivists Vin¢ Clarke and Greg Pickersgill it could become a full-time (and perhaps not very rewarding) job.

You make me realise how it helps to be in at the start of these things. It was great when it all began, of course, since it was easy to keep track of the few fanmags published. And even during the war and immediate post-war years, shortages of paper and duplicator supplies necessarily restricted what could be published and circulated, so with a little determination fans could still keep up with all the stuff that appeared.

Courtesy of archivist Vin¢ Clarke, I still periodically romp through those old -tines: Novae Terrae, journal of the original Science Fiction Association, edited by Maurice Hanson, Bill Temple, Arthur Clarke and Ted Carnell, is of historical interest as well as carrying memories of many now-forgotten fans; Satellite and Fantast, variously edited by John Burke, Sam Youd and Doug Webster, revive old arguments between younger fans and the SFA establishment of the day and cover the disorganised early war years; then Mike Rosenblum's Futurian War Digest or FIDO, with its "litter" of fannish newsheets, provided a prime focus of fanac during the darker years of the war.

I was involved with them all, providing a goodly number of cover designs and even moved to join in: my first zine, Zenith, started out in 1941. The only duplicator I could press into service was a battered relic, and rounding up paper and duplicating supplies was a matter of luck. Still, 1 like to think that the result was worth the effort [[It was. The example I've seen still looks good]]—not many fanzines of the period could boast multicoloured illustrations!—and five issues appeared before I was hauled away into the RAF.

—18 January 1997

LoC in the Claire Brialey/Mark Plummer zine BANANA WINGS #5, 1997.

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