Trials of going to your 1st B7 Con cont

by Jane Elizabeth Macdonald

Before Friday...

I only rediscovered Blake's 7 in January this year when I found out about this list by accident. So many people seemed so keen to go to the Deliverance Con that I decided to go as well to see what all the fuss was about. I though that there would not be much to do or see and that I would probably be bored. So it wasn't worth me booking for all 3 days (how wrong I was!!). I decided that if I stayed 1 night in the hotel then I would see most of 2 days of the Con. So I sent off my application form but by this time of cause the Moat House and all the overflow hotels were all full. Anyway, I was registered for Friday and Saturday and was sent a list of other hotels and guest houses in the area. I then started a very frustrating time to try and find somewhere that wasn't already full, but I eventually found somewhere.


I arrived at the Moat House at 11-45am to register as I thought that it might be quiet at that time and I was right! Nothing much seemed to be happening so I sat down and started chatting to some people - 2 from America and 1 from Australia. This is amazing I thought - the 1st people I speak to and they are not even from this country! They were very friendly and told me about the great time they had had at the other cons they had been to.

Then a film crew (well 2 men actually) from BBC Midlands Today News came over and said that they wanted some people to pretend to register for the Con as they had come to do a piece for the 6-30pm news and there was no one registering! So we were persuaded to give them 5 minutes of our time and they started filming.... I told the people behind the desk my name and one of them said "But you have already registered". I had to tell her what we were doing in a whisper because no one else had told her that we were filming. Then we all fell about laughing so they couldn't use that bit of film after all.

After this we had to do silly shots pretending to see the Liberator flying over the hotel. We got some very funny looks while we were doing this! Finally, we had to 'see' the reporter teleport away. It was a good job that nothing was happening at this time as we were filming for an hour and a half. I don't know if anyone saw it on the T.V. just before 7pm but it only lasted for a few minutes. (If anyone taped it can they send me a message, please)

I thought this was a good start to my first con; I had only been there for quarter of an hour and I was already a T.V. star! It couldn't possibly get more embarrassing I thought but there was worse to come.....

After a slow start the video room eventually got going at 2-30pm (2 1/2 hours late) and all of a sudden everything started happening at once! I couldn't decide what to go and see because for every hour of the rest of the weekend (or so it seemed) there were 3 things going on simultaneously.

Why did no one warn me that I would have no time to eat any meals? At 10pm I finally got time to eat my lunch and tea combined (it was the last dry ham sandwich left). The non-eating of meals did not get any better the following day either.

I found time to go to the dealers room and the Horzon room where I was relieved of vast quantities of money and all of a sudden my bag was very heavy. I didn't find out until later that I could have left it at Reception and so lugged it round with me for the rest of the day.

The 1st timers' meeting was held at 9pm and I wish it had been earlier as I was somewhat at a loss as to what was going on before that.

I went to the pub quiz which I found very hard as I have only got half the episodes on video and I was having to remember back to when B7 was originally on TV. I got to bed very late after a hectic but very enjoyable day.


Got up at 7am to have a hearty and much needed breakfast and be in time for the start of Saturday's activities - I didn't want to miss anything.

Tried to go to some of the Fan Workshops but alot of them were cancelled as they clashed with other things that were more popular. Turned up to 'Pin the Stud on Avon' but there were not enough people there so we played B7 pictionary instead. That was when the 2nd unexpected thing happened. I was informed that only 1 person had so far put their name down for Mastermind and they were desperate for more people. I explained that my knowledge of B7 was nil but they still 'pursuaded' me to 'volunteer'.

When Mastermind time came round they had managed to scrape together 7 contestents. Showing my lack B7 knowledge in front of an audience was even more nerve racking than I thought it would be, but still fun at the same time. I managed to score 4 with 12 passes! But I didn't come last. It was a pity that the Mastermind was on at the same time as the 1st photo shoot as it consequently was poorly attended and I missed my only chance to get some good photos (poor me!).

So I had now been a TV star and on Mastermind but still worse (not possible you are thinking) was to come...

This is the part where I have to admit to being very stupid. I looked at my train time table to see what time the last train back was as I wanted to stay at the Con until the last possible minute. I saw it was at 20-55 and thought "Oh yes, 10-55 pm, I can stay until 10 o'clock!"

I looked at the program and worked out that I would have time to see the fancy dress and the cabaret but not the auction.

Then we all queued up for the fancy dress which started one and a half hours late. I was watching my watch all this time as I kept trying to work out how much of the cabaret I was going to miss.

So I watched the fancy dress and was very impressed with the standard of the costumes. Also, the people didn't just model them they also acted the appropriate roles which was very entertaining.

Then the cabaret started and I kept waiting for Gareth to come on. But they put him on last. I looked at my watch as Jaqueline did her routine and reluctantly decided that I was going to miss Gareth. So I got my train timetable out just to check the time of the last train again when I suddenly had a nasty shock. Of cause 20-55 is 8-55 pm not 10-55 pm and I had already missed the last train home. The only way that I can excuse this lapse of mental ability is that I was having such a good time that I subconsiously changed the time in my mind so that I could stay for longer.

So I was now stranded in Stoke at 11pm on a Saturday night with nowhere to sleep and no chance of finding anywhere with such a large Con already taking up every available place in Stoke. Did I panic? Or go immediately to try and find somewhere to stay? No! I had to stay and see the rest of the cabaret, of cause! So after the cabaret (and the auction) was finished I went to speak to the man on reception. I was hoping that he would say that I could sleep in one of the chairs in the lounge. I had an alternate plan as well as someone had already offered to let me sleep on some blankets on the floor in their room, which was very nice of them. But the man on reception was very sympathetic he seached 3 times through his computer until he found me a room. How he did it I'll never know. So I got to stay in the Moat House afterall. And I must say that the room and service in the hotel were very good and that I would deffinitely go there again.

After all this I decided that it was not yet time for bed and that I would go to the disco as well. I think it was 2-30 am when I got to bed.


So I was unexpectantly still at the Con on Sunday. The first thing I had to do was phone my parents, who were looking after my 2 children and explain why I couldn't come and collect them as I was still in Stoke. Luckly there was a train back on a Sunday at 3-45 pm so I was able to get home.

In the meantime I was at the Con with the wrong coloured shoe lace (a green one). So I had to go cap in hand to registration and explain. They were very helpful and understanding. Now armed with my red shoe lace I went to enjoy my extended Con visit. Of cause the benefit of this was that I now had a lace for both my boots!

I was able to get the autographs that I had been unable to obtain on the 2 previous days and thought that I was going to be able to take some photos at the Photo Shot as well. This had been timetabled for 1-30 pm. Unfortuately, they had to delay it until later on in the day so I did miss it after all. I also missed seeing Michael as he was in a workshop at 3 pm and I didn't want to miss another train.

I did eventually get home (after not missing the train) very late and totally exhausted. The first thing I did when I got in the house was have a decent meal!

Highlights of Deliverance

Meeting Gareth in the bar!

Being at the workshop where Gareth had got stuck in the lift


Well they say that bad luck come in three's and this was certainly true for me. What with being in B7 on the TV, and staring as a person whose specialist subject on Mastermind was not B7. And finally with being the person whom they recognised on reception as 'the 1 who missed the last train back'. This Con was certainly not what I expected! Where do I sign up for Redemption '99?

Jane (Cylan)

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