Operation Priest Treasure Hunt – the answers

As something for delegates to do on the way to Maidenhead for Fanderson’s recent Supercelebration convention, and as a way of visiting some Anderson filming locations, we suggested the Operation Priest Treasure Hunt.

Just one team entered (and therefore won) and they were Paul Mayne, Richard and Fiona Yelland, Steven Cross, Chris Dean and Huw Davies.

Click to see the answers.

Supercelebration – what a weekend!

Anderson fans flocked to the Holiday Inn Maidenhead last weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of The Secret Service, Doppelgänger and UFO and to raise money for charity The Silver Line, a free 24-hour helpline for older people. Incredibly, a combination of events over the weekend and sheet generosity of fans meant that over £8,000 was raised in total.

 

A great turn out

With around 250 fans coming from all over the world to be at the convention, Stuart Drummond and John Wilkinson had their work cut out on the registrations desk when the convention officially opened on Friday afternoon.

 

Guests

There was a huge range of guests throughout the weekend, covering all aspects of the Anderson productions and eras, appearing on the main stage and signing autographs.

There were no less than three UFO-themed two-hander interviews over the weekend. Penny Spencer partnered fellow SHADO operative Georgina Moon to talk about their experiences of acting and living in the 1960s, while Gary Raymond and Christian Roberts reminisced about their guest appearances in The Man Who Came Back and The Long Sleep respectively. Finally Susan Jameson and Michael Jayston talked about their memories of acting together as brother and sister on The Sound Of Silence.

Andrew Skilleter, Graham Bleathman and Steve Kyte spoke about their work on Alan Fennell’s Fleetway comics in the 1990s, as well as their memories of the original TV21. Mike Trim presented a fascinating slideshow covering his work as an illustrator after Century 21, and also teamed up with Dominic Lavery to talk about their experiences of designing for the Andersons 35 years apart.

The largest interview of the weekend was a Terrahawks mega panel consisting of Kaye Main, Terry Adlam, John Lee, Steve Begg, Judy Preece, Peter Tilbe and Gary Tomkins. Peter Hitchcock shared his memories of working on the Supermarionation heydays at the Slough Trading Estate, while other interviews included Steve Begg, Brian Johnson and Mark Woollard, and Dee Anderson joining puppeteers Mary Turner and Judy Preece.

 

Special screenings

Among the guest interviews, there were two special screenings of recorded interviews with Anderson grandees who are now sadly lost to us. Producer Jeff Smart provided a never-before-released audio commentary by the recently departed Shane Rimmer for Zeke’s Blues, a The Protectors episode that he both wrote and starred in. To further mark The Secret Service anniversary, fans were also treated to a filmed interview with Stanley Unwin from the Fanderson Archives.

 

Model room and art room

Away from the Features Room, there was a huge range of other things for fans to get involved in. The Art Room featured an incredible amount of original Anderson artwork from Frank Bellamy, Mike Noble, Ron Embleton, Frank Hampson, Graham Bleathman (who also organised the display) and many others.

The Model Room run by Chris King had a constantly shifting rota of original and reproduction puppets, vehicles from across the series, original props and costumes, and even a model of the AP Films studio building. The exhibition also extended to downstairs, where Ben Westenend’s impressive 6-metre studio scale replica of the Thunderbird 2 hanger, runway and launchpad was on display.

There was also a Music Room, where attendees could relax and complete a colouring-in sheet and potentially win a prize, and an Episodes Room holding all-day screenings.

 

Workshops

The ever popular programme of Workshops, run by Katie Bleathman, included subjects as diverse as the digital music restoration for Fanderson’s soundtrack CDs, Anderson artwork and a chance to try your hand at puppetry. This year also saw a slot in which fans could ask Fanderson committee members Nick Williams and Lynn Simpson questions about the running of the club.

 

Fanderson sales

Run by Stephen Brown and Lynn Simpson, Fanderson Sales always pulls some exclusive goodies out of the bag at a convention, and this year was no exception. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Secret Service, two commemorative tea towels went on sale. In terms of new books,  Super Space Theatre examined the compilation releases of the Anderson series and included a set of 13 artwork prints. The latest edition of the much-loved ‘FAB Book of…’ was also on sale, looking into the world of Anderson bubble gum cards. And there was exclusive news of a new upcoming soundtrack CD: an expanded re-issue of UFO!

 

Convention book 

Designed and edited by Mike Jones and Dave Nightingale, the convention book was styled as the ‘next issue’ of the original SIG, the ground-breaking commercial Anderson magazine of the early 1980s that ran for 20 issues and paved the way for modern fan publications such as FAB. It was a beautiful touch of nostalgia for all older fans, some of whom couldn’t believe it was a brand new issue!

 

Evening entertainment

Friday evening began with a glass of bubbly and a screening of the final episode of The Secret Service in the Features Room. This was followed by ‘Lord Parker’s Bingo’, hilariously compered by Mike Jones dressed as the eponymous butler from Lord Parker’s ‘Oliday.

Fast forward to Saturday night, and fans were treated to a ’70s and ’80s themed disco that ran until midnight.  It gave some people the chance to wear their very best Anderson-themed fancy dress and win a prize…

 

Raffles and auctions

A number of raffles and auctions (live and blind) were held over the weekend, with all proceeds going to The Silver Line. Some highly desirable Anderson memorabilia became the subject of intense bidding wars, with the highest winning bid for an International Rescue plaque, produced by Virgin Trains to commemorate their unveiling of the Scott Tracy engine by Gerry Anderson in 2002. It sold for an eye-watering £1,500!

 

Thank you to everyone who contributed and attended

In an emotional closing ceremony, Fanderson chairman Nick Williams thanked everyone involved (below).

As previously announced, this was the last full weekend Fanderson convention (though we’ll continue with smaller events, and hope to support others staging events), and things certainly went out with a bang! It was a true Supercelebration that will live long in the memory.

 

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Supercelebration – limited on-the-door places available

Since registrations to Supercelebration closed last week, we’ve been inundated with enquiries as to whether club members can turn up and pay on the door.

We’re delighted to confirm that we have a limited number of spaces available, and that more space is available on Sunday than Saturday. So, it will be possible for members to turn up and pay on the door, but please remember that space is limited, so turn up as early as possible to not only secure a space, but to experience as much of the convention as possible.

If you’d like to be sure of getting in, you can ‘reserve’ an on-the-door place right now, buy a Supporting package, and upgrade to a full day pass on arrival. Note, however, that even Supporting registrations will close this Wednesday, 18th September.

Remember, you must have set up your Fanderson account in order to buy anything from us.

Join the Operation Priest treasure hunt!

Joining us at Supercelebration in September?

You’ll be in the heart of filming location country for the weekend. So, if you’ve a bit of spare time before the convention starts, or you fancy getting away from the hotel for a couple of hours, you might want to join Father Unwin in solving the clues in this treasure hunt.

Solve the clues in this pack and hand it in to Registrations before 15:00 on Sunday 22nd September 2019, and you’re in with a chance of winning a prize. 

Even more Terrahawks! John Lee is coming to Supercelebration

We are excited to reveal that Terrahawks modelmaker John Lee will be attending Supercelebration in September.

Working under Special Effects Director Steven Begg and alongside fellow modelmaker Steve Woodcock, John designed and built many of the weird and wonderful space craft that appeared in the series. He has since gone on to amass a wealth of credits as director of photography on film and TV.

John will be joined at Supercelebration by fellow Terrahawks production crew members Steve Begg, Peter Tilbe, Gary Tomkins, Terry Adlam and Kaye Main.

Join us for a Supercelebration

The convention takes place from 20th to 22nd September at the 2019 Holiday Inn, Maidenhead.

Tickets for club members to Supercelebration start from just £75 per person for one day, or £130 for the whole weekend. In this challenging financial climate, we’ve managed to keep the ticket price the same as our Special Assignment convention in 2017.

That’s because we’re a fan club and no one is taking a salary.

Find out more and register now

Kaye Main jets in for Supercelebration

We are delighted to reveal that Terrahawks production crew member Kaye Main will be attending Supercelebration in September. Previously known as Kaye Moss, she worked on Terrahawks as a runner, buyer, prop maker and general assistant. Kaye is flying all the way over from New Zealand to attend what is expected to be the last ever full weekend Fanderson convention. She joins fellow Terrahawks production crew members Steve Begg, Peter Tilbe, Gary Tomkins and Terry Adlam at the event.

Join us for a Supercelebration

The convention takes place from 20th to 22nd September at the 2019 Holiday Inn, Maidenhead.

Tickets for club members to Supercelebration start from just £75 per person for one day, or £130 for the whole weekend. In this challenging financial climate, we’ve managed to keep the ticket price the same as our Special Assignment convention in 2017.

That’s because we’re a fan club and no one is taking a salary.

Find out more and register now

Peter Tilbe to attend Supercelebration

We are very pleased to announce the latest guest to  attend Supercelebration in September: Peter Tilbe. Peter worked as a model worker on Terrahawks in the early 1980s  and contributed to numerous models, including the two-part jet fighter, Hawkwing.

He joins fellow Terrahawks  production crew members Steve Begg, Gary Tomkins and Terry Adlam at Supercelebration – make sure you don’t miss them!

Join us for a Supercelebration

The convention takes place from 20th to 22nd September at the 2019 Holiday Inn, Maidenhead.

Tickets for club members to Supercelebration start from just £75 per person for one day, or £130 for the whole weekend. In this challenging financial climate, we’ve managed to keep the ticket price the same as our Special Assignment convention in 2017.

That’s because we’re a fan club and no one is taking a salary.

Find out more and register now

Peter Hitchcock

Peter Hitchcock jets in for Supercelebration

We are delighted to announce that director, writer and producer Peter Hitchcock will be coming to Supercelebration in September.

Peter, who now lives in Canada, started his career working on the Supermarionation series in the early 1960s, doing everything from lip synch operating to assisting Derek Meddings with visual effects sequences.

We are thrilled that Peter, pictured here to the right of Brian Johnson, can once again make the long journey from Canada to be with us. We look forward to hearing more of his stories from AP Films!

Join us for a Supercelebration

The convention takes place from 20th to 22nd September at the 2019 Holiday Inn, Maidenhead.

Tickets for club members to Supercelebration start from just £75 per person for one day, or £130 for the whole weekend. In this challenging financial climate, we’ve managed to keep the ticket price the same as our Special Assignment convention in 2017.

That’s because we’re a fan club and no one is taking a salary.

Find out more and register now