Thirty-five years ago, on this very day, eight fans of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s work gathered at Pinewood Studios with Gerry himself and Keith Shackleton to discuss the formation of the provisionally-entitled ‘Anderclan’. At ITC Entertainment’s request, these representatives of the various Anderson appreciation clubs and societies were asked to form a single group that both ITC and Gerry would support.
Minutes of that meeting show other club names considered before a final choice of ‘Fanderson’ was made, and that the proposed £5 membership fee would include a pen, badge, membership card, a photo of Gerry Anderson, a photo montage and four issues of SiG magazine. Although the Fanderson 81 convention had been and gone, there was no talk of a further event, nor any detail of merchandise possibilities. Instead, at a time before the internet was widespread, there was much talk of answering letters and stamped-addressed envelopes!
Fast forward 35 years and we’ve since published 83 issues of our own magazine, independent of SiG, with an 84th on its way very soon. We’ve staged an amazing 38 conventions, bringing fans closer to the technicians and artists who worked on our favourite shows. We’ve raised thousands of Pounds for charities including Guide Dogs, Baby Lifeline, Macmillan Cancer Care, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Terrence Higgins Trust, Alzheimer’s Society, Diabetes UK, Children In Need and International Rescue Corps. We continue to work with the owners and licensees of products based on Gerry and Sylvia’s programmes. And our own merchandise puts much commercial product in the shade – especially our much-lauded series of soundtrack CDs.
But in 35 years what hasn’t changed is that this is still a club run by fans, for fans. So, raise a glass to Fanderson – you’re part of something very special.