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Thank you!

The Future is Fantastic!We wanted to repeat our thanks for everyone connected with helping to make The Future is Fantastic! a reality over the weekend. So, for any one who had to leave early, couldn’t make it to Maidenhead, or just want to be reminded of who did what, here is Nick Williams’s closing speech for The Future Is Fantastic!

Right up front, please accept my apologies if I leave you off this list. It’s certainly not intentional, and I’ve been wracking my brain for hours to try to ensure I’ve included everyone.

First, a lovely bit of feedback that that club secretary Stuart Drummond received on Saturday night:

When I first signed up for the “Future is Fantastic” I did wonder what I was letting myself in for. I have taken my Star Wars crazed son to a number of Comicons and presumed it would be a similar experience. Being a Gerry Anderson fan (but especially Thunderbirds) all of my life, I thought this would be my time to experience what my son has.

I attended today and spent over 5 hours at the Holiday Inn and had a truly fantastic time. I am old and cynical and I was concerned about what it was going to be like and the people that might attend, but I truly had a brilliant time. My only regret is that I did not sign up for the whole weekend.

Like everyone I have a few hero’s, albeit some our just stars of a television show of my childhood. However today was very different because I was able to meet a few of them and what truly great people they were.

I have you and your colleagues to thank for that and I am very much in your debt, unfortunately I was unable to stay long enough to see Sylvia which will be a regret I shall have to live with.

So I Just needed to say that I really appreciate all the work that was put into today’s event, memories of which will last me for a very long time.

Thank you very much indeed.

Kind regards

Craig Johnson

I hope everyone’s had a great time this weekend.

I’m delighted to announce that through your entries into our puzzles, raffles, the blind auction, buying anniversary stickers, donations etc, you’ve raised an amazing £1278 (plus the small change which we haven’t counted yet) for our charities, Children In Need and Alzheimer’s Society. Thank you all so much for your support.

Various people have been asking this afternoon what’s going to happen to the wonderful posters around the convention, and we’re happy for members to take them in exchange for a donation to the charities. In fact the only one left to go is the Eagle Transporter (with which Graham Purkiss immediately put up his hand and the poster had a new home!).

Before I get to the thanks, a bit of prize-giving for the two puzzles that were running through this weekend.

The winner of John Wilkinson’s fiendishly hard Top 50 music quiz with 94 out of 100 is Richard Yelland. Richard wins a copy of the brand new Captain Scarlet soundtrack CD which, if he’s already bought this weekend, Steve in Sales will exchange for something else of equal value.

There are two winners of Mike Jones’s 21 Object Of Adventure quiz, as they both got every one right. They both win a copy of The Vault book and new ITV DVD boxsets of Stingray, Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds, and they are Jack Knoll and Mark Simpson Wedge.

Now, an event like this doesn’t just happen without a lot of help, so there are a lot of people to thank – especially as everyone’s given up their free time to make it happen. I have quite along list of people to thank, so please bear with me.

First of all, our wonderful guests (and their families):

  • Mike Trim
  • Brian Johnson
  • Mary Turner
  • Judy Preece
  • David Graham
  • Shane Rimmer
  • Matt Zimmerman
  • Alan Shubrook
  • John Lee
  • Terry Adlam
  • Mike Noble
  • Chris Penfold

Plus new guests that we’ve not welcomed to a Fanderson convention before:

  • Roy Scammell
  • Jeremy Wilkin (and special thanks to Sheila Rimmer for putting us in touch with Jeremy)
  • Keith Shackleton (with special thanks to Marcus Hearn for putting us in touch with Keith)
  • Sylvia Anderson (with special thanks to Dee Anderson for making that possible too)

Now, someone that long-term convention go-ers will know who couldn’t be here. Len Davies moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and has carved out a successful career there, and was hoping to arrange that he could be with us this weekend. At the last minute his plans fell through but he wanted to contribute so provided our wonderful opening title sequence.

Thanks to the technical team who have made the event run smoothly:

  • Troy Hess
  • Glenn Pearce
  • Tim Mallett

And special thanks to Martin Phillips who stepped in at short notice when Glenn had to leave us temporarily on Saturday.

Thank you to the hotel staff, especially:

  • Jennie Jones
  • Kasia
  • Mirela
  • Andy
  • Luis
  • James

Thanks also to our security team, headed up by Mark Wallis and Matt Cruz.

I hope you’ll agree that our exhibition was amazing. There are loads of people to thank for that as everything up there is owned by private collectors and it’s taken a lot of organising:

  • Chris King (and special thanks to Chris’ wife Georgina and sons Alex and Leo for allowing their Dad time away from them to help us)
  • Chris Trice
  • Anna Tilbury
  • Andy Rolfe
  • Helen Rolfe
  • Glo Thorogood
  • Barry Davies
  • Annette Davies
  • Toby Chamberlain
  • Larry Peterson
  • David Sanford
  • David Sisson
  • Simon Rhodes
  • Martin Willey
  • Chris Potter
  • Pete Hutton
  • Peter Thornley
  • Derek Eaton

Thanks to:

  • Ralph Titterton for the music and soundtracks part of the programme.
  • Jeff Smart for making it possible to show his Spotlight on Captain Scarlet and Launching Thunderbirds documentaries
  • Giles Ridge at ITV Studios Global Entertainment for providing the Thunderbirds Are Go programming.
  • Thanks to Matt and Dan Buckley at Robert Harrop for sculpting two special characters just for us this weekend – Parker and Light-Fingered Fred.

Thanks to Richard Smith for absolutely understanding my vision for the ‘design’ of the convention, the posters, the convention book etc. Also, thanks to Sam Denham for stepping in at the eleventh hour to write much of the convention book and, again, perfectly understanding my vision for the style – especially Sam Shore’s introduction.

Special thanks to Lee Elliott, who has just stepped in the help with anything needed over the whole weekend.

Very special thanks to Graham and Katie Bleathman. To give everyone an idea of the kind of Katie’s wonderful nature, she asked that I make sure to thank everyone who participated in the workshops too. So thank you.

Finally, thanks to the Fanderson committee. The club is a fantastic team effort. It’s not always easy-going and fun either, and they’re all great support when times aren’t going so well. In addition to their ’normal’ duties for the club:

  • for their interviewing and all other duties – Ian Fryer and Mike Jones
  • for publicity in all its forms – Jay Mullins
  • for looking after our guests – Lynn Simpson, Jackie Dear and Mel Rowlands
  • for permanently manning the Fanderson Sales table – Steve Brown
  • for looking after registrations, both leading up to the event and during it – John Wilkinson and Stuart Drummond.

But most importantly, thank you to all of you for making it such a special weekend.

I’ll leave you now with a reminder of the fantastic futures that Gerry and Sylvia Anderson brought us.