Maureen O’Brien at Bedford Who Charity Con 3 (Plus Ticket Discounts for DWC Readers!)

Bedford Who Charity Con 3 is coming up on Saturday 8th April – and DWC readers are being offered 10% off their tickets. The event is being organised by DWC’s very own me – i.e. Simon Danes.

More details on the offer below, but for now, it’s worth saying that there’s an impressive guest list; many of the people on it don’t do many conventions, so this is going to be a rare chance to meet them. And meet them you will: Bedford Who Charity Cons are small-scale, friendly, and informal events, and the guests and audience are separated as little as possible.

So: good to see Maureen O’Brien’s coming, making one of her very infrequent convention appearances. Indeed, the event sees Vicki and Steven reunited, as Peter Purves will be joining her. The 1960s line-up is completed by the ever-wonderful Anneke Wills.

From the ’80s, there’s Geoffrey Beevers, who excelled as the Master in The Keeper of Traken. Geoffrey continues to play the role for Big Finish, of course, and he’s recorded a number of outstanding readings of the Target novels featuring the Master (check them out if you haven’t heard them: he’s brilliant as Delgado). NuWho is represented by Neve McIntosh, Madame Vastra herself.

Completing the guest list is BAFTA award-winning special effects designer Mike Tucker. Mike’s something of a stalwart of our Bedford events, and he always gives lively and witty talks. This year, he’s going to be speaking on how The Model Unit has renovated Classic Who props for exhibition in the Doctor Who Experience. So, if you want to know how to spruce up a manky Mandrel or dust down a mouldering Morbius, this is for you.

The charity supported by the convention is Bedford Foodbank, which provides emergency food to around 500 local people every month. There’s more information about them on the con’s website (see below for address). In fact, Doctor Who fans in the Bedford area have made a supreme effort on the charity’s behalf, raising a gob-smacking £8000 for them in the last 12 months.

Once the convention’s costs are paid, then, everything goes to Bedford Foodbank. At the convention itself, there’ll be a variety of further fund-raising things going on. There’s a charity auction, for one. And something that’s really popular is the chance to have your photo taken with the guests around the TARDIS console, in exchange for a donation to the charity bucket. (Anneke Wills came up with this idea!) You use your own camera, rather than paying a photographer’s fees.

Oh, and the bus from Planet of the Dead is going to be there too!

If you’re still not tempted, it’s worth saying that the guests from the last two years have been really warm in their praise for the Bedford cons, and seem to have enjoyed them as much as the audiences. Here are a couple of typical vox pops from audience members who attended:

“One of the best [Doctor Who] events I’ve been to: warm and relaxed atmosphere, amazing guests and fascinating panels.”

“Let me congratulate you on organising such a great convention! I’ve been to lots of these things over the years, but this was the best run and the most fun day I’ve had in a long time!”

And someone called Sophie Aldred tweeted:

“Truly lovely day. Thanks to all who came and all who worked so hard to create a great atmosphere.”

Bedford’s a medium sized town about 50 miles north of London. It’s easy to get to: trains from London St Pancras are fast and frequent; there are direct trains from Brighton, Nottingham, Loughborough and Leicester; and a luxury coach service (cheap, too) from Oxford, Cambridge and Buckingham. If you’re driving, Bedford’s between the A1 and the M1, linked to the two by a fast dual carriageway. More travel details on the convention website. (Bedford will soon, of course, become the site of the notorious Dalek mines.)

Dr Who says: “I don’t know about you, young man, but I am going to visit that convention in Bedfordshire!”

And finally: the tickets. If you’d like to take advantage of our 10% discount for DWC readers, you need to email Simon directly on info@bedfordwhocharitycon.co.uk and tell him you saw the offer on The Doctor Who Companion. (Tickets are available from The Quarry Theatre Bedford direct, but you need to email Simon if you want the discount.) The full prices, before the discount, are:

  • Adults: £42.50
  • 14-18 year olds and full-time students: £22.50
  • Under 14s: £15

Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult, please. Family tickets are also available; details, as ever, are on the website.

Check us out here, or on Facebook! bedfordwhocharitycon.co.uk

facebook.com/bedfordwhocharitycon

So that’s the Bedford Who Charity Con 3 (The Quarry Theatre, St Peter’s Street, Bedford, MK40 2NN) on Saturday 8th April 2017, from 10am to 5.30pm. We look forward to seeing you there!