Conventions have been delayed and cancelled and delayed and cancelled because of the pandemic. However, only 18 months late, and just two and a half years since the last one, we’re very pleased to announce that Bedford Who Charity Con 6 is going ahead on Saturday 16th October 2021!
We’d love to see you there and we’re offering 10% off tickets to DWC readers.
All you need to do to get your discount is email me (Simon) at firstname.lastname@example.org and say you read about the event on the DWC. Details of tickets and venue and so on are at the bottom of this article.
We’ve got an exciting guest line up this year, and we’re going to be welcoming:
- PETER DAVISON (who you may have heard of)
- JANET FIELDING (Tegan)
- SARAH SUTTON (Nyssa)
- ROGER MURRAY-LEACH (Designer for some of the best loved Tom Baker stories)
- PAUL MARC DAVIS (The Trickster, Corakinus, Futurekind Chieftan)
- DAVID HANKINSON (Dalek Operator)
- PETER ROY (Supporting artist from the Hartnells to the Davisons)
The convention’s being organised under the aegis of The Tobias Vaughn Philanthropic Foundation (Dedicated to the Advancement of Mankind). The enormous generosity of Doctor Who fans has enabled the Foundation to raise just under £22,000 over the years for Bedford Foodbank, who provide emergency food parcels for some 800 local children and adults every month.
Once again, everything we make at the con, once we’ve paid off our costs, will go to the Foodbank.
Is it going to be any good?
As a shy and retiring sort of chap, I’m not going to puff it. No no no!
Instead, I shall hand over duties to my esteemed fellow DWC writer, Bar Nash-Williams, who came to the last con. Bar writes:
Who doesn’t have fans; it has family.
‘The bond that links the members of your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s lives.’ (Richard Bach, Illusions.)
The way the audience and guests tease each other at one of Simon’s charity cons may not sound much like respect, but it is, to the core. The laughter and serious questions, the interaction and care, especially for the less able, makes you feel at home, with people to whom you belong. And because it’s done for a foodbank the prices are held right down so that no-one is discriminated against for being poor. You give what you can afford to. All members of the family are welcome, whatever their circumstances.
I’m told there are cons where thousands of people queue for hours to pay ludicrous sums for an autograph, amid dozens of franchises for things I’ve never even heard of. Bedford Who Charity Con is NOT one of those. Instead of a huge corporate business organising it to sell the brand, there’s Simon and his mates working like mad to pull it all together and share the joy. The foyer fills up with stands and browsing addicts, the guests arrive and end up in the right place at the right time, and no one queues up only to be disappointed that they’ve run out of time. A few hundred folk gather to spend a happy day together, sharing their creativity, complimenting each other’s cosplay (and yes, I know it’s Simon’s con but there were plenty of Thirteenth Doctor cosplayers last time, and I’m sure will be again.* Bet you there’ll be a Master too, and Jo Martin’s Doctor!) and browsing collectors’ exhibits with envy.
In the cosy auditorium, you never know what’s going to happen. The panels are relaxed and occasionally bonkers. There’s always some sketch that is, to say the least, eccentric, in which the guests play some – er – unusual roles with gusto and good humour. And there’s Daleks.
But what really stands out is the intimacy, the sense of delight in the presence of people whatever they’re doing on stage or off. It’s not just the usual Sylv and Sophie double act that comes amongst the public; the stage is close, the guests are confident to come up to the audience because they are treated well, and the happy crowd is not intimidating. People listen well and hang on every word or pregnant pause. And all go home feeling they’re part of something good.
Simon always looks worried. He needn’t be.
* There were probably people cosplaying Graham as well, but many middle-aged Who addicts bear a striking resemblance to him anyway, so how would we know?
Just have a close look at the crowd’s faces. Says it all, really.
Bedford Who Charity Con 6
Saturday 16th October, 10.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
The King’s House, Ampthill Road, Bedford MK42 9AZ
To order your tickets, please email Simon at email@example.com
Please state that you heard about the convention on the DWC to claim your 10% discount!
- Adults: £42.50 (£38.25 after discount)
- 14-18 year olds and full time students: £22.50 (£20.25 after discount)
- Under 14s: £15 (£13.50 after discount)
- Children must be aged under 14, please. Genuine family parties only.
- 1 adult and 1 child: £50 (£45 after discount)
- 1 adult and 2 children: £55 (£49.50 after discount)
- 2 adults and 1 child: £80 (£72 after discount)
- Additional children under 14: £8 each (£7.20 after discount)
Please note that children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Payment accepted by cheque (made payable to Bedford Who Charity Con and sent to Simon at 20 Close Road, Pavenham MK43 7PP), PayPal, or BACS. Please email for details of how to pay by BACS or PayPal. Don’t forget to include your address, so we can send you your tickets!
We’re aware that a number of people have been hit by the economic consequences of the pandemic. We don’t want people to miss out on the convention because they can’t afford it, and we have a number of tickets reserved for fans in this situation. Please contact Simon on the email address above, in confidence, if this applies to you.
Details of the measures in place at the convention to minimise the risks during the pandemic are available on our Facebook page; this is updated in line with best available advice and practice. Please be advised that guests may have to cancel if they’re called away for filming and so on; this is standard for Doctor Who conventions.