LEXX: Convention: The Cluster Convention (Nottingham UK, 1999)

Nottingham, England. January 1999

(sorry about the picture quality – scanner has gone wonky!) I’ve tried where possible NOT to duplicate the wonderful pictures on Burntime’s and Erith’s Cluster Convention pages. So, some of the pictures are new and the missing ones can be found on the above sites (click the link).

The Cluster Convention BadgeWadda weekend! I think this was the very first LEXX Convention, and although everyone was looking forward to it, we were all possibly a little nervous. That soon changed. I can honestly say it was the best time I’ve ever had while vertical, I am now convinced that Lexxians are truly wondrous people and great fun to be with.

The whole event started, for me at least, with the collection of Erith, Jihad, Doro and Sally from Manchester Airport on the Friday. The drive from my house in Preston was punctuated by thoughts of ‘what if they are all weird!’ or ‘what if they all think I’m weird’ and other such stuff. By the time I arrived at the airport I was in a sort of determined manic frenzy, THEN I realised that I didn’t know what anyone looked like!

After 90 minutes of searching the Arrival and Departure Lounges of both terminals for people that I imagined might be Erith, Jihad, Doro and Sally, I sat down near the information desk at Terminal one arrivals and waited for someone to make an announcement. L-R:  Sally, Erith, Jihad, Doro.They were going no-where without my wheels, so I was feeling fairly confident that we’d all eventually meet up. Unfortunately I suddenly got the terrible feeling that the announcement broadcast throughout the airport would be something like, “Could SadGeezer please come to the Information Desk.” In the end, The sweet and efficient Erith put in a request for an announcement using my name (thank goodness), and we all said a friendly hello before the long drive to Nottingham.

In case we were 'cabbaged'The car trip was a scream. The star of the weekend Jihad, was full of beans and cracking jokes and witticisms for the entire three hour journey. When we finally got to The Balmoral (renamed the ‘Amoral’ ) Hotel, we all checked in, changed and congregated in the hotel lounge. As more and more people arrived, it became pretty obvious that we were all going to get along fine. This was especially good because Lexxians are not known for their shy and retiring natures.

Alibabette, had done a wonderful job in organising the activities. We each received a little pack of information and a badge. The badge was very professionally done and Ali had the forethought to include a message on the back to point us back to the hotel, should any of us become ‘cabbaged’. Ali took us all for a meal, Tribs and Burntime arrived a little later as did Eo. There was now the full complement of 10 Lexxians and we were a pretty cosmopolitan group! Doro and Sally were from The Three Muskateers! Eo, Jihad & TribsGermany, Eo had come all the way from Sweden, the young Danish comedian Jihad, came all the way from erm…. Denmark, Tribs from Scotland and the rest of us, Burntime, Flare, Erith, Alibabette and me were from England.

Later, we sent off for the first of many drinks at the local hosilleries. The pubs of Nottingham are a lot of fun and some of them are quite old and historic. The beer unfortunately tasted as though it has been passed by lots of little insects and the weather was atrocious! (Apparently half the rainfall expected for January fell on the Friday night) The crowd! - just getting started!but it must be said, nothing dampened our spirits. one of the pubs (forgot the name, sorry) was reputed to be the oldest in England. They even had a little sort of ‘history room’ with a couple of antique hanging pictures and information plaques. But the miserable sods wouldn’t serve us in this room. Then we went to another pub, and then another. Then most of us went to a place called Cookies, a small rock pub/club, before hobbling back to the hotel in the early hours.

Next day, The Cluster Convention delegates caught a bus to the centre of Nottingham. LR: SG, Eo, Tribs, Flare, Burntime, DoroSome of us were wearing sunglasses, but on the whole, we all didn’t suffer too much from hangovers.

Burntime's erotic lunch

We had lunch which was fun, especially the grotesquely erotic looking arrangement ordered by Burntime! Afterwards we walked through the town centre.

Brian Downey telephoned Doro while we were walking to the Nottingham Caves! She asked me if I’d like to speak with him. I was thrilled to bits and the very polite and funny Stanley Tweedle asked how the Con was going. I told him that things were “goin’ great!” Erith chatting to Brian DowneyThen, for some stupid reason, I asked if he was ever ‘going to get his end away’ during series two! I couldn’t believe I’d said that! Then to make things worse, we all decided to stop outside a shop selling stuff like erm… whips and chains and things. I was so surprised that when Brian asked if everything was ok, I told him we had just stopped outside a bondage shop! Convinced that I was prolly sounding like a complete nutter, I quickly passed the phone over to Erith who happily chatted away for a while longer.

Then we moved on to the Nottingham Caves. Nottingham is FULL of caves. In medieval times, it was cheaper to hack out a In the Caves: Sally, Doro, Flare, Tribs, Jihadcave than to build yer own house. At one time, thousands of people lived in such caves in Nottingham and we had a short tour of some of them. It was quite interesting, but we relied on a personal cassette tape for information and directions and I kept forgetting to turn on and off at the right place. We also came across a game called ‘Splat the Rat’ and I half expected someone to invite me to be the rat, but they just used a sort of sock filled with sand. Later that night we visited pub after pub, it was GREAT! We ended up in a sort of rock nightclub and spent most of the time getting even more drunk and watching Eo dance!

SG, Sally, Doro, Jihad - by burntimeThe picture on the right is whizzed from Burntime’s Cluster Convention page. Couldn’t resist including it because it’s such a good piccy and typical of the mood we were all in!

At the end of the night the entertainment continued when we saw some long haired geezer beating up some other long haired geezer. I didn’t think it prudent to take a picture. J

Then back to the hotel. Some of us were still quite wide awake and went to my bedroom for a hotel room party! Eo brought some whiskey as did Jihad and we began to get very drunk indeed.

Sally, Jihad, SG, Doro and the wonderful Erith  :-)

A quiet discussion in SG’s room over drinks.
(Jihad had lost the point – and Erith was making one) 🙂

Group hug, Doro, Jihad, Sally, Eo, Erith

A Group hug!

Sally making ears for Doro

Sally makes ears for Doro!

'

Jihad about to pour SG a drink!

Jihad, Sleeping Sally and Erith

Sally can’t take it anymore!

In the end, some of the kiddies, couldn’t take the pace, poor hole lotta smilin goin on!Sally had just about had enough at around 3.30am and decided to rest, she was joined by Eo and Jihad…. erm…. while the deependers, Erith, Doro and I chatted about Doro’s idea for a Berlin Lexx Con. They all managed to make the long trek back to their rooms at around 4.30am.

Next morning, one or two of us were a little fragile yet we all sat down with copious quantities of coffee and came up with a great idea for a LEXX script. It was totally bonkers of course, but there were some terrific themes. Flare was nominated to prepare the script based on the ideas discussed and because of her writing talents, but everyone agreed to contribute. We all had fun dreaming up the wacky plot and characterisations. We were even interrupted by one of the hotel staff who thought we were film and TV people on some sort of film shoot or script conference or something.

Flare, Burntime, Erith, Doro, SG, Jihad, Eo, Sally.Then we all said our goodbye’s at around 11.30am on Sunday. I drove Erith and Jihad back to Manchester and Doro and Sally back to my place in Preston, they were staying with me overnight until I remember thinking as we bid each other a fond farewell (I know it’s corny, but it’s true), that the Cluster Convention had been a great success. The beer flowed, the hotel was fun and the company was simply wonderful. If we manage to meet up again, it would be hard to top the Nottingham Cluster Convention……

But it would be a lotta fun trying!

with NewKate.

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This LEXXcon review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl.
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