The 17th UK Filk convention, 4th - 6th February 2005

PR3 artwork

4th - 6th February, 2005
The 17th UK Filk convention
The Queen's Hotel, Southsea, Portsmouth

Welcome to the PR3 for the 17th UK filk convention!

It's amazing how time can suddenly speed up as the deadline to an event approaches. I've been trying to get this PR done for the last week, but every time I sat down to do it a message would come through that two more people wanted to join, and I ended up sorting out PRs and hotel booking information! Things have not been helped by a mass outbreak of technological breakdowns amongst the committee – we've all had problems with either email or telephones in the last month. It's surprising how much one comes to rely on things.

As I write this, Huygens has just started relaying data from Titan. The thick clouds have been pulled back to reveal… what? A patchwork of light and dark regions, with the light regions crossed by dark features. Understandably the scientists are being cautious, but it certainly looks like pictures of coastal regions of the Earth. The best guess so far is that the "rocks" are frozen ice and the "liquids" (if present) are ethane and methane. Of course, pictures can be deceptive

One a rather more down to Earth topic, the committee would like to congratulate our UK Guests of honour, Andy and Martin Gordon-Kerr, on the birth of their first child, Samuel GK.

Booking Accommodation

The hotel booking form was included with PR2, and we have now heard from (almost) everyone who has joined. On the address label from this mailing is an indication for the type of room you have booked (Single, Twin, Double or Family) and the number of nights (1, 2 or 3). Please check this information and let us know if it is incorrect.

If you haven't booked yet, and want to do so, please contact Miki Dennis as soon as possible. Don't go directly to the hotel – they're holding a block booking for us, so they'll say they are full. As of the time of writing there is still space. It would be a help if you would let Miki know if you are not wanting space in the hotel, so we know not to try and check up with you.

The single rooms were heavily oversubscribed, so we may have to disappoint some people who requested such rooms.

The Sams

Lissa and Phil Allcock have kindly agreed to organise the UK Filk Awards (the Sams) again this year. Nominations and voting will be at the con, with the winners announced during the closing ceremony.

The Filk-Fund

It is through the generosity of the Filk Fund that, each year, the UK convention is able to feature an overseas guest. This year is no exception, with the fund paying for the airfare for Terence Chua. We will be having an auction to raise money to support the fund, as well as hosting the annual business meeting. We would be delighted to receive auctionable items.

At The Convention

The Queen's Hotel does not enforce a strict dress code, and they have given us no reason to think that there would be a problem with garb in the hotel. However, the bar and restaurant areas may get some non-residents, so please be considerate if hotel staff make reasonable requests.

The hotel has a swimming pool, and anyone considering braving it in the depths of winter will be delighted to hear that it is heated. However, you should be aware that it is an outdoor heated pool. There is a small changing facility next to it. Of course, for the truly brave, the sea is a short walk away...


Members of Dixseption may be interested in the "Universe Competition" which is being organised by the British Association for the Advancement of Science, in honour of Einstein Year (marking 100 years of the Theory of Relativity). Members of the public are invited to submit poems (of at most 40 lines) on the themes of "time, space and energy". Poems should be submitted by February 11th, and can be sent to:

"Universe Competition", c/o Joanna Rooke, Wellcome Wolfson Building, 165 Queens Gate, London SW7 5HE

or on the web at At least one entry is a limerick, while another parodies a poem by Lord Byron.

How to get to the Queen's Hotel (1)

The hotel is on Clarence Parade, Southsea PO5 3LJ; telephone 023 9282 2466.

By car:

Go to the M27, then take the M275 into Portsmouth and follow this to its end. Then follow signs for "Southsea Seafront" or "Seafront" (A288 on a map) until you reach the edge of Southsea Common (you'll see the Fun Fair ahead of you - the big car boot sale is in the cricket ground opposite if you are interested). Before you reach the seafront you come to a roundabout, and take the left turnoff into Duisburg Way, and the Queen's Hotel will be the big red thing in front of you - the IN gate is off the left fork, but if you miss it, the right fork will lead you in through the EXIT gate.

The hotel car-par is directly in front of the hotel (not the "pay and display" on the other side of the road). There is also a "pay and display" machine in the hotel car-park. This is for the use of non-residents. Anyone staying at the hotel can park there for free.

By train:

The closest station is "Portsmouth and Southsea", which appears to have reasonable disabled access (lifts and the like) for those with lots of luggage. Southwest Trains run regular trains every half hour from London Waterloo; the journey takes about 90 minutes. From London Gatwick you will need to make a single change. From Heathrow take the Jubilee line to Waterloo.

From the station, you can either take a taxi or head for the sea-front along Guildhall Walk, then Hampshire Terrace, then King's Terrace (the A288) and turn left on Duisburg Road by Southsea Common.

By coach:

Express Coaches serve Portsmouth and Southsea Clarence Pier (next to the Hoverport). The hotel is visible from the Hoverport across the common. Local busses 5, 6, 24, 7, 7a and Stagecoach 700 stop just outside the hotel (the stop is "Queen's Hotel, Osborne Road"). Number 5 also stops near the station.

At the hotel:

Disabled access (which is also suitable for those with heavy luggage) is available around the side of the hotel on Osborne Road: double doors lead to a lift into the hotel proper. If you would like assistance and the door is shut (or you can't find it), either ring the bell or telephone one of the con committee.

How to get to the Queen's Hotel (2)



Brian is in the process of finalising the programme. Everyone who has asked for a spot should have been contacted to sort out timing. If you think you have a slot and haven't heard, please get in touch as soon as possible.

The Saturday and Sunday programme is pretty full, but we do have room for one or two short slots on the Friday evening. If you want to try your hand at a short item, please contact Brian Biddle as soon as possible. Also, if you want to do any trading, please contact Brian Biddle to arrange space.

The Friday programme will begin with the Opening Ceremony at 7pm.

Tech Requirements

Thank you to everyone who has sent Keris information so far about what they will be needing tech-wise (especially the person who sent him a set list a couple of months early!). We assume that none of the rest of you need tech (although we can give lots of feedback!)...

Seriously, this is especially important for people in groups, and/or who have unusual instrument or vocal needs (i.e. more than just a couple of mics for voice and a couple for guitars). This will let things go a lot more smoothly if we know in advance what you are likely to need, instead of finding out only at the start of your set that we don't have enough microphones or leads (or power cables), or that your watchemacallit has some strange plug for which we don't have an adaptor...

We have so far a dearth of volunteers to do tech. Some people have complained in the past that you would like to do tech but we didn't have a rota - well, we can't do a rota unless we know who wants to be on it! We know who is doing tech for a couple of sets, because they've been requested, but not others...

If people would like to learn, that's fine. If they want to sit at the desk and start by pushing sliders under supervision, we can do that. If they already have some experience, but would like someone there "just in case" we can do that as well. Or whatever other combinations...

Email should be sent to tech (at) (or tech (at) for both tech volunteers and to send your tech needs....


Dixseption is supporting the 2005 UK Worldcon songbook, rather than trying to produce two in one year. We welcome contributions of filk songs and artwork on any topic – there are no plans for a theme to the songbook at this time, other than a sampling of what is currently being played in filk communities everywhere. If the tune is original, we can transcribe and typeset it for you; we can cope with a variety of formats including Midi and Noteworthy. Songs need not be new, though we would prefer ones not widely available elsewhere.

Contributions can be sent to Alison Richards, alison (at)

Currently we have not had many contributions, and time is starting to run short if the songs are to be illustrated: we would like to receive them by the end of March. Alison is threatening to recruit members of the RSPCM to mug people at the convention if she does not get enough material…

Joining the Convention

Joining the convention currently costs £26 (full), £13 (unwaged or supporting) or £1 (under 5s). Cheques should be made payable to "Dixseption" and sent to:

Dixseption, c/o 15 St Catherine's Cross, Bletchingley, Surrey RH1 4PX

together with a postal address that will reach you, the type of membership(s) you want, and your badge name (if different). We can also be reached by email at or on the web at our website, at

All of the committee have had trouble with computers and/or telephones recently. If you have tried to contact us and not had a reply, please try again. We're trying to catch up with the backlog and stay ahead…

Members will be listed by badge name on publications; please let us know of any mistakes. We do our best to keep the lists accurate, but we are only human! Membership information will be kept on a computer and used only for purposes of UK filk conventions.

Members as of January 18th, 2005



Anna Raftery


David Given

Emily Raftery

Alex Allcock

Samuel GK

Joe Raftery

Lissa Allcock

Andy Gordon-Kerr

Mike Richards

Phil Allcock

Martin Gordon-Kerr



Stealth Goth

Rika the Bardling

Countess Axylides


Roger Robinson

Azakir Devaris


Tony Rogers

Andrew Barton

The Hamster Guy

Fiona Ryland

Kate Barton


John Ryland

Michael Bernadi

Her Grace

Angie Sampson

Brian Biddle

Hilary Ann

Kathy Sands

Dawn Biddle


Leo Sands

John Biddle

Rhodri James





Janet Bolton






Cadbury Moose

Tarkara Kamaris

Barbara Stewart



John Stewart


Angela Kemp





Terence Chua




The Magician




Peter Tyers

Deborah Crook



Rafe Culpin


Marilisa Valtazanou

Lawrence Dean

Janet Maughan

Marion van der Voort

Miki Dennis

Robert Maughan

Richard van der Voort

Diana Joan {DJ} Bass


Vera Emlyn



Annie Walker



Ellie Walker

Martin Easterbrook


Jared Walker

Margaret Edgar


Tim Walker

Sue Edwards


Peter Wareham

Doran Eirok

Dan Parkes

Dave Weingart

Simon Fairbourn

Kim Parkes

Karen Westhead


Nigel Parsons

Kathy Westhead

Brian Flatt

Paul B +:o}

Mike Westhead



Peter Westhead

Freddy Filk Frog



Zeldaneth Fulayanth


Rob Wynne

Gwen Funnell


Zander Nyrond




Artwork is by Dawn Biddle and Alison Richards. Layout is by Mike Richards.