Saturday, 28 April 2012

Corsham Sci-fi Day – We Need A Bigger Boat...

I’ll never work out why I always struggle to do a write up for Corsham, but I always do, but here goes...

If you read by blog about Corsham Sci-fi 2011 you’ll already know that I love this event! My comment last year was (and I quote) “a review cannot just say “AWESOME!!” in massive letters...” and I had a feeling this year would be no different!

Corsham Countdown!
This was my third time at Corsham (I know time flies!!) and this time it was going to be a bit of a special one, why? It was also my 30th birthday!

When Corsham 2011 came to an end there was a section on the Charity Sci-fi Forum asking for guest suggests for next year. As always I had a suggestion, no prizes for guessing who! Yes, Nicola Bryant.

What I hadn’t banked on was the answer... If you want her to be there Matt, then you need to invite her! You don’t need to tell me twice, email was sent and then it was a case of waiting for a reply...

To my great relief, Nicola replied and was available for the event and was also able to attend the pre event meal the night before. This was going to be a good birthday!

So time ticked by and the event finally arrived (there was even a 5 day countdown on my page!).

On the Friday night we had the pre event meal, it was a good chance for me to catch up with the Charity Sci-Fi gang as, living on the other side of the country, I don’t get to see them that often.

Never work with Daleks!
For the dinner I sat with Nicola, Nev Fountain (Big Finish writer and Nicola’s partner), his 2 children and Mike Collins (Doctor Who Comic artist), it was a very surreal experience, especially when Nic sang me Happy Birthday! At this point I also need to apologise to Matt E, Sophie (you know I love the both of you! And Soph, the drawing in my card was awesome!!) and the rest of my original table at the meal for abandoning them in favour of Nicola!

On the Saturday, I got to the event for 8.30am, it was a bit manic with the final bits of setting up taking place, this year the event was twice the size as previous years thanks to the addition of a second hall at the Leisure Centre, we thought this would be fine as space was a bit limited last year... We were wrong!!

At 10am the event was opened, ‘Corsham New Town Leisure Centre’ had new management... Mr Brittas (aka Chris Barrie).

For me I spent the vast majority of the day swanning around as Ten (no real change for me then), I even managed a few outfit changes depending on how much my fringe collapsed by! I started off in the Blue, swapped to the Tux for lunchtime, then swapped to the brown in the afternoon and finished off the day as the ‘drunken Doctor’ from Girl in the Fireplace!

We need a bigger boat!!
Here are the highlights of the day:

Queues: Wow!! The expression ‘we need a bigger boat’ has never been truer!! Last year we had lots of people but this year eclipsed it! There was a queue about 200 long from opening until around 2pm, I’ve no idea where all the people came from, Corsham isn’t a very big place!!

Costumed Guests: There was a great selection of costumes as ever. Shows/movies like Star Wars, Doctor Who, Aliens, Ghost Busters and others were all well represented. For me it was a great opportunity to send some time with my good friend and fellow look-a-like Matt Elliott. Matt went down a storm (which I fully expected as he’s awesome!)

Celebrities: For a small show Corsham has always been really lucky with the calibre of guests it has managed to get, this year was no exception! The line up included Nicola Bryant, Colin Baker and John Levene from Doctor Who, Danny John Jules and Chris Barrie from Red Dwarf, Richard LeParmentier and Jerome Blake from Star Wars and Julian Glover who has been in just about everything!

All the guests were fab and proved really popular, especially Chris and Danny who both had queues for the majority of the day.

Towards the end of the day I managed to grab a few minutes with Nicola to see how her day had been as well as to get her to sign a few bits for me.

Audience with the Daleks: This show is always great fun to do (even when the Daleks refuse to give a straight answer to any of the questions asked!!). To my surprise (and relief) none of the Dalek weapons were loaded so I survived this encounter without getting soaked!

Overall: The event had loads of different activities happening throughout the day, including a fancy dress completion, charity auction, Unit Boot camp, balloon art, all sorts!

Due to the sheer number of people I didn’t get to see everything, but that’s not why I’m there, my job was to interact with the attendees and help raise as much money as possible for charity.

This year we managed to eclipse the total raised previously. The event managed to raise over £6,600 in a single day which is an epic acheivemet! We’re not 100% sure how many people came to the event as it proved impossible to keep count!

I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved and to all those who attended, without each of you the event couldn't have been what it was.

The date for the 5th Corsham Sci-Fi Family Funday is set for April 27th 2013. Looks like it’ll be another birthday event for me. I can’t wait!

The end of a long day!