Alan Flyng

Alan Flyng

Monday, 30 May 2011

Star Wars Weekend, Taastrup Medborgerhus, Taastrup, Denmark, May 2011.

The final poster for this much-anticipated event.

At last, the much-anticipated event for which I had been waiting was upon us - the Dansk Star Wars Loge's May weekend event in Taastrup, outside Copenhagen!!!

More photos will be added as I gain permission from those pictured to post them...

As those of you who have read of my attendance last year may remember, I had an absolute ball there in 2010 in the company of Toby Philpott and Gerald Home. Hosted by Michael HR Nielsen, Per Valgreen and Henrik Berndt, we all agreed we had one of the best convention experiences of the year! I am delighted to report that this year's was better still!!!

I was in the company of Nick Gillard - Stunt Arranger on the Prequels, Pam Rose - the sultry seductress Leesub Sirln of the Cantina in ANH and Richard Bonehill - all-round good egg and who should sign photos as - Richard Bonehill is Everybody Else!, as he played several different characters both masked and unmasked in the original Trilogy. Unfortunately, we were missing the company of John Coppinger, who had to cancel at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. He will be attending a subsequent event in October!

Pam Rose, Nick Gillard, Alan Flyng & Richard Bonehill. Dansk Star Wars Loge Weekend, May 2011.

I think Nick, Pam and Richard were bowled over by the amazingly generous and friendly welcome offered to us and the food......fabulous!!! Our joint thanks to the indefatigable Pia and her team!!!

As last year, I had offered to participate in the opening parade through the main street of Taastrup on the first day of the show, but this year decided to come as a more appropriate 17th century Town Crier. With my breeches and waistcoat, jabot and tricorn, caped surcoat and bell, I do make a rather unmistakeably large and imposing figure, even though I say so myself! I was likened to The Black Pearl in full sail! Not a bad analogy in truth, as I was pretty unstoppable! :D

Darth Vader and 'Daft Ada' leading the parade out into the streets...

Attendance in general was slightly down this year, due no doubt to the depressive nature of our mutual economic conditions in most European countries - but only slightly. The show covered it's costs and raised the requisite funds to enable the flights for next time's guests to be flown in. There are not many club events these days that can claim that! So, my heartiest congratulations to Michael, Per, Henrik and the team, again!!!

The excellent Michael HR Nielsen, who hardly ever stands still long enough to have a picture taken!

Part of Per Valgreen's Stormtrooper collection of action figures and collectables, displayed in my honour.

Amongst the events planned were two display events hosted by Nick, to do with the use of weapons used in fighting in Star Wars. These went down very well, especially with the youngsters!!! An auction of signed items and donated goods raised another £500 or thereabouts and all items on the packed programme were well received.

Our Q & A at the end of the first day was well attended and could have run on and on, as we were having a great deal of fun and lively conversations at the guests' table, drawing more and more questions from the attending audience. Richard and I had not seen each other for over 25 years and Nick was a lad when I last saw him! Lots of very funny memories and anecdotes came hurtling into the arena from our addled brains! I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed it - I know we guests did! The Q & A had to be finally brought to a conclusion as the evening meal was ready and we had overrun!

Pam demonstrates her enduring love of picking up the odd stuntman! :-)))

The second day, although quieter than the first, still drew a good crowd. We were ably assisted throughout the event by troopers from the Rebel Legion, Shadow Legion and The Girls and other Costume and RP groups. Thier contribution to the event was huge and much appreciated by all! There was unfortunately only an unofficial presence from members of the 501st Nordic Garrison, but I am personally very, very grateful for their coming and proudly wearing shirts and badges of the Garrison!!! Thank you all!

Amongst the traders present was a selection of excellent stands selling toys, memorabilia, autographs from a splendid Swedish dealer, and assorted exhibits scattered throughout the building. Michael and gang never fail to draw anything but the best exhibitors and this year was no exception. Special thanks to and Sebastians Toys for their great contributions to the success of the show!

As I explained to a visiting journalist from one of Denmark's biggest daily newspapers, this show is not like the huge commercial events that take place on occasion in Copenhagen, Stockholm or London. This is an incredibly well planned and focused attempt annually to stage a show arranged by fans for fans with actors and guests who enjoy mixing with the attendees and getting stuck-in with the running of the show. A real 3 Musketeers approach - all for one and one for all! This is not an event for grabbing the fan's money, but an opportunity to share the fun, interest and community spirit of true fans with whoever wants to come through those doors. That is what guarantees success and repeat visits from the public! The journalist confessed he had seldom seen guests so relaxed and mixing so freely with the public. I agreed and explained it was due to the great atmosphere created by Michael and his team as well as the professionals and enthusiasts all enjoying mixing together. He seemed quite surprised overall with what he found and went on walkabout for much longer than one would normally expect. I think he relaxed as well and decided to get into the groove!

I am over the moon with this award from Michael, Per and Henrik! Thank you so much!

Our thanks too to the staff of SAS for punctual flights and service!!!

So, my friends - keep your eyes peeled for the next show - probably October time - and bring your friends! There is enough to interest even the most jaded fan!

Sunday, 15 May 2011


I picked up Derek Lyons from his home at the crack of dawn, in order to be in Portsmouth good and early. As usual, I programmed my idiosyncratic ancient Tom Tom with the postcode and off we went.

The weather was perfect - not a cloud in the sky and hardly a breeze in the air! As usual, Derek and I chatted without noticing where we were going as, directed by the Tom Tom, we headed out of London in a general south-bound direction. We hadn't met up for some time, so had a lot to chat about and soon found ourselves not far from the coast.

Those of you who have read this blog may remember our trip to visit a fan called Jamie DuPont for a private signing, when the same Tom Tom took us on a trip around the universe - anywhere but Jamie's. It obviously doesn't like us talking over it, because this time it took us to a point just short of Brighton, when the postcode was most definitely Portsmouth!!! I suppose we must be grateful we at least headed south! LOL

Undaunted and unphased, we started off again along the coast and thoroughly enjoyed the unexpected diversion and scenery! We arrived in Portsmouth early! Yes! Early!!! And soon we were setting up in the hall of the Mountbatten Centre - a large sports and community centre towards the centre of Portsmouth. The dealers had been there considerably longer and were almost all set up. Quite an impressive array of toys and collectibles from a wide range of tables!

I had dropped my camera the day before and it failed me with blurry pictures, as you can see from the above, so I have to thank others for any pictures which follow...

The show got underway around 10 am, after the other guests had also set up - Toby Philpott, John Coppinger, Rusty Goffe, Colin Baker, Erkan Mustafa and Lee McDonald. Unfortunately, John Chapman was unable to attend, nor Pam Rose.

The day progressed well - not hugely packed out but a steady, busy stream of visitors and collectors, who kept us well-employed chatting and signing. My compliments to the organisers of the event, who had pulled out the stops to have everything well arranged and seamlessly running. We were very well tended to and everyone was most welcoming!

Derek and I were surprised by Terry Welsh and members of the Dorset Troopers, as we were both awarded Honorary Memberships! A very great pleasure for us both, as we are close to many of the members and are eager to support them in all they do - a really nice and genuine group of friendly and devoted people who deserve more recognition!!!

With us visiting was out mutual good friend Wendy Lowder, pictured centre-front in the picture above.

Our trip home went uneventfully door-to-door - mostly because I didn't switch on the Tom Tom!!! :-)

Having reached Derek's, we next set about recording our contributions to a skit for Joe Mignano of Dark Empire Radio - an improbable encounter between the Executor and Star Trek's Enterprise!!! Needless to say, we were tired and in fits of giggles and bad behaviour whilst we tried to get ourselves through the script...I think the outtakes might be more entertaining, though X-rated for language!!!

And so home to an early night with the Eurovision Song Contest blaring out from surrounding TVs all over the place! What is it with people not being able to listen to their TVs any longer unless they are deafening? And this remark from someone who is partially deaf!!!

Anyway, my apologies for the lack of photos - I shall have to beg more from friends. Next stop...Copenhagen!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

3 Darths Comics, The Harvey Centre, Harlow, Essex.

I attended an exceptionally well-organised signing on Saturday the 30th April in Harlow in the company of Pam Rose, Brian and Lindsay Muir, Dave Prowse, Warwick Davis and Gerald Home. 

The event is actually spread over three days with a variety of guests appearing - some all three days and others two or one (like myself):

-Alan Flyng (Saturday only)
-Brian Muir (Saturday & Sunday)
-Danny John-Jules (Cancelled due to Work Commitments)
-Gerald Home (Saturday, Sunday & Monday)
-John-Paul Bove (Sunday & Monday)
-Marc Silk (Sunday & Monday)
-Pam Rose (Saturday & Sunday)
-Rusty Goffe (Sunday & Monday)
-Spencer Wilding (Monday only)
-Warwick Davis (Saturday only)

The 3 Darths Comics Store being trooped by members of the UK Garison. The signing taking place below in the atrium of the Harvey Centre. Nick, Proprietor of 3 Darths, is pictured in the foreground.
The event was also attended and trooped by members of the UK Garison, who were quite an attraction to the kids present and their parents. The good-natured ribbing by the local youths won over many onlookers and we, the signers were fully engaged with the public all day.

Pam Rose signing in front of the posters produced for the event.

The classic 501st Stormtrooper pose with a member of the public. Good troop guys! Thankyou all.

I must thank Nick, Proprietor of 3 Darths for the invitation to attend and the members of the 501st for their great hospitality. I look forward to having another chance to attend on another occasion.