Back to Conventions home page

ConFederation 88

This convention, subtitled 'The Con at the Edge of the World', was held in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1988 on September 3rd and 4th at the Vacation Inn.  Guest stars were Michael Keating (Vila), Paul Darrow (Avon) and Janet Lees Price (Klyn).

I'm a relatively new fan, captivated by reruns of Blake's 7 in 2001, so I don't know much about it, but I do know two people who were there and had a wonderful time. They still talk about it.

Why have I got a page about it on my site, you ask? Because I came across some con photos, whose owners have kindly let me scan, and thought people would be interested. I have no idea why Paul Darrow has a sheepskin on his head, or the significance of the 'toilet' joke, but I do know the story behind the picture of Paul and Janet with the dogs. It was in the con report, in Janet's very informative letter written after her return to England.

Paul and Janet visited Dogwatch, whose volunteers rescue condemned dogs from the pound and foster them till they find good homes. There were four dogs there that day, and Paul and Janet were photographed with Mitch and Abby, who found good homes after the picture appeared in the paper. The other two, Irish Setter cross puppies, were named Jenna and Cally, and I hope they too found a home.

Janet's letter also mentioned the wonderful time she, Paul, Michael and Carol (Michael's girlfriend) had in Australia on their way here. 'Avon and Vila' were recognised at the Melbourne Zoo by two very excited Aboriginal girls on holiday from Alice Springs, with much giggling and photo-taking, and later, Janet, who had fallen for wombats, was given a soft toy one which she immediately named Michael because, to quote her, "well, they are rather small, plump, and cuddly".

Another source informs me that Michael displayed his 'koala bear scar' to impressed con-goers. How very...Vilaesque to be scratched by a cuddly bear, though to be fair, koalas are very nervous and they get stressed by tourists. I'm also told that a lot of people caught a virus thought to originate from Paul, and the convention got the alternate nickname of ConTageous.

The con programme


Trivial Pursuit


All-guests panel
B7 Quiz
Paul Darrow / Michael Keating panel
Autograph / photo session
Michael Keating panel
'Powerplays' - theatre-sports / charades
Fan panels
Maori cultural presentation
Costume ball


Captions competition
Autograph / photo session
Paul Darrow panel
Janet Lees Price panel
Auction (with all three guests)
Liars panel

I've heard the Liars panel was incredibly funny with Michael and Paul in top form about toenails among many other strange topics including penguins, armpits, pacemakers, and nostrils. I'm planning to get some tapes to see what sounds to have been one of the best Blake's 7 conventions, where the guests had as much fun as the fans.

The photos

Click on a thumbnail to get the full-sized picture


Back to Conventions home page