The Doc Weir Award is presented annually at the Eastercon to recognise a significant contribution to fandom which has largely gone unrecognised. You can read more about it in Mark Plummer’s article below.

This year’s Award was presented at the closing ceremony on Monday by last year’s winner, James Shields, to Claire Brialey. Congratulations Claire!

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‘The Dr Arthur R Weir Memorial Fund was discussed and it was agreed that the money collected during the past year, some fourteen pounds, should be devoted to a Fan Recognition Award in Doc’s name.’

Skyrack #42, 27 April 1962, ed. Ron Bennett

…and that’s how the Doc Weir Award came into being. That £14 funded a handsome silver cup on a black base, and a wooden presentation box. It was first presented in 1963 at the Eastercon in Peterborough, sixty years ago; the winner, in absentia, was Peter Mabey.

Since then the Dr Arthur R Weir Memorial Award – the Doc Weir Award as it quickly became known – has been presented almost annually. Winners’ names were added first to the base but that’s long since been filled and so now they flow onto the box itself.

Ron described it as a ‘Fan Recognition Award’ and over the years there’s been some evolution in exactly what that means. The award to Peter in 1963 was for his work with the BSFA lending library, and if you look down the list of 56 previous winners you’ll see the names of authors, booksellers and of course fans: fanzine editors and writers, convention runners, club organisers and people who just do stuff.

The Award is voted on by members attending the Eastercon and presented at some point during the convention. The voting was moved online by (inevitably) Alison Scott in 2022, which better reflects a hybrid attendance. You write down the name of the person you think deserves the Award, and your own name, taking care not to get the two muddled up. Lobbying isn’t discouraged, although it’s probably as well to keep it a secret from the subject of your lobbying.

The suggestion is that you vote for somebody who has made a significant contribution to fandom which has largely gone unrecognised, one of the unsung heroes if you like. I often say that the perfect Doc Weir candidate is somebody you don’t think of until somebody else mentions their name, at which point it suddenly becomes blindingly obvious and you can’t understand how you didn’t think of it yourself. It’s not necessarily an award for conrunning in general or Eastercon-running in particular, although it often is. The Award had never gone to somebody who lived outside the UK – until 2003, when it did. The Award had never been won jointly – until 2017, when it was. There’s nothing to say you can’t vote for somebody who has won it before, although arguably past winners are now at least a little bit sung. Most past winners were born before the Award was first presented, but there are plenty of people who were born after 1963 – often considerably so – who have nevertheless made a huge contribution. Have a look at the list below and see who you think should be added to it.

Mark Plummer

  • Winners of the Doc Weir Award 1963-2022
  • 1963 Peter Mabey
  • 1964 Archie Mercer (d)
  • 1965 Terry Jeeves (d)
  • 1966 Ken F Slater (d)
  • 1967 Doreen Parker (Rogers) (d)
  • 1968 Mary Reed
  • 1969 Beryl Mercer (d)
  • 1970 J Michael Rosenblum (d)
  • 1971 Phil Rogers (d)
  • 1972 Jill Adams (d)
  • 1973 Ethel Lindsay (d)
  • 1974 Malcolm Edwards
  • 1975 Peter Weston (d)
  • 1976 Ina Shorrock (d)
  • 1977 Keith H Freeman
  • 1978 Gregory Pickersgill
  • 1979 Rog Peyton
  • 1980 Bob Shaw (d)
  • 1981 John Brunner (d)
  • 1982 No award
  • 1983 No award
  • 1984 Joyce Slater (d)
  • 1985 James White (d)
  • 1986 No award
  • 1987 Brian Burgess (d)
  • 1988 No award
  • 1989 Vincent Clarke (d)
  • 1990 Roger Perkins
  • 1991 Pat Brown (Silver) (d)
  • 1992 Roger Robinson
  • 1993 Bridget Wilkinson
  • 1994 Tim Broadribb
  • 1995 Bernie Evans
  • 1996 Mark Plummer
  • 1997 John Harold
  • 1998 Andy Croft
  • 1999 ½r Cruttenden
  • 2000 Tim Illingworth
  • 2001 Noel Collyer
  • 2002 Dave Tompkins (d)
  • 2003 Bill Burns
  • 2004 Robert ‘NoJay’ Sneddon
  • 2005 Dave Lally
  • 2006 Steve Lawson
  • 2007 Sue Edwards
  • 2008 Eddie Cochrane
  • 2009 Kari Sperring
  • 2010 Alice Lawson
  • 2011 Mark Young
  • 2012 Pete ‘Smudge’ Smith
  • 2013 Jan van’t Ent
  • 2014 Mark Meenan
  • 2015 Martin Hoare (d)
  • 2016 Kathy Westhead
  • 2017 Serena Culfeather and John Wilson
  • 2018 Flick
  • 2019 Jamie Scott
  • 2020 No award
  • 2021 Alison Scott
  • 2022 James Shields

(d) – sadly deceased