As you learned in the first post of this trip, my destination for the weekend was Swansea, Wales – home of the Regenerations Doctor Who convention. Why a Doctor Who convention? Well, you’ve undoubtedly seen in some of my previous posts that I love attending conventions and this one is particularly fun because I’ve been going to it since it began in 2005 (check out this Travel Throwback post for more details about my first time there). It was that convention that prompted my friend Ruth Ann and I to take our first international trip together, so I have fond memories of it. I missed two years (2011 because of grad school and 2013 because that was the year of my first trip with Scott and the itineraries didn’t match up) and thought it was gone forever because Cary (the guy who organizes it) said the 2013 convention would be the last one. I guess people loved it so much that they wore him down over the years, so he brought it back this year! And with my friend Matt not running his one-day event in November this year, there was no reason for me to wait until then to visit the UK, so I built my trip around spending this weekend at the convention. I’m so glad I did because it was as fun as it always has been! I saw lots of good friends, went to several panels (which I don’t do at most other conventions because I’m too busy working them), and even enjoyed pretty decent weather. Definitely worth the trip here!
Speaking of the trip, the road trip to Swansea was spent with my friend Matt and another friend, Douglas, both of whom lived in Brighton. We knew traffic was likely to be bad, since we drove on a Friday, and it definitely was. Although Brighton and Swansea are a bit under 200 miles apart, the trip took 7-8 hours – ugh! Granted, we did stop for lunch and for a couple of rest breaks, but it still shouldn’t have taken us that long. Still, what can you do? Can’t change traffic! And the company in the car was great, so that made the time pass quickly.
Check out a few pictures from the car below.
Crossing the Severn Bridge from England into Wales.
Most of the rest of this post is going to focus on pictures from the convention, but because the weather was nice enough, I went out for long walks on both Saturday and Sunday, so for those non-Doctor Who fans out there, you’ll get something else to look at. The forecast for the weekend made me a bit dubious about being able to get out to do some walking in Swansea, but thankfully forecasts are almost never correct anyway. The weather wasn’t tropical by any stretch, but not having rain was enough for me!
Check out the photos from my Saturday Swansea meanderings below.
This marina is pretty near the hotel.
The National Waterfront Museum.
Statue of Dylan Thomas, a famous Welsh poet and writer.
It seemed a bit weird that this guy was fishing from the shore, but hopefully he caught something.
I love, love, love walking by the water.
Not sure what this is, but I saw it from a distance when I started my walk along the seafront and made sure I reached it before turning around.
A bit cold, but a must-do regardless.
Before I left the seafront on my Saturday walk, I took a nice panorama of the area.
And here are the Sunday pictures!
I started my Sunday walk going in a different direction, more through the town, and found myself at St. Thomas’ Church.
Continuing to wander through Swansea.
Another shot of the Swansea Museum, this time in the sun.
I had to walk around to a little concrete peninsula to get this picture, but I think it’s a great shot, if I do say so myself.
I didn’t take many seafront pictures on my Sunday walk, but I had to get this one to show how brightly the sun was shining!
I assume this rail bridge used to cross over the water at the marina and that just this small piece of it was preserved.
If you aren’t a Doctor Who fan, you may not care about the rest of this post, but hopefully you enjoyed some nice photos of Swansea. 🙂 The time I spent at the convention was a lot of fun and brought back lots of happy memories of attending it over the years. As I mentioned above, I work at many of the conventions I attend (as a guest liaison), so I don’t usually get to attend a lot of the panels, etc., so it’s always a bit of a treat to do that, especially at Regenerations because Cary gets so many great guests. And I of course also enjoyed spending time with my friends, especially the ones I see less frequently because they live here and don’t travel to many (if any) US conventions.
Anyway, roll on pictures! The first set is from Saturday.
K9! The little girl just to K9’s right was pretty scared of him.
Jacqueline Pearce, who was only in one Doctor Who story, is a very well-known UK actress, but I’d never met her before. She was a hoot!
She was wonderfully expressive during her panel.
Jemma Redgrave is another well-known actress (and member of the famous Redgrave family) and has featured in several Doctor Who stories over the last few years.
I included this one only because of Jemma’s embarassment about confusing Chris Evans and Chris Eccleston.
Peter Davison, who played the Fifth Doctor.
We had a surprise birthday party for our friend Mike – this is everyone waiting for him to walk in.
Me and Ruth Ann at dinner. It’s been over a decade since we took our first UK trip together!
Matt and Dai, looking glamorous.
Another friend, Ed (on the far left) is part of a team creating a web-based series called Anoraks, which is about three Doctor Who fans. They’re crowd-funding to finish off the current series – check them out on Kickstarter!
Next up – Sunday!
The gorgeous and kind Louise Jameson (far right) on stage with Annette Woollett, her co-star from Horror of Fang Rock.
The tail end of a slap given by Louise while re-enacting a scene from Horror of Fang Rock.
A dalek lurking in the vendor area.
Matt and Louise looking too fab for words.
Regenerations organizer Cary saying goodbye…for now.
At the closing ceremony with all the guests who hadn’t left yet.
If you’ve made it to the end of this post, congrats! It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but totally worth the travel. I would invite you to attend Regenerations next year, but there are no plans to put another one on as of now (as far as I know), but keep an eye on the website linked above. If Cary does put another one together, I highly recommend going – great guests, fun and intimate atmosphere, and the chance to meet lots of new friends. And Swansea is a nice place to visit for a weekend. Don’t forget to walk along the seafront!
Don’t think you’re done with Doctor Who yet – the next post is all about our visit to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.