I'm sorry to have to pass on the sad news of the death of Marion Van Der Voort.
Marion, with her husband Richard, ran the At The Sign Of The Dragon bookshop in London for many years and regularly took dealers tables at many British SF conventions, both literary and media based. When they retired from running the London shop they moved to Wigtown, the Scottish book town near the port of Stranraer. There they sold their ex-London stock through AA1 Books for a while, before moving the remainder to their house which they delighted in telling people was the odd looking first house you saw on driving into the village. They never completely retired as they continued to run their mail order business via their website and continued to be a fixture on the convention circuit.
They were due to take a dealer's table at the Satellite 1 convention in Glasgow last October when Marion was hospitalised with double pneumonia. She finally returned home on Christmas Eve but passed away on Boxing Day with her husband and her dog beside her. She was cremated yesterday with a request from Richard that any donations in lieu of flowers should be made to the Lifeboats or to disabled servicemen's charities.
The first time I met Marion was at a PanoptiCon in the 1980s where she, on hearing my Northern Ireland accent, regaled me with the story of their honeymoon which they had spent in the Provence. I only really knew them through attending conventions, but the last time I saw her was at their house in Wigtown where she wasn't the least bit surprised when I told her that I knew where they had spent their honeymoon.
My sincerest condolences to Richard, who gives more details of what happened on their website. British fandom has lost one of its own.
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