Science fiction fair lands in South Shields

CREATURES from across the galaxy descended on South Tyneside for an annual science fiction event that pulls in the crowds.

More than a thousand people are thought to have attended the weekend’s free to enter Scifair gathering, held at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, in Ocean Road.

Collectibles, toys, comics, memorabilia and trading cards were all on sale to visitors who packed out the venue.

Stormtroopers from the Star Wars film series, futuristic police character Judge Dredd as well as a host of aliens all turned out.

Among those attending were the Mawson family, from North Tyneside.

De Mawson and husband Paul brought along children Hollie, 10, Tarah, seven, and Thomas, two, who were all dressed in Star Wars outfits as part of the fun day out.

We don’t charge anything to get in because, as parents ourselves, we know how expensive it can be to take kids out for the day

Elaine Lawler, Scifair organiser

De, 30, said: “We’ve never been to this before and only found out about it when my sister read in a magazine that it was happening.

“The kids love Star Wars and Harry Potter, so it’s ideal for them and they’re really enjoying it.

“The only similar thing that’s been on recently was at the Metro Arena, but you had to queue up and get tickets for that. But with this we can just come along and walk in.

“It’s something for us to do as a family at the weekend.”

SCIFI ... Scifi day at south Shields Museum.

SCIFI ... Scifi day at south Shields Museum.

Event organiser Elaine Lawler, who puts on Scifair with husband Keith, said they were delighted with the turnout, which proved that interest is growing.

“We had the first one in August 2012 and have held a few since then,” said Elaine.

“I think there’s always been an appetite for this type of event, but because they’re a lot less mainstream maybe they don’t get as much attention. As well as the geek crowd, we’re reaching out to families, because we want this to be for them as well.

“We don’t charge anything to get in because, as parents ourselves, we know how expensive it can be to take kids out for the day.

SCIFI ... from left, Hollie, Tarah and Thomas Mawson at Scifi day at south Shields Museum.

SCIFI ... from left, Hollie, Tarah and Thomas Mawson at Scifi day at south Shields Museum.

“The traders we’ve got with us are happy to for it to be that way so that they can get more people in to have a look at what they’re selling.”

Elaine said that it is thought about 1,500 people at some point visited Scifair and that by having it at the museum it benefits both parties.

“We work closely with the museum and we get people into the fair who’ve come to the museum and vice versa,” she said.

“We’re still trying to get the word out to people that we are here.

“We promote on Facebook and that’s helped us to grow, but not everybody is on there so we have to try different ways.”

For more details about future events, go to www.scifair.co.uk or search for Scifair on Facebook.

SCIFI ... from left, Hollie, Tarah and Thomas Mawson at Scifi day at south Shields Museum. Reporter David Allison feels the force.

SCIFI ... from left, Hollie, Tarah and Thomas Mawson at Scifi day at south Shields Museum. Reporter David Allison feels the force.

Twitter: @shieldsgazette

PROTECTION ...Judge Russell Protects the shoppers on Ocean Road, South Shields.

PROTECTION ...Judge Russell Protects the shoppers on Ocean Road, South Shields.

SCIFI ... Scifi day at south Shields Museum. Keith Lawler.

SCIFI ... Scifi day at south Shields Museum. Keith Lawler.