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Sproutlore Staff

Just who the hell are the guys behind all this?

An insight by David V.Baker


Editor and Ideas Merchant: James Bacon
James Bacon looking intimmidating.

James joined sproutlore, like another 30 others at Octocon in 1993.

When nothing had been done by January 1995 he had a little spat with Padraig O Mealoid (his best freind) which sort of ended with, 'well if you think you can a better job off with you', 'Fucking right I can', and really that defines an awful lot about the man and the club. James will claim he does everything, as he gets your membership money off you in the bar, just as he orders a round with the same money, and he actually does come up with the ideas, works hard and then sees to it that everything is actually done which is slightly different.

He is the leader or dictator or motivator or diplomat or editor or cheif stamp licker and he has a terrible knack for doing exactly what he sets out to do, with a certain vigour and a bit of charm.

Although one could say he is a no nonsense type of guy, he comes up with the nonsenseical ideas of bus and boat trips, aliens stealing bags and various other events.Guides, Brentford Mercuries, and merchandise all get the OK from his steally eye and generally nothing happens with out his involvement somewhere and it probably wouldnt happen otherwise.

He has set out the club to be a club he would actually want to join, which is perhaps why we have a lot of mad events and gatherings in bars.He also said he didnt want to have 32 pages of 'boring pseudo rankin rip off crap', and this has been reflected in the variety of material published in The Brentford mercury, an emphasis on unseen rankin, interesting and humourus articles, reveiws, and good fiction no mater how unrelated to RR once it is a damn good read.

He and the club have become one and the same and he reckons the row with padraig was a good day, after all.

Favourite drink: Cider.

Most famous quote: My hamster likes to chew on my ring.


Co-editor, Layout guy and Web Wizard: James Shields
James Shields with his Snowboard.

Not to be confused with the other James.

International man of mystery and photographic expert. James spends many an hour in front of his computers designing and re-designing everything that he can lay his hands on. Fond of writing short stories about chickens and looking like a well-known priest, James continues to try to fit 25 hours worth of work into a single day. He can often be found asleep at his desk and the 666 on his head is only where his head has been resting on the keyboard.

Favourite drink: Whatever he can lay his hands on.

Most famous quote: I've gone blind! (after Wags drinking panel at ASMH)


Reviews Editor and Merchandising Bloke: David V.Baker
Dave Baker, a man with a mission.

Former army dude and nut case, Dave is fond of writing stuff. Mainly about himself, which is why this bit will do my ego a real boost! Never known to turn down a challenge and always first to the bar, Dave can always be found trying to sell whatever he can to almost anyone. It is believed that the Brentford police are after him for his repeated attempts to sell the Flying Swan to passing American tourists.

A legend in his own lunchtime Dave is friend to the stars and will go to great lengths to tell everyone about them. Not adverse to danger, Dave can often be seen plummeting down flights of stairs at conferences.

 Favourite drink: Aftershock and Green king IPA (not in the same glass)

Most famous quote: not actually said by Dave, but this happened at Eastercon 2000. From Ansible #154 "A group of Sproutlore/zz9/aliens stole my handbag people were hanging out in the bar in the early hours of Sunday Morning. One was wearing shorts and the others were merrily singing the hair on his legs. Just to pass the time, you understand. A barman came out to investigate the source of the strange burning smell, but presumably content there was no risk. "It's alright," he yelled back to a colleague, " They are just setting fire to each other."

Yes Dave was the one wearing the shorts!


Staff Writer and Professional Nut Case: Lee Justice
Lee Justice in a good mood.

Looks harmless doesn't he! But touch his pint and you better know how to run!

Mr Justice or Sir as I've come to know him, is a clever writer and an extremely talented man who has a skill second to none at falling off of motorbikes. He also has many famous contacts who have given him interviews for The Brentford Mercury (probably more out of fear than anything else)

Joking aside, Lee is a gifted writer who will one day go on to bigger and better things. With a keen eye for the bizarre, his stories can be likened to Jeff Noon who Lee is a great admirer of. The rumour that Mr. Noon has taken out an injunction against Lee is not true at all.

Favourite drink: Lager

Most famous quote: Buy this poster you bastard.


Creative Consultant and Soon to be Big Name Author: Michael Carroll
Michael Carroll, doing what all good writers do.

Mr Carroll has the amazing record of being the only writer to have had something Printed in EVERY edition of the Brentford Mercury. I put the word EVERY in capitals because I find that amazing. But to be honest it's not amazing when you get to know Michael. He is a writing maniac. If he could have a biro grafted to his hand he probably would. Morning, noon and night he can be seen scribbling away at something or other. And all that scribbling has paid off as his first major book is due for release sometime soon. And no we won't let MC review it himself. His minor book titles are hide to find nowadays as the Flying Pig has closed down.

Favourite drink: Guinness

Most famous quote: Yeah you can find my books in the section marked sale! (you said it at Octocon 99 MC I have it on tape!) 


Stefan Lancaster
Stefan Lancaster is not impressed!

Stefan Lancaster holds a special place within the club. His involvemnet over the years with the various sproutlore events with James B. have brought him into contact with most members, and he is generally James' right hand during these well organized and fun days out.

He also was the co-conspirotor of Aliens stole my handbag. 'The best con of the century' SFX magazine.

He is currently on his third year as president for ZZ9, the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy society and his presidency has led to strong links and a mutual freindship between the clubs.

He is also allegedlly quite good with a snow board and definatly not a puss weaseal.


Original Concept and Genuine Nice Bloke: Pádraig Ó Méalóid
Pádraig Ó Méalóid, feeling a bit negative.

Pádraig during one drunken chat with Robert Rankin came up with the idea for Sproutlore. Two or three pints later a legend was born. Sproutlore, like a phoenix rising from a hangover bloomed into the publication that it is today. Pádraig still writes for the Mercury. Pádraig has appeared in many of Roberts's books so has truly gone down in history. As what yet the historians are undecided but I'm sure they will say something nice.


Commander of the Sprout Brigade: Robert Rankin
Robert Rankin, in command of the situation.

If Robert had decided to do something else I'm sure he would have been very good at it. But lucky for us he's written some fantastic books. And with his full support Sproutlore and The Brentford Mercury goes from strength to strength.

Robert contributes to each edition and is happy to let members bug him all the time, usually in the return for a pint or two of large. One of the most open authors you will ever meet and a really nice fellow to boot!

Favourite drink: Large

Most famous quote: Far to many to write here!!!!


The rest of the Mob at the Flying Swan

Everybody (except me, I was behind the camera).

Now wouldn't you like to be part of Sproutlore? You could be here with us at the Flying Swan in Brentford (or as the Landlord likes to call it The Bricklayers Arms)

Not joining could be the biggest mistake of your life; Sproutlore isn't just about the Brentford Mercury. It's about much, much more than that. It's a whole way of life.