When we held BiCon 2008 in Leicester we loved the venue, but the one thing we were slightly short of was daytime session space; meaning for example that we didn’t really have space for both a quiet room and a permanent craft room, so they got combined. Wouldn’t it be nice, we thought, if we could just annexe the house next door…
Well we have. It’s called Shirley House (and many “Don’t call me Shirley” jokes will no doubt follow) and after two successful site visits last year, and a bit of budget tweaking, we can confirm that it will be part of the venue for BiCon 2011
It is a lovely old house, with splendid mantlepieces to lean on if you’re that way inclined, but it’s also very accessible, being less than five minutes away from our main building with a level entrance and wheelchair accessible loo. It has four nice big session rooms on the ground floor, and since they’re slightly further away from any university offices, we may put some noisier sessions like music there so they don’t disturb people (would that make them house music? Sorry.)
Because the deal is for the whole house we have also got rooms upstairs which are included in the price, but as there’s no lift we won’t be using them for session space. One or two may be used for a creche or childcare space, though this hasn’t been finalised yet, but apart from that we don’t know what to do with them. We’d welcome suggestions of how to use this space in a way that retains BiCon’s commitment to accessibility for people with limited mobility, so do let us know if you think of anything.
So there you go. A lovely house, in lovely grounds, with the potential for great things and limitless Shirley jokes – what’s not to like? All we need now is loads of lovely bisexuals and friends to fill it – so get booking.