Both sides admitted there had been a long-running rivalry between the Norwich Sci Fi Club and the Norwich Star Wars Club.
Both sides admitted there had been a long-running rivalry between the Norwich Sci Fi Club and the Norwich Star Wars Club.

A sci-fi convention briefly turned to the dark side after police were forced to separate two rival groups of fans who clashed wearing full costumes.

The force was called to the fourth Norwich Sci-Fi and Film Convention, hosted by the Norwich Star Wars Club, following reports of a fight between the organisers and Doctor Who fans in the Norwich Sci-Fi Club.

Both sides admit to having a long-running feud and are said to hold their own conventions. Tempers flared after the treasurer of Norwich Sci Fi Club, Jim Poole, arrived at the event at the University of East Anglia hosted by their Star Wars' nemeses.

Poole was reported to have asked for the autographs of Doctor Who actors Graham Cole and Jeremy Bullock. Poole and the other members of the group were fully dressed as the fifth Doctor, as played by Peter Davison.

Poole was then approached by event organiser Richard Walker, who is alleged to have hurled a string of verbal abuse.

Police were eventually called to the convention following reports of an assault. Police instructed both groups to stay away from each other.

Poole said of the incident: "This wasn't a fight between Star Wars fans and Doctor Who fans with lightsabres and sonic screwdrivers drawn.

"It's a bit sad and pathetic. We're all in the same boat. We're not in competition.

"We'd like to extend the hand of friendship."

A police spokesperson said: "After a lengthy investigation, talking to witnesses and reviewing good CCTV footage, it was confirmed that there was no assault,"

"The two rival groups were spoken to and advised to keep out of each other's way."

 Despite the minor fracas, Walker said the event had been "a very successful", adding: "We will be back next year with an even bigger and better fair.

"It takes about six or seven months to organise a fair, but it's been really good."