The Sharpe Appreciation Society, also known as the SAS, was formed in 1996 "amid growing demands from fans wanting more information about the books, TV series, the people involved in making the series, the Napoleonic period, weaponry, in fact anything remotely connected with Sharpe."
"After finding there was no central point of contact for fans, Chris Clarke, now secretary, made contact with Richard Rutherford-Moore (historical and technical advisor to the series) and wrote to the author Bernard Cornwell as well as Malcolm Craddock, one of the producers. With Richard Moore's help, Chris started the fan club in July 1996 expecting 50 to 100 fans to join her." Their website reports that they now have 1300 fans across the world.
In May 1998, they held their first convention, "where we were joined by Bernard Cornwell, Malcolm Craddock, Muir Sutherland and some of the actors involved in bringing the world of Sharpe to life (including some of whom hadn't worked on the series for years)."
You can find out much more information on their website: www.SouthEssex.co.uk