Convention Archives 1938-194916th October 2019 by Michele Auborn
This is our latest project, which will eventually tell the story of our Annual General Meeting, and the card fair that slowly grew to accompany it, eventually becoming the focus for most collectors. We freely admit these are but bare bones, but they are at a point where we would really appreciate your help to start adding in the bulk of the material and memories. To make life easier we have decided not to include any pictures yet, and also to upload these files as continuous decades; however in the future we hope to have each year as a separate page with photos and other archive material. So if you know, or read any information that is not here, whether that is in vintage magazines, online, or anywhere else, please add them to our contact form at www.card-world.co.uk/contact/ so we can add them to our records; also please let us know if you have any archive material that you would be willing to scan for us to include as soon as possible. Many thanks in advance. And let us go forward together to create an archive for future cartophilists to both enjoy, and be amazed at…
This was the year that the inaugural Cameric Annual General Meeting took place. We include it purely because the story goes that amongst the topics of un-official business in the room was the Cartophilic Society, and it was indeed founded later in that year; in addition many of the officials of the Cameric Club would become closely connected with us. And it would have been a good time to discuss it, because then, as now, any collector that could attend did their best to.
From the outset the new body was to be a learned Society, run on scientific methods, with dreams to apply for a Royal Charter so that Fellows of the Royal Cartophilic Society could legally add F.R.C.S. after their name. This never did come to fruition, but it does explain our initial mission statement that “The Society was formed for the purposes of promoting, encouraging and contributing to the science and practise of Cartophily”.
Our earliest patrons and supporters were Lady Margaret MacRae O.B.E., J.P., keen cartophilist, and sister of Lord Bute, and C.H. Matthews.
At the close of 1938, enough development had taken place for the London Cigarette Card Company magazine “Cigarette Card News”, issue dated January 1939 (vol.6 no.64) to tell readers that by now they would have received a report of the proceedings of the inaugural meeting of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain, which had taken place at the Andertons Hotel in Fleet Street, business being conducted by its President Mr C. Glidden Osborne.
Andertons Hotel closed shortly after, on the 28th of January 1939, and was demolished some time in 1939.
March 16, 1940
Ye Olde Cock Tavern, London
In “The Bulletin” dated March 1940 (vol.1 no. VIII) there is an article saying that the procedure and agenda for our Inaugural Annual Meeting were to be discussed at the Council Meeting of March 2nd but the date was already fixed for March 16th, and every member would be advised of the precise time and venue through the post. That venue would be Ye Olde Cock Tavern, in Fleet Street, London, a hostelry originally dating from 1550 but having been moved across the road in order to build the Bank of England in 1880. Its frontage is famous even today, as it is a tall narrow building, shoehorned in between two larger wider ones. President C Glidden Osborne gave an address which was summarised in the Bulletin of April 1940; that tells that once War had been declared, the Council had decided that less meetings would take place and more magazines would be printed, plus the number of pages in those magazines would be raised from four to twelve. He predicted that they may not be able to hold regular meetings for the next few months, transport being difficult and with every expectation that it may become more so; times for meetings were difficult, and in any event practically all of them were being called upon to perform duties which made it impossible to attend regular meetings. He spoke of how the Council had been already thinned by call ups to war, and that initial hopes of gaining their so longed for Incorporation had been dealt a blow by the Board of Trade demanding to see two years` successful workings before they would even consider it.
The Secretary A.C. Wiggins then took the chair. He announced that seven general meetings and ten Council meetings had taken place in the last year, and three competitions promoted. These were: “My Favourite Set and Why” (being won by Fred Bason with Mr. Purdie being runner up), “A Display and Write-Up of any set chosen by the collector”, with a cup, donated by Eric Gurd (going to Mr. Pullen with runners up being Messrs Duge and Blows), and “The Set of The Year” which had asked members to put three selected sets issued in 1939 in personal order of preference, these sets being Ardath “Stamps Rare and Interesting”, Hill “Views of Interest” and Lambert & Butler “Interesting Customs and Traditions of the Navy, Army and Air Force”, which came respectively first, second and third. The one who predicted this order was Mr. Duge, with Mr Sims being second and Mr. Jarvis third. All three winners were awarded the three sets, and a ten shilling cigarette card album.
At the time of the meeting there were one hundred and eighty two members, seventy two of them having joined in the first three months of 1940. And at the meeting, or shortly after, another eighteen signed up.
Howard Hotel, London
Our second Annual General Meeting was moved at short notice. In “The Bulletin” dated March 1941 (vol.2 no.XX) it says “Once again Hitlerism has interfered with Cartophily`s cause. We could not foregather at Ye Olde Cock Tavern as arranged, and almost at the last minute a new venue had to be found. However cigarette card collectors in pursuit of their hobby are not easily turned aside, and the meeting took place at the Howard Hotel, Norfolk Street, Strand, London.”
In 1940/1941 that area of London was indeed heavily bombed and Fleet Street did take many direct hits. Even once a raid was over, clean up could take many days, with the bricks, glass, and other debris of the shattered buildings, the innumerable fires above and below ground, the water left by the fire hoses and the sundry scattered equipment of the ARP, not counting the victims who had to be rescued and accounted for, if possible.
The magazine says that attendance, although sparse, was representative, but both London and Country members were present, and interesting discussions took place. Several new faces had been co-opted on to the Council, there had been good response to a call for funds to pay for the extra costs of paper and postage incurred in producing more, and thicker copies of “The Bulletin”, and the membership was over three hundred, one hundred and forty two of them having become new members in the last twelve months. Unfortunately plans for Society badges had been abandoned, due to lack of spare materials for non-military usage, and the circulation of a printed “wants list” had met with little support.
Saturday, 14th March 1942
Howard Hotel, LONDON
The third Annual General Meeting of The Cartophilic Society appeared on the front page of “The Bulletin” dated February 1942 (vol.3 no.31). This read “The Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held at the Howard Hotel, Norfolk Street, Strand, London, W.C. on Saturday, 14th March, 1942, at 2.30 promptly. The Agenda will consist of Official Reports for 1941, the adoption of the Balance Sheet and General Business. By Order of the Council, A. C. Wiggins, Hon. Secretary 1st February, 1942”
Despite “The Bulletin” dated April 1942 (Vol.3 No.33, page no.263), saying “The third Annual General Meeting took place at the Howard Hotel on Saturday April 14th” it gives a full account of the event. It starts by saying although attendance was sparse the gathering represented an excellent cross section of the whole membership. The President in opening the proceedings said he did not propose to make a formal address; and although it was possible to report consistent progress it would be wrong to feel satisfied, for much that is worth while still remains undone. He then called upon the Secretary and Treasurer to make their reports. These were published in “The Bulletin” in full, but we have extracted a just few important parts.
The Secretary reported there had been sixty two new applications for membership during the year. Forty nine members did not renew; but the hope was that when they returned to civilian life they would apply to be re-instated.
The Treasurer said the Society had made a loss, from a surplus of £28 in 1940, they now had a loss for 1941 of £32. However £14 of this was represented by the purchase of a Roneo outfit for envelope addressing and a typewriter. Reciepts from subscriptions had actually gone up by £4, but sales of magazine back numbers, and donations, had fallen. Printing, postage and stationery also cost more; postage up by £3 and stationery up by £7 10/8d. This led to an announcement that the annual subscription would have to be raised to 7/6d which would take effect on January 1st 1943. The shortfall in funds would also be aided by creating a possibility for members to buy Life Memberships. Only twenty would be available and each of them would cost £5 5/- 0d. It was further announced that if more than twenty people applied, a ballot would be held to select the number required.
The ballot was not required, as only eleven members applied. These were Mr. Andrews, Col. Bagnall, Col. Castle, Mr. Crookall, Mr. Gurd, Mr. Huggins, Mr. Osborne, Rev. Pearce, Mr. Pressey, Mr. Ward Petley, and Mr. Wright. They were all elected on the 13th of June 1942, and the remaining nine life memberships were then advertised in the magazine as still being available.
Some of these original newly created life members should be well known to you, like.
Colonel Charles Lane Bagnall of Chiswick London, who founded the London Cigarette Card Company
Mr Eric Gurd of East Croydon, author of much early literature and Editor of The Bulletin
Mr. C. Glidden Osborne of Marlow, the Society’s first President
And as for the others?
Mr. R.M. Andrews of Neasden in London
Col. G.S. Castle of Bristol
Mr. W. Crookall of Blackpool
Mr. L.A. Huggins of Wallington Surrey
Rev. H Stanley Pearce of Tollington Park in London
Mr. E.F. Pressey of Windsor Berks, was a member of the council
Mr. E.L. Ward Petley of Hampstead London, was Vice President of the Cartophilic Society
Mr. W.M. Wright of Leytonstone in London, was Vice President of the Cameric Society.
Up until 1960 all of these were still very much part of the Society, though Mr Ward Petley had moved to South Africa. However on the 15th of January 1961 Charles Glidden Osborne died; he had relinquished his post of Society President at the AGM in 1960, and another of our life members, Mr. W.M. Wright had taken his place. Rev Pearce intrigues me most. He resigned from “the body” before September 1939, due to pressure of his Parish Work – the “body” being the Cartophilic Council, though he does not seem to appear on the council roll prior to that time. However he remained a member and if you look at the bottom of the back cover of the 1941-1942 “Bulletin” magazines it gives his address as the publisher. In 1960 he was still a member, but had moved up to Wakefield in Yorkshire; he also appears on the 1961 roll, but his address is very curiously marked as “(unknown)”.
In “The Bulletin” dated December 1942, (Vol.3 No.41, page 325) it was announced that six new Life Members were being created. These were Messrs Barrow, Brown, Done, Fowle, Lefevre, and Warwick. That still left three vacant spaces.
All these names are as yet unknown to me save the scant details which appear in the magazine. One of them is a military man though, so watch this space!
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