Convention Archives 2000-200916th October 2019 by Michele Auborn
29th April 2000
Leisure Centre, WATFORD
The year of the Millennium saw us at Watford Leisure Centre. This was the closest location to London at an affordable rate. The premises were spacious and had ample car parking, also, as usual, such places have good access for the less mobile. Yours truly was stalling out, for the only time ever (so far at least) with a table full of surplus items including a very nice Tuck Postcard Cabinet of three drawers and an opening lid top, this sold very quickly, to a member of the Cigarette Packet Club. Its always gratifying when the items you sell are off to be used by another collector, not just sold on, or as they say “flipped”. Wonder where it is now?
This year’s commemorative card showed our President Edward “Ted” Knight, who was retiring. He had a long association with the Society, being our Secretary for many years, though there was a break in 1973, when he temporarily stepped down from that post, even though he continued to work for the Society, and subsequently rejoined the council. He was our “New Issues Editor” for many years, and became President again on the death of Edward Wharton-Tigar. And he was also Secretary of The Cameric Club. Our new President, Derek Jenkins, presented him with a copy of our card, enlarged and framed, at the Annual General Meeting.
Community Centre, YATE
This year we were hosted by West Country Branch, who held their annual rallies here.
April 26th – 27th 2002
Stratford Leisure Centre – STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
This was our biggest ever event with more than a million cards and over seventy dealers, including ones from Europe , North America and Canada. We had been to the West Midlands before, but over a decade ago.
Stratford Leisure Centre, Bridgefoot
Our opening hours were 1-6 pm on Friday, our first ever Friday event, and 10am – 4.30 pm on the Saturday. This was the last year that we offered free admission to members and non-members alike.
A display had been mounted with a Shakespearean theme. This contained very early cards and went up to the Long Typhoo Tea sets .
April 25th – 26th 2003
Rivermead Leisure Centre – READING
Reading had hosted before, in 1990. In fact this was our first return to a non-London based venue. We had grown somewhat in the meantime and the number of dealers tables in 2003 was practically double to the 1990 one.
This year we had introduced a two tier entrance system where Society members were to enter free but non-members would pay an admittance fee. To defer some of the possible problems associated with this we had arranged for a free entry coupon to be printed as part of a feature article in the local papers; this coupon could be cut out and brought in, and be exchanged for free entry. Hundreds of locals took part in the scheme, but almost £400 of admission fees were still received from non-members at the door. This was just one of the ways that Reading Branch Secretary Mr. Eighteen and his willing volunteers were so useful.
We also advertised a valuing service and had a table specially set up to receive anyone with cards they wanted identified or valued. This was also popular, and it was most exciting to see what came out of the shopping bags and boxes
Most of this was due to the media coverage that we had managed to set up. We appeared on the BBC`s Southern Region News, and on Meridian News, this latter being an extensive feature including footage of interviews with some of our prominent personalities. We are not sure if this still survives. If so please send us a link. The feature also included a newly found piece of footage dating from before the Second World War; this might have been “Calling All Cards” which you can still see on Pathe News, but without finding the video we may never know. We also appeared on both the local radio stations.
We again found relatively few members taking time out to come in to the separate hall and attend the Annual General Meeting. This might be blamed on the fact that the stalls no longer closed during the meeting, and some members preferred to continue browsing.
New Councillors Messrs. Hunter and Davis were elected. The latter was to become Editor. Mr Walker was to become Company Secretary.
Mr. Howsden was again voted the winner of the Cartophilic Cup, for the fourth time in five years. Our members also voted Kellogg’s “Walking with Beasts” to be the set of the year.
One other important piece of business was to raise the subscription rate. It was to be £16 as of January 2004.
Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th of April 2004
Winter Garden – EASTBOURNE
We were guests of Sussex Branch at a super location, right on the seafront, with our Society banner flapping merrily, and looking lovely in the sunshine, which we had indeed ordered specially. It made a change after a rather unseasonal few weeks, weather wise.
Great support was provided by the members of Sussex Branch, in their yellow sweatshirts, created specially for the occasion, they were much in evidence, buzzing all around the convention, helping speed up the queues of non-members waiting to pay admission and enter the hall, running a daily raffle, and even valuing cards which had been brought in by locals after a “Cartophilic Roadshow” had been advertised on local media. They gained the nickname, rather unfairly, of “The Yellow Perils”. We were pleased to hear that they had received a few enquiries about their forthcoming branch meeting dates from local visitors.
Friday proved to have the highest footfall, and most dealers reported to have done well. Saturday saw slightly lower attendance but there seemed more members at the AGM than last year. Messrs. Hoare, Jenkins, Stevens, Walton and Young were all re-elected to the committee
We were delighted that Gordon Brayne was made an honorary life member at this event. Some of you may recognise his name and rightly know him for his card research and authorship skills, others for the fact that he re-opened and re-vitalized the second incarnation of Sussex Branch in the 1980s. Sadly that is no more. But today we were hosted by its successor, and its re-creator Granville Elliot.
Mr. Howsden again won the Cartophilic Cup, and John Drapkin was runner up with his article on the issuer Major Drapkin. Sadly there was no Set of the Year contest this year; there was a definite lack of new issues, especially since Brooke Bond had decided not to issue cards and also in recent years the number of votes cast had dwindled.
Friday 29th and Saturday 30th of April 2005
Spa Centre – SCARBOROUGH
This year the event started earlier than normal, as the card collecting magazine “Card Times” had sponsored a golf tournament. This event proved such a success that it was decided to add it to our calendar.
Hosted by Yorkshire Branch, in the Grand Hall at the Spa Centre, which was universally agreed to have been a superb venue. We do seem to have fewer visitors when we travel north, but it was revealed that two thirds of our membership within the southerly regions. However that makes these trips even more important as far as attracting new members.
Again we had a good media presence before the event, including BBC Radio York, and a full page article in the Yorkshire Post, and some of the crowds flocking to the French Market beneath our banner did come in and have a look around. Again Friday was the day with the biggest crowds.
The AGM was followed by an auction. No details of lots or prices have yet been found but there is a note that it was the highest ever total yet recorded.
Harvey Hadden Centre – NOTTINGHAM
We were much pleased to be revisiting the Harvey Hadden Centre in Bilborough, but could not quite believe our last visit had been in 1998 as part of the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the Cartophilic Society.
This year we were celebrating the 100th edition of “Card Times” magazine, which was again sponsoring our golf tournament.
In the hall there were 60 dealers (including a few from overseas), 128 tables and a large area set aside for the swapping of cards. Good attendances, and sales, were reported on both days.
The event ran from 10 am until 4 pm. Members of the Society were allowed to enter the halls for free, whilst non-members had to pay £2.
For the first time in many years there were more committee members standing for election than there were seats to fill. We therefore decided by ballot, and our former web-master and librarian Mr. Townsend was the unlucky party. On a happier note we welcomed new committee member Mr. Whichelow. And created a new life member in Mr. Wickham.
Following the AGM was the Auction, with 150 lots of the rarest and most sought after items of the year which had been specially selected for the event from the items entered during the past twelve months. At this time Mr. Farquhar was our postal auction secretary, and Mr. Murray stepped up to the rostrum as the day`s auctioneer. You might be interested in a few prices – £1450 for a Casket Football Fixture Card and £3,800 for a box simply described as “assorted types and odds”. We noticed that there had been a few collectors having a very good look at this box during the time it was displayed for viewing. At the other end of the prices realised, a Taddy Clown, and one in good condition, was only sold for £220. And this sale became the highest total yet recorded.
Friday and Saturday 2007
Our first trip to Worcester was a well attended event, with lots of happy visitors and dealers. Maybe some of those visitors had heard us mentioned on the “Steve Wright in the Afternoon” radio show, or read about us in the local papers.
We were admirably hosted by the Cotswold Branch and its Branch Secretary Mr. Lightstone.
A few complaints this year, the size and speed of the café, and also a late cancellation of the room we had intended to use as our AGM room, but we coped admirably with being moved to the play nursery!
The AGM saw two new life members, Messrs Stevens (our retiring membership secretary and silk specialist) and Belshaw (who never did give up trying to save his beloved East Midlands Branch). The Cartophilic Cup changed hands, and went to Mr. Walkley, but Mr. Howsden was runner up.
We also announced next year’s venue would be Thetford in East Anglia.
April 25th and 26th 2008
Sportspark, University of East Anglia, NORWICH
Well we planned, and announced, that we would be at Thetford, but ended up at the University of East Anglia, their Sportspark in Norwich. Despite East Anglia being our largest, and one of our earliest branches, being founded in 1964, this is actually our first trip to Norfolk, although we did come close in 1989 when we visited Peterborough. This year`s event found us in a huge hall, but we have worked tirelessly and attracted 60 dealers, and 130 tables; almost double the number of dealers who attended that event in 1989.
Strangely the after-event examination found that whilst public, non member attendance was quite high, we did not have so many members attending as usual. Though to be fair, transport links to Norfolk can be challenging, even out of the beet season.
Local collector and stalwart of the Branch and Society, Ted Wareham, had been on BBC Radio Norfolk with a super interview all about cards, the local branch and the forthcoming convention.
We also had local support from Butterworth & Son, the Bury St. Edmunds firm that kept on packing cards with its tea, and excellent cards they are. In fact they had a stall at the convention, selling complete sets, and also packets of their tea bags, each one containing cards.
The Annual General Meeting went smoothly, even the proposed £3 raise in subscription fees! This was needed to cover the continued improvements being done to the magazine, which was now produced in colour, also to the ever rising cost of post. In fact our President estimated each magazine was now costing almost £20 a member. We were heartened by the success stories read out by representatives from some of our branches, by seeing a familiar friend in the audience, our erstwhile membership secretary Mr Slaney, and by our latest publication “The Handbook of Silks” written by another former membership secretary and last year`s newly created life member Mr. Stevens, who was delighted to receive a presentation copy, the final copy yet unsold. It was so popular a reprint will be ordered. A great victory for a subject which is sometimes glossed over by collectors, though in truth silks add a lot of interest and variety to a thematic collection of any subject.
Next year`s venue was announced as Walton on Thames. And 2010s, which was to be held at Southport, hosted by Yorkshire Branch.
And then business closed, and the lots for the auction started to be lined up along the table.
Xcel Leisure Complex, WALTON-ON-THAMES
Another new venue and indeed new county. On our Commemorative Card, specially printed for that event, it even said it “…is expected to be one of the biggest ever….” Two branches were also co-hosting, our “London Branch” and “The Hants and Surrey”, who actually meet in Guildford. We are not sure why we picked Walton on Thames, but it the area was and remains very attractive and we tended to prefer leisure centres as they have good car parking, and lighting, plus easy access for all throughout.
We had good reports from the dealers who told us they were selling well.
At 2 pm. Society members relocated in an upstairs room for the Annual General Meeting, where accounts were approved, officials elected, and reports read by a representative from each of our branches, plus by our President. This year, President Jenkins gave his final report, as he was retiring; being sworn in was his replacement, current Vice President Walton. A wag, several wags, find the similarity in name of our new President and our location to be amusing.
Two new councillors were also elected, Messrs. Devaney and Mann.
In other business, we bestowed Honorary Life Memberships to Messrs. Murray (who, it was revealed, has been on the council for fifty years), Croft (nearing a centenary of card collecting), and Farquhar (who has done such sterling work as our auctioneer).
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