Midlands Branch1st August 2020 by Sam Whiting
1956 – ?
It seems a large coincidence that the Cameric Club had a Birmingham Branch, which was first listed in 1956, and yet we have not traced any connection with our current Midlands Branch, apart from the fact that the two were in the same area.
We have so far traced the Birmingham Branch of the Cameric Club back to an advertisement in Cameric Notes and News, their official printed magazine. This states that the “Birmingham Branch would be meeting at Victoria Restaurant, in Frederick Street [Birmingham] for a lunch at 1.30 and a meeting at 3pm”. This was on Saturday May 26 1956, so several of you believe that this was the Branch Annual General Meeting.
Branch Secretary at that time was Fred Piper, who was also Branch Secretary of the London Branch of the Cameric Club. We are not sure of his connection with the Birmingham area. Yet…
1970- Present Day
The Midlands Branch of the Cartophilic Society was founded in about 1970, and our first Midlands Branch Rally was the same year, with our second in 1971. We do not know where these were held but our 1972 Rally took place at the Oliver Bird Hall in Solihull, on 20 May. Advertising of the time stresses that there is to be no buffet; this was entirely owing to the difficulty of estimating the correct number of prospective visitors, the two preceding luncheons having made a loss for this reason.
Between 1973 and 1976 we were meeting on the third Friday of every month, from 6.30 pm, at Crown Hotel in Corporation Street, Birmingham; the secretary was listed as Mr Follard of West Bromwich.
In 1980, our Rally was held at Womborne Youth and Community Centre, near Wolverhampton, and the branch AGM was also held there on 28 June.
At some stage we moved to Selly Oak Methodist Church Hall, and our meetings lessened to the third Friday of alternate months, though we kept to our 6.30 pm start time.
We then moved a short distance away to Cofton Hackett Village Hall, Barnt Green Road, Birmingham, B45 8BN, where we still meet today, or will once restrictions have lifted. It is an excellent venue with easy access to many motorways. And our meetings now take place from 7 – 9 pm
You might like to know that we are yet another of the Branches that have issued our own cards.
One of our sets is standard sized, and follows the familiar theme of showing “Branch Personalities”. There are twelve in the set and it was issued at the Branch Rally on the 29th of March 1987. Some sets can be found with a hand stamp to that effect but other sets were presumably left in stock and were not stamped.
The other is the large sized 1991 issue “Silhouettes of Veteran and Vintage Cars” shown as our featured card. There were 24 in that set. We are not sure why this subject was chosen, we thought it might perhaps mark the opening of the Birmingham Motor Museum, but that was not until 1993?
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