More than £400 was taken by the Reading branch volunteers who manned the door at the Convention and collected the entry money from non-Society members. While this is of course a welcome addition towards defraying the expenses of staging the annual extravaganza, it also goes to show just how many collectors have managed to come in for nothing in previous years.
This did not include the hundreds of local people who flocked in during the two days carrying their little bags and boxes for sale or valuation. They were allowed free entry, utilizing coupons printed in the local newspapers.
The reason for so much local interest was the tremendous media coverage. This was the best result in all the years that I have been publicizing the AGM.
We had a feature lasting for several minutes on the Meridan news and this included not only interviews with various personalities at the event but a hitherto unknown piece of pre-war footage of the London Cigarette Card Company.
Both of the local radio stations carried pieces as did the Reading newspapers. Then to cap it all, I discovered that we had achieved a TV double with the BBC carrying a report on their Friday night southern news.
Despite this, some dealers were not happy and reported reduced takings. With a good central location it is hard to pinpoint the reason for this. Other dealers had done well so perhaps in these difficult times there was just not enough cash to go round them all.
The Annual General Meeting attracted a very low attendance - most collectors preferred to stay in the main hall looking at cards. This must indicate that they are not too dissatisfied - even the projected subscription rise to £16 next January went through with only one hand raised against.
There was a surprise for company secretary Michele Auborn, who bowed out after 12 years. She was presented with an enormous floral tribute by the President, who described her in his annual report as "a tower of strength".
Michele told the members that she was leaving with a sad heart to concentrate on her equestrian interest. She had been faced with the choice of giving up riding after 31 years or the Society after 12, and that had proved to be "no contest".
Editor, David Davis and David Hunter were elected as official councillors while Mike Walker is taking on Michele's role.
Gordon Howsden received the cup for the best article for the fourth time in five years and Kellog's "Walking with Beasts" was announced as the set of the year.
Reading secretary Brian Eighteen, who had worked so tirelessly on the ground to ensure that the convention was a success, said in his branch report that Reading was privileged to have hosted it for a second time. Club President, Ron Romans, who joined the Society in 1946 and is a life member, was given a hearty ovation.
Click on the images to see larger versions.
|Welcome to the convention!||General view of the hall.|
|Roger Parckar and his two charming assistants were on hand with a good stock of reference books and CDs.||The host club Reading was well-represented.|
|Alan Stevens with his fine selection of silks.||The swaps area.|
|Some of the other tables:|
Click here to see pictures of previous conventions.
(C) 2003 The Cartophilic Society of Great Britain Ltd.