|"Got any cigarette cards guv?"|
A lot of water has passed under the ‘ Cartophilic Bridge ' since the Society last held its Convention and AGM at the Harvey Hadden Centre in Nottingham . That occasion in 1998 was a grand affair celebrating as it did the 60 th anniversary of the Society's existence. The President at the time was the late, great Ted Knight and the Convention Organiser was the indefatigable Tony Gardner, even then a Councillor Emeritus and still happily holding the same honorary position today.
Nottingham 2006 was an opportunity for their replacements, those young Turks Derek Jenkins and Robin Short, to show their mettle. And how well they did! The urbane Derek Jenkins would have outshone the Queen herself with a superb example of how to be the perfect host. Smiling, listening attentively to all who wanted to speak to him, ever courteous and conducting the formal business of the AGM with great aplomb.
But, of course, this is the occasion when the Convention Organiser comes into his own. The good Doctor Short was like a regenerated Doctor Who, seemingly everywhere at the same time, massively confident yet leaving you feeling just a little edgy that a problem might come along that would floor him. Any setbacks that he could not solve with his customary smile were promptly dealt with by the application of his sonic screwdriver!
The Doctor's task in Nottingham was considerably eased by his locally based assistant, David Hunter. The latter may have lacked the blonde hair and Estuary accent of his television counterpart but he was a massive influence behind the scenes. David it was who, at this very venue eight years ago, played a leading role in the formation of the Nottingham Branch and their members were tireless in their efforts to make everything run smoothly.
The spacious hall comfortably accommodated the 128 Dealers' Tables and generous “swap area” with plenty of space for circulation. Maybe it was the size of the hall that made me think that visitor numbers were down on last year but the hard pressed Councillors at the entrance door assured me that both days were well attended.
Among the dealers were two who had travelled great distances - David Grimes form the USA and Bill Lee from Canada - but I only spotted one European representative - Brooke Bond specialist, Terry Calleyne. It was sad to note that David Hunter was making his last appearance as a dealer but his retirement from the circuit will enable him to spend more time on researching and publishing his attractive series of military cards.
It is always a pleasure to talk to fellow editors and I managed to snatch a few words with David Stuckey of Card Times and Frank Doggett of Card Collectors News . Sadly my conversation with the latter was rather truncated as Frank had to leave rather suddenly due to his wife's indisposition. Hopefully by now she is fully recovered.
The formal business at the AGM was less routine than usual as it included a ballot for the election of Councillors. John Townsend was the unlucky one to miss out but his achievements with the Library and the Society's Website will not be forgotten. Roger Whichelow, a stalwart of the Branch scene for many years, was elected along with the other retiring Councillors. That character of characters, Bernard Wickham of Moonraking fame, received a spontaneous round of applause when he received his Life Membership Certificate.
After the AGM came the Auction and yet again Peter Farquhar had assembled a mouth-watering array of rare and unusual items. Martin Murray presided and his renowned skill with the gavel prised some amazing sums from the assembled throng, including £1450 for a Casket Football Fixture Card and £3,800 for a box of Types and Odds. Surprisingly, however, a Taddy Clown in reasonable condition went for just £220. Overall, the cumulative total beat last year's record.
|Welcome to the convention!||Nottingham branch welcome collectors.|
|General view of the hall.|
|Bernard Wickham receiving his Life Membership Certificate||The Cartophilic Cup - It's that man again!|
|The auction in full swing.|
|Some of the other tables:|
|John Shaw?||Cigarette packet collectors club.|
|Carole Agar & Susan Saville||Peek-a-boo!|
|Kevin Robinson||Ken Sandeman|
|The London Cigarette Card Company.||The Swap Area.|
Click here to see pictures of previous conventions.
(C) 2005 The Cartophilic Society of Great Britain Ltd.