|"Any cigarette cards?; what an enigma!"|
by John Walton
The Society's first Convention & Annual General Meeting to be held in Worcester
certainly had some unusual aspects - but with fine weather, lots of fine cards
and a good attendance, most people came away happy
As always there were a few niggles (not enough chairs etc), but the main complaint on the opening day was about the long queues for food and drink in the refreshment area upstairs. This can be put down to what I call the Brittas Empire factor. Holding these events at leisure centres and booking three years ahead usually means that most of the personnel at the centre have changed by the time we get there. In this case Robin Short and his trusty assistant David Hunter had warned the staff of the size of the cartophilic influx expected the next day - but there was still only one poor soul trying to deal with it on Friday.
Nevertheless the first day looked busier than it had been for several years, and although Saturday was a little quieter, most dealers confirmed that they had done very well indeed over the two days. This year the Convention was apparently mentioned on the top Friday afternoon radio show "Steve Wright in the Afternoon" - a rare honour.
The Cotswold members headed by Jim Lightstone and Mr & Mrs Eric Marsh worked tirelessly on the door extracting the two quids from those who hadn't joined up. Takings came to much the same as in recent years elsewhere. The Cotswold hope is that some of this will be translated into new members for the branch.
On a personal note, I was delighted to see the man who started me collecting back in 1964 -Bert Usher from Leamington Spa, who is now well into his nineties. Five years ago at Stratford,
Bert posed for a picture with the late Ron Romans as being my early mentors - or as my first wife (jokingly) said "the men who ruined my marriage". Oddly enough I'd been talking about Bert to our retiring Editor and expert on cigarette card artists Gordon Howsden. The Daily Mail had put in a question about the series "Footballers by Mac", and I had asked Gordon to send them details of Mac. I knew that Bert had had a personal caricature drawn by Mac himself, and he brought it along to Perdiswell. Done in 1972 for 50 pence at the Royal Showground in Warwickshire, the picture would surely sell well if put in a card auction. Bert is still collecting - he told me he had managed to complete a Typhoo set that very day.
Brittas reared his ugly head again for the AGM. The room we had reserved turned out to be double booked and we were squeezed into a far smaller room which was normally used as a nursery area. When President Derek Jenkins began his address, it was to an audience mostly sprawled on rubber mats and pouffes or delicately balanced on child's toys.
The meeting itself was a quiet one. There were no elections and no fireworks. Alan Stevens, bowing out after nine years as Membership Secretary, was made a life member as also was one of the Society's unsung heroes Vic Belshaw, who battled for many years to keep the old East Midlands branch going. After a delayed theatrical entrance, the Cartophilic Cup for this year was presented to Tony Walkley, a worthy rival to the double runner up (and previous winner) Gordon Howsden. In the concluding reports, Colin Fawcett from the East Anglian branch gave a stirring speech about the prospects for next year's event atThetford. And so the caravan rolls on...
|Welcome to the convention!||Cotswold branch welcome collectors.|
|The banner hanging above the town centre.||A general view of the hall.|
|A large number of spodes were available.||The were so many cards on offer that carts were necessary to get round all the tables.|
|The Cartophilic Cup - Wait a minute, that's not Gordon Howsden!||Lots of lots.|
|The auction in full swing.||Luxury seating was provided for the auction.|
|New life member Vic Belshaw||New life member Alan Stevens|
|Some of the other tables:|
|A good selection of sleeves is essential for
any collection - Rob Roy cards.
|Barry Kelly||Reference books and Notes and News CDs.|
Click here to see pictures of previous conventions.
(C) 2005 The Cartophilic Society of Great Britain Ltd.