|"Cigarette cards? by George!"|
by John Walton
A GIANT hall, easily the biggest we have ever used, greeted us when we arrived at the University of East Anglia in Norwich for the annual meeting and convention. As a consequence there was plenty of room to move about - but with a smaller attendance this year it often seemed less than busy - particularly on the Saturday. This was not any reflection on the Herculean efforts put in by Colin Fawcett and his colleagues from the highly successful East Anglian branch. At the end of the day when records were examined it seems that the membership attendance was significantly down while local public attendance only dipped by 15 per cent. Some branches did not appear to be represented at all - the difficulties of travelling to Norwich must be the reason. Next yearWalton-on-Thames will be within easy reach for all Home Counties members, so we should see an improvement. However,we ought to remember that the venue travels around for the good of the membership and there will be peaks and troughs.
Having said that, the hall was a nice setting, and apart from a few grumbles on Friday from people who had to pay to park their cars, those who came enjoyed it.
Society stalwart Ted Wareham had become a Radio Celebrity on the Thursday when he appeared on BBC Radio Norfolk to talk about cards, the convention and the branch. This brought in a number of hopefuls with their attic treasures.
Among the stalls this year was Robert Butterworth of Butterworth & Son, the Bury St.Edmunds firm that packs marvellous cards with its tea. Sets were on sale, together with packets of their tea bags.
Unfortunately as usual there were other “tea leaves” around.This year one was apprehended. Roy Davis caught an 80-year-old collector from Fakenham (Norfolk), who had stuffed cards into his cardigan pocket. Our well advertised policy is to prosecute and the police were called. The offender was not a Society member - “you never will be!” he was told by Robin Short. He ended up being ordered to pay Roy £173 for the stolen cards and being handed an £80 penalty by the police. Any other would-be thieves should take note of this...
It was remarkable to see over 60 dealers present spread over the two days, using a total of around 130 tables. Among the many distinguished visitors was Adrian Slaney, who some years ago was our membership secretary.
The AGM took place on the Saturday afternoon, expertly presided over by our President Derek Jenkins, who gave us a well polished address. The contents of this are printed verbatim elsewhere in this magazine. There were no sparks at the meeting when the £3 increase in subs went through unremarked after Derek pointed out that the introduction of colour and frequent postal increases meant that the magazine alone now costs £18 per member to produce and post.
One of the success stories of the year is the silks book produced with his meticulous attention to detail by former membership secretary Alan Stevens. It has now sold out and Derek presented Alan with the last copy in stock. We are now looking at reprinting it. The branch spokesmen gave us their reports, and these revealed that some are showing increases in attendances - including the East Anglian where an average of 85 now attend the Sunday meetings against 70 for Saturdays. Yorkshire branch secretary David Benson promised full support in hosting the Southport event in 2010 - he pointed out that Southport is actually closer to their Leeds HQ than Scarborough!
The Auction followed, and after some brisk bidding for a number of very desirable lots, business was concluded.
|UEA Sports Park.||The welcoming banner.|
|Reception for members and non-members.||The hall, resplendent in its bright blue floor..|
|The President gives his speech.||Alan Stevens receives a presentation copy of his silks reference book.|
|All those in favour ....||.. against ...|
|Stuart Armistead displaying a nice type card for the auction.||Mike Hadley has a full set.|
|The Cartophilic Cup, but where's Gordon?||Card thieves awaiting trial|
|Reference books and CDs.||Butterworth and Son. The only tea company which still puts cards in the packets.|
|Geoff McMillan||Cigarette Packet Collectors Club|
|Roy Davies.||A good selection of accessories, Bob Hogben.|
Click here to see pictures of previous conventions.
(C) 2008 The Cartophilic Society of Great Britain Ltd.