2011 Cartophilic Convention in Stratford on Avon.

To collect or not to collect, that is a question.  

By Sam Whiting

This year's convention was, of course, held in Stratford; the home of Shakespeare, centuries of culture and history, and, for two sunny days in April, several hundred Cartophilists. We had the perfect weekend for it; especially with an international literary festival outside in the streets and with all those inside watching the largest televised event in history! However, whilst William and Catherine may have kept many WAGs preoccupied, it was clear to see that the hobby's dedicated following was not going to be distracted from the task in hand. John Walton has already covered most aspects of the Convention but I would comment that there were some fantastic Auction Lots this year; one of the highlights being a previously un-recorded Wills Actress card! The bidding was heated as, indeed, was the room and I think the sauna-like warmth was made worse by the fact that there was a swimming pool in full view to cool off in. However, whilst Stratford was ready for the annual Golf Challenge, I'm not sure about the idea of an annual Cartophilic swimming gala!

Having checked into a B&B, with the motley crew from Yorkshire, I was fortunate enough to see the RSC at the Shakespeare Theatre. The play was first class but, at risk of being a name dropper, I was lucky enough to meet Sir Patrick Stewart in the lift to our seats. With hindsight, I suppose saying "engage" as I closed the lift doors was optimistic as far as conversation starters go but I take solace knowing the girl I was with was about to say "Nanu Nanu" to "that man from Star Wars"! Anyway, we passed some pleasantries and it was only when Mindy and I were in our seats that I realised I could have plugged the Society - he may well have been interested given how many trade cards he has featured on. (Shazbat! Mork calling Orson: Earthling card obsession reaching epidemic proportions! - ET Editor) It was great to see that there were members of the younger generation, with their parents, present. Speaking to them, it was nice to know that their attitude to collecting is not as dismissive or negative as introspection would lead many of us to believe. This was confirmed earlier this month, at my local branch meeting, where I was outbid on a few sets by a very enthusiastic 13 year old! Hopefully, the upcoming additions to Wikipedia will help spread the word to potential collectors of all age groups. In conclusion, I think Stratford represented yet another successful year in what is, no doubt, still a very popular and fulfilling hobby.

Stratford leisure centre.   The CSGB banner.
Sam on duty   The hall
A military band welcomed the CSGB ...   ... whilst morris dancers leapt with joy at the number of cards on offer.
The AGM and auction.
The President gives his speech.   Peter Wright receives his life memberhip certificate.
Auction lots with lifeguard.   Studying the auction list.
Cartophilic moments.
Selling reference books is hungry work.   And it was!


Click here to see pictures of previous conventions.

(C) 2011 The Cartophilic Society of Great Britain Ltd.