Hants and Dorset Branch meet on a regular basis at St. Paul`s Church Hall, Culliford Crescent, Canford Heath, Poole, BH17 9DW. The hall is next to ASDA. Meetings start at 1.30 p.m. and end around 4.30 p.m. We are proud to be co-hosting the Cartophilic Convention in Salisbury in October.
This Branch started on 17 November 1976. We have only just started to research their story but we do know that in 1984 they issued a set of cards of members of their Branch. In 1985, according to the March/April 1985 edition of “Cartophilic Notes and News” (Vol.13, No.130, p.3654) their Secretary was Mr. Roy Wheeler of Wimborne Dorset. They met once a month, on Sunday afternoons at 2.30 pm, at Corfe Mullen Village Hall in Wareham Road. This was located behind the Co-Op, and in 1988 were still meeting there, though they did not meet in August, and the times were 2 and 4.30pm; however the Secretary had become Mr Chris Pozzetti. In 1997, they were one of three co-hosting branches involved with the Cartophilic Convention; the other two being Hants and Surrey, and Winchester and Solent, and all are mentioned on the most attractive commemorative card showing three ocean liners, a familiar sight in the area, from a wonderful drawing by Paul Merchant. The Branch then moved to St. Pauls Church Hall, where the monthly meetings often included local and national dealers, plus members were encouraged to bring spare cards for swapping or sale. The April 2020 meeting clashed with Easter Sunday so it was moved it to the following week - however world events intervened and that meeting was never held.
Before this Branch , there were others in the area. The earliest was :
Westbourne Park Club
In the August 1935 edition of The London Cigarette Card Company`s "Cigarette Card News" (Vol.2 No.23 p.125)
there is a small section entitled CLUBS, it says: “We [The Cameric Club] have been requested by the organisers of proposed clubs in the Birmingham and Westbourne Park districts to place them in touch with those likely to be interested. On hearing from any of our readers, we shall be pleased to forward their names to the Hon. Secretaries of the proposed organisations, and we shall also be glad to extend the same facilities to organisers of clubs in other districts, if any such care to communicate with the Editor. We further propose to devote some space monthly to "Club Notes and News," and trust to hear regularly from club secretaries in this connection.”
For some time this has been classified under London but we are now fairly certain that it was Bournemouth, read on for why...
The first mention of a Bournemouth Branch was in March 1939 ("Cigarette Card News" Vol.6, No.66, p.109), when in “Around the Clubs” it has an almost identical piece to the above “THE CAMERIC CIGARETTE CARD CLUB. - Branch meetings are now being held at different centres throughout the country. Members wishing to attend these meetings should get in touch with the respective Branch Secretaries for details of date and place of meeting. Members not residing in any of the above areas and wishing to hold their own branch meetings should apply to the Secretary [of the Cameric, A.E. Cherry] for details. Applications can only be considered from members living in towns”. The list was in alphabetical order so second up was Bournemouth (The others were Birmingham and Hastings). The Branch Secretary for Bournemouth was given as J Curtis, Holme Dene, Poole Road, Bournemouth - and Poole Road is in the area which is today called Westbourne. His full initials were E.J.B. Curtis, as which he appears in the Cartophilic Society membership roll for 1949-1950, (Cartophilic World, Vol.8, No.80, Oct.1949, inside back cover). In the July-August 1956 edition of “The Cartophilic World” (Vol. 11, No.124, p.1661) is an obituary for Mr L. G. Prince in April 1956, and it includes the information that “There was always a cheery welcome waiting for any collectors who visited his home in Bournemouth and he founded the local branch of the Cameric Club there".
The Bournemouth Branch then goes quiet, but in March 1944, in The Cartophilic Society magazine "The Bulletin" (Vol.2. No.17, p.136) it says [Cameric] “Branch Meetings at Bournemouth and Liverpool are held at regular intervals”. In 1952, four Branches were mentioned (Lancashire, Yorkshire, Bournemouth, Reading); three years later it is still going strong and an advertisement in “Cigarette Card News” (Vol.21 No.241 July/August 1955) lists five Branches including “Bournemouth”. And though in a list of Branches in the “Cameric Notes and News” Volume 10, New Series, May 1956, Bournemouth is not mentioned, this could just have been an oversight, because in “Cigarette Card News” September / December 1956 (vol.21 No.248/9) the advertisements read “Branches in Lancashire (Manchester), Yorkshire (Leeds), Birmingham, Bournemouth, Edinburgh and Reading”
Another snippet is that this Branch had its own magazine. This information appears within Cartophilic World (vol.13 no.145) where it gives a library listing that includes “The Bournemouth Cartophilic Echo”, four issues, complete, bound as one volume". This is further discussed in July/August 1985s “Cartophilic Notes and News” (Vol.13, No.132, p3693), where it says that this was the club magazine. I have never seen a copy but if anyone out there has any they would like to scan and share, it would be very exciting indeed. We may even be able to digitize them......