Hants & Dorset (17 November 1976)

Current status: Active

Welcome to the Hants & Dorset Home Page


We recently moved to The Fryers Field Pavilion, Bond Avenue, West Moors, Ferndown, Dorset BH22 OLJ. We also changed our meeting times. and they are now from 12.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m, giving collectors an extra hour. Best of all admission is still free. 

At most of our meetings you will find cigarette cards but also trade cards, football cards, stickers, postcards, and printed ephemera - dating from the 1900s (and sometimes earlier) up to the present day. Something for everyone! 

Our 2024 calendar is :

  • June 16th
  • August 11th
  • October 20th
  • December 8th

Refreshments are also available, tea, coffee. 


The Hants and Dorset Branch of the Cartophilic Society started on 17 November 1976, or at least that was the date of an inaugural meeting of six members of the Cartophilic Society at the home of Barry Pliskin, who was serving as the Secretary. And here is their first ever mention in print – extracted from the Cartophilic Notes and News Vol.7, No.75, May/June 1977

Hants and Dorset first mention CNN

Mr. Pliskin collected film star cards, mostly Foreign, by which he meant the issuers, not the personalities shown thereon. He also wrote several articles about the “Talkie”, or "Record" Tobacco Company, whose issues were not cards, but records, much like the forerunner of the podcast, short interviews by prominent personalities, and which could be played at your leisure on your gramophone. He remained as Secretary until the end of 1978.

In Cartophilic Notes and News Vol.8, No.85, January/February 1979 it tells us that the Secretary was now C.M.H. Kerslake of Ferndown, Dorset, and that the 1979 meetings were to be held on the first Saturday of every other month, commencing at 2.30 p.m. To find out where, you had to phone the Secretary on the number given. I am fairly sure that this was the Secretary’s own home, plus selected “days out” to other members of that Branch, just as it had been with Mr. Pliskin.

In Cartophilic Notes and News Vol.8, No.92, March/April 1980,  there is an article by Mr. Karslake, who reveals himself to be called Charles. This tells his life story, starting with the first cards he remembered owning (John Player “Struggles for Existence”) and those owned by his older brother (Wills “Military Motors” and “Allied Army Leaders”). His cards came from adult relatives and there was much schoolboy swapping, though he says that “Player “Miniatures” … was collected mainly from my grandmother’s chauffeur during a summer holiday at Danny Park in Sussex”. By 1933 he, himself, was a smoker, Wills and Players, and collected all the current sets thereafter. In 1937 he had begun a correspondence with Mr. B.C. Ribbons of Norwich, who sent out approvals. He tells of three sets that he still (in 1980) had “in the wrappings” these were : American Tobacco Co. Collection of Flag Series (Very Rare) Unlisted - Muratti Cigarette Co 2 Complete (Extra Large) Actresses (Very Rare) Unlisted - Messouri 2 Complete cards (Rare) Calendar Backs Unlisted. As well as approvals from Norwich there were dozens of lists every week from other collectors wishing to exchange cards.

War intervened, but after the war, he regained contact with Mr Ribbons, and his shop in Victoria Street. For the next twenty years, things were static, and then the Hants and Dorset Branch was launched, about a dozen collectors, and once more there was a great deal of swapping going on.  Barry Pliskin, it is revealed, could not continue as Secretary, and eventually Mr Karslake, who was at that time the treasurer, agreed to step in until time or circumstance found someone else for the Secretaryship. He much enjoyed being Secretary, but the one thing he regretted was that in his official capacity, when he wrote to other branches asking about liaison, or about including them in his swapping loop, none replied. 

In May/June 1981, Cartophilic Notes and News (Vol.9, No.92) tells us that the meetings have moved, they are now on the second Saturday of every other month, but the venue still not listed

In Cartophilic Notes and News Vol.9 No.101, July/August 1981 Mr. Karslake pays tribute to the Chairman of the Branch, Mr. R. L. Torrens, “one of the stalwarts of this area [who] was particularly active when local cartophilists produced their own publication “The Bournemouth Cartophilic Echo”. Unfortunately Mr Karslake did not know him in those days, he only met him when the new Branch was founded, but he wished that it had been sooner, and would miss him sadly. The same piece tells that the Branch had ten new members, mostly from the Southampton area, all of whom had been invited to the next meeting on the 13th of June.

Mr. Karslake continued as Secretary until the beginning of 1982, then I believe he became the Chairman.  Cartophilic Notes and News Vol.10, No.108, March 1982 (page 3086), sees the Secretary listed as Roy H. Wheeler, of Wimborne in Dorset BH21 3LX. Roy Wheeler was a long term Cartophilic Councillor, who had recently moved in a southerly direction from his home in Pinner in Middlesex, and he had been the Society Secretary and Librarian for many years. The practise of contacting the secretary for the venue remained until Cartophilic Notes and News Vol.11, No.122, November/December 1983, where there was a 1984 Branch Calendar containing a declared venue of Corfe Mullen Village Hall, Wareham Road, Corfe Mullen in Dorset. This hall was located directly behind the Co-Op, and we know that the current Secretary Mike Hughes actually found this venue. 

In November 1984 the Branch issued a set of twenty cards, entitled “Hants & Surrey Branch Personalities”. This was a limited edition of 200 sets, each set contained a twenty-first card which was signed by Roy Wheeler (Hon Secretary) and by C. Karslake (Chairman), both of whom were featured in the set, and carried the official number of that particular set. I don`t have a set but if anyone does and would like to scan some cards front and back please do - and email to webmaster@card-world.co.uk 

In 1997, the Branch were one of three co-hosting the Cartophilic Convention, held at the Guildhall in Southampton on Saturday April 26th ; the other two branches were Hants and Surrey and Winchester and Solent. 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. 

Southampton 1987

In the 1990s it was decided not to have Branch details in every issue of the Cartophilic Notes and News, which makes things rather sketchy for me. Normal service was resumed for July/August 2004 (Vol 28, No.4) so at that time Hants and Dorset were still meeting at  Corfe Mullen Village Hall from 2 p.m. till 4.30 p.m. and the secretary had become Mr Chris Pozzetti of Bournemouth. 

At some time after that the Branch moved to St. Pauls Church Hall, (next to ASDA), in Canford Heath, Poole.  This venue was another great find, thanks to the current Secretary Mike Hughes. Monthly meetings ran from 1.30 – 4.30 pm and often included local and national dealers, plus they also encouraged members to bring spare cards for disposal. Things were going along swimmingly, until they realised their 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. 

After we were again allowed to meet safely there were some changes. The first of these was that we moved to the slightly smaller West Moors Memorial Hall, in Station Road, near Ferndown in Dorset, at the beginning of 2022. It was also decided that meetings would be on a quarterly basis, mainly because we were not sure of the numbers who would attend the first few meetings, and how long it would take for us to return to normal. The meetings here ran from 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. 

More recently we have moved again, to The Fryers Field Pavilion, but have stayed within the boundaries of West Moors. 



Before this Branch , there were two others in the area - which have a separate page because they are rather wordy.

Both were part of the Cameric Cigarette Card Club, and the earliest was Westbourne Park club which was first mentioned in August 1935. The other was Bournemouth Branch, which started in March 1939 and is last heard of in  “Cigarette Card News” September / December 1956 (vol.21 No.248/9) where the advertisements read “Branches in Lancashire (Manchester), Yorkshire (Leeds), Birmingham, Bournemouth, Edinburgh and Reading” 

However, by the time that the Cameric and Cartophilic Society merged, Bournemouth had gone. And we know that because in the first ever edition of "Cartophilic Notes and News", January/February 1965, Volume 1, Number 1, there was the following announcement : 

BRANCHES. Members who were not previously members of the Cameric Club are, of course, now entitled to attend any Branch Meeting of the Cameric and are assured a very hearty welcome. If you live anywhere near London, Leeds, Manchester or Birmingham, do go along and introduce yourself. You will find them a friendly crowd. Spend an enjoyable evening and acquire a few cards for your collection." 

So where did Bournemouth go.... and when ?