Welcome to the Kent Card Club Home Page
A QUICK CHAT ABOUT OUR MEETINGS
After the announcement of the end for Kent in December 2022, we are delighted to hear that it will continue, under new management, namely Mike Heard, who most of us know.
We re-opened on Thursday the 2nd of February 2023, and will keep to the same times, 4.30 to 8.30 p.m., as well as at the same venue, Crofton Halls, Crofton Lane, Orpington BR6 8PR.
If you are travelling, its right next to the Orpington Main Line Railway Station, and you can get a bus or train to the centre of Bromley, or even Central London which is only 25 minutes away. Alternatively, if coming by car, there is free on-site parking. This is an excellent venue, a modern complex with good lighting, offering three halls for hire, and it hosts several other collectors fairs through the year, always proof of good facilities and lighting!
A LOOK INTO OUR ARCHIVES
We are just beginning again, so watch this space
There have been several other clubs, in Kent, so let us trace their story...
Kent Branch; 1983 – ????
According to an advertisement, “The first meeting of the Kent Branch of the Cartophilic Society will be at “The Bull, Gabriels Hill, in Maidstone, on Wednesday the 16th of February 1983”. Thirteen members came, and the next meeting was announced as March the 2nd, with regular meetings would continue as the second Wednesday of every month from April. At that time the secretary was Mr J Curtis. Sadly the inn is no longer in existence.
We are not quite sure whether this Branch was disbanded or it became transformed into one of the branches mentioned below.
East Kent Branch ; 1980 – 2000
This was based in Canterbury, and meetings were held at The Social Center, in Sturrey, on the fourth Tuesday of every month starting at 6.50. Card World magazine (Nov/Dec 2022 Vol.46 No.6) tells us it was founded by George Rogers.
It supposedly relocated in the late 1980s to “The Chaucer Club” in Canterbury, but Card Times Magazine for December 1984 still gives the Sturrey address, but a meeting date of November 22nd, which was a Thursday.
We know that it was at the Chaucer Club in the year 2000, but at that time they were meeting on the last Wednesday in the month.
North Kent Card Club; 1984? – 2000?
Now you know me and maths, never the best of friends, but I have just been shown a report in the Card Times magazine dated February 2000, and that says "In his Christmas message, club organiser Bob Hogben reminded North Kent members that it is now 16 years since their first Christmas get-together, then at the Chelsfield Village Hall. On that occasion more than 80 turned up to toast the club`s future." So I make that 1984. If you disagree, just say and I will alter.
Whilst I do not have any other mention of Chelsfield yet, the piece continues by saying "Now the club meets at the Crofton Halls next to Orpington Rail Station, and attracts an average of 200 members each month. Bob also sends out 800 monthly newsletters. This Christmas event attracted more than 25 dealers, and there was excellent Christmas fare laid on by the pleasant catering staff. North Kent is truly one of the most welcoming clubs in the home counties, Club nights are usually the first Thursday of each month, starting at 6pm".
Now at some time we know that they changed to the first Thursday of alternate months from 6 – 10 pm. And of course that the exception to this was in December, when they held their Christmas Event, because that was on a Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. This included a Christmas raffle, though I have not uncovered when that first took place.
Kent Card Club
After the death of Bob Hogben, Dave Peet and Tony Atkins decided to keep things going, and decided to combine the two clubs, using the North Kent venue of Crofton Halls as it was more accessible. Meetings were held on the first Thursday of every month, but not in January or August. They ran on Winter and Summer time – “Winter” were 4.30 - 8.30 pm, while “Summer” were 6 - 10pm. Entry cost £2 per person, and included a strip of raffle tickets, the prize being drawn at 6.30; anyone arriving after that paid a reduced admission price of £1. There were usually about forty tables in the hall, including cigarette cards, trade cards, postcards, stamps, and postal history, plus packets and tins from time to time - and an auction at 6.45.
Their Christmas parties were legendary and always very well attended, around eighty-five members through the door from 10 a.m. onwards and usually with a good queue outside earlier; the seasonal raffle, at 2pm, had the first prize as a £100 Marks and Spencer’s hamper.
On the 6th of February 2020 they had a special event celebrating the 85th birthday (two days after) of one of the original club members, and a good friend of Bob Hogben, Dave Peet who was still a regular attender. He was treated to a giant card which all the members signed, and a birthday cake.
Card World magazine (Nov/Dec 2022 Vol.46 No.6) brought sad news for this version of the Kent Card Club was set to close after forty years. The last event was to be the Christmas Fair on the 10th of December 2022. The reasons were many, falling attendance from collectors, and from dealers, and monetary losses involved with that. The final blow was the ever rising cost of renting the Hall, which rose to £90 an hour, and was set to go higher in 2023. The Christmas Fair was designed to go out with a bang, so there were no admission fees and no table rents for the dealers, plus free refreshments and snacks, and at 1 pm the buffet was free as well. However there was no raffle.