Lea Valley

Current status: Active

Welcome to the Lea Valley Card Club Home Page 


Lea Valley Card Club meet at North Weald Village Hall, 40 High Rd, North Weald Bassett, Epping CM16 6BU. 

Our meetings are on the fourth Sunday of every other month, and we start at 9 am. Then at 1 pm we hold an auction. 

At our AGM it was agreed to remove our former annual membership fee, and just to charge both members and visitors £2 per meeting.

Our 2024 calendar is : 

Sunday 28th January Sunday 28th July
Sunday 24th March Sunday 22th September
Sunday 2nd June Sunday 24th November

Note that our September meeting is our Open Meeting, when we invite any collectors living near enough to come along and find out more about what we do. 


Lea Valley Club were founded in 1980 as an Affiliated Branch of The Cartophilic Society, and our first Annual General Meeting took place in October 1981.

Bit of a gap in our memory banks then, but according to the "Card Times" magazine  of December 1994 our meetings were taking place monthly at Latton Bush Centre in Harlow. The dates given there were November 27th and December 18th. Now the November meeting was, as now, the fourth Sunday, but the December was the third Sunday. This turned out to be because the following "fourth Sunday" was Christmas Day.

1995 saw us still at Latton Bush. In the advert we have there was no August meeting, and from the September we changed to Saturday meetings, the dates given being September 23, October 21, November 25 and December 18. That was our Christmas event, complete with leading dealers and a non-postal auction of 100+ lots. Refreshments were also available and there was a large free car park.

At this time the Secretary was Martin Brody, also known as "Autolycus".  

There is a little bit of confusion about what happened next. According to an advertisement in the "Card Times" Magazine, their next meeting was at a new venue, The Rhodes Centre, South Road, Bishops Stortford. This was intended to be on Sunday, October 12, 1997, but re-scheduled, to November 30th 1997. All enquiries were to go to Alan Hutchison, though Martin Brody was very much still involved with the club. However the October 1997 edition of Card Times magazine tells us this was an Open Day, a larger event, which could explain the change of venue.  

Lea Valley Oct 97

Now when this was originally written I said that "it looks like the first meeting at their current venue of North Weald Village Hall was in October 1998", but we have now been sent this advert, which says "Please note new venue" as of the September 1998 meeting. 

North Weald is technically in Essex but within easy reach of East London, and only about 20 miles from Central London. 

The Village Hall has a large main hall with a capacity of 150 head, plus a licensed bar and committee room and a large car park directly behind.  

Now if you were wondering why our featured card is John Player`s "R.A.F. Badges", well North Weald was an R.A.F. Station; actually it was opened in 1916/17, during the First World War and used by the Royal Flying Corps. Then in the Second World War it was a Battle of Britain fighter base, involved in the Defence of London and sending its Hawker Hurricanes to Dunkirk. At its height it covered over 400 acres.There was also a very famous incident there towards the end of the Battle of Britain, when the leading aeroplane in a trio could not free its wheels, and had to land with them still inside the aeroplane. This was accomplished, but when the second in the group tried to take evasive action he put too much stress on its undercarriage and ended up crashing quite close to the first, and the third aeroplane applied too much brake pressure and flipped up on to its nose. The leading pilot, whose quick thinking almost certainly saved him, was none other than Jim Mollison, the husband of Amy Johnson.

After the Second World War, until its closure in the 1960s, RAF jets were based there, and even today it is used by many historic aircraft. Look out as you travel and you may spot the village sign, of a Hurricane.

Lea Valley was the second of our branches and clubs to re-open after the covid closedown, with a meeting on July 25th, 2021. In fact Society President, John Walton, described Sunday July 25 as “Cartophilic Freedom Day”, as Sussex was also being re-launched on that day. 

I have no idea when this below event actually was but it may be vital info and so it had better stay until I find it! Any ideas? 

The thirty-eighth Annual General Meeting of the Lea Valley Cigarette Card Club was held on 27 October at North Weald Village Hall. We were delighted to see a good attendance from our members, and a few visitors. We intend to continue with the club, to attract more dealers, and to hold a regular monthly auction with approximately 100 lots, but we need the support of local collectors, especially ones we do not yet know, or ones who do not only collect cards but would consider adding a few to another thematic collection. We would also definitely welcome new, and younger members to take us forward. If any of this sounds like you, please do get in touch, or come along to a future meeting. We would also be interested in hearing from any dealers who would like to pay us a visit with their stock. This might be a great opportunity for a more Northerly dealer to show their stock to a new audience.