Welcome to the London Branch Home Page
A QUICK CHAT ABOUT OUR MEETINGS
LONDON BRANCH warmly welcome you to “The Carpenters Arms” 12, Seymour Place, Marble Arch, Central London W1E 7NE – its a five minute walk from the Marble Arch Underground Station (Central Line, inside Travelcard Zone 1)
These meetings take place every month, starting at 5 pm. There is usually at least one dealer in attendance with a good stock of cards at prices to attract all collectors, and don`t forget that an excellent auction with approximately 100 lots starts at 6.1530, and includes items brought on the day by our members.
As our Branch Secretary says “…you`ll struggle to find better priced cards anywhere, let alone in The Capital City”. So if you work in London, or are visiting for the day, why not pop in? And you will quickly find that this is a very friendly Branch which welcomes new faces.
Our remaining calendar for 2023 is :
Monday the 18th of September, Thursday the 19th of October, Monday the 20th of November and Thursday the 21st of December
A LOOK IN OUR ARCHIVES
Now we are going to do the archives of London Branch a bit differently from all the rest. We are also giving precedence to a Branch which was not a Cartophilic Society Branch at all, but a Cameric Club one
Charlton Branch [Cameric] 1939 - ?
Billed as Charlton (S.E.) this appears in "Cigarette Card News" for April 1939 (Vol.6 No.67) in the section entitled "Around the Clubs", where it states "In addition to the towns mentioned last month, Branch Secretaries have been appointed for Ayr and Manchester. Charlton (S.E.) [London] is also holding meetings between the General Meetings. Members residing in these areas should get in touch with …for details of future meetings."
The organiser was given as D. Pullen of 174 Victoria Way, London, S.E.7. But despite the fact it is said to be holding meetings, it is never mentioned again. However David Pullen does appear in several magazines
London Branch [Cameric] 1964-1965
Most people believe that as soon as the Cameric Club was founded in 1935 and started meeting at the Bonnington Hotel in London on a regular basis, this was London Branch. However it was not. Nor was it started when they moved to Caxton Hall in 1939.
The truth, like the Branch, comes suddenly. In Cartophilic World May-June 1963 (Vol.15 No.165) it says, as it has always said, "Cameric Club Meetings are to be held at Caxton Hall, Westminster" and it gives a list of dates, these being "Wednesday 12th of June 1963, Tuesday 9th July 1963, and Monday 26th of August 1963". However the following issue is different, for that says "London Branch Meetings are to be held at Caxton Hall, Westminster on the following dates - Monday 26th of August 1963, and Thursday 10th of October 1963". And that must mean that the first ever London Branch meeting was on the 26th of August 1963.
There is a further piece in the same magazine, which says "Still more change. The Cameric Cigarette Card Club has decided to form a London Branch, so that their committee can devote itself to the Club`s general policy, leaving the London Branch to look after its own affairs."
The Cameric and the Cartophilic merged in 1964. And 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."
And London`s Secretary was given as F. H. Pitts.
During the 1970s we used to meet on either Mondays or Fridays, from 6 pm until 9 pm. At that time our Branch Secretary was Roy Wheeler who used to live in Pinner.
In 1980 we issued a set of “London Branch Personalities” cards. These were standard sized, with black and white images to the front, of officials and prominent collectors who attended our meetings; the backs had “London Branch Personalities” in a top oval, followed by the subject`s name and notes about their collecting specialities on the backs.
Card number one commemorated Fred Piper, who had died that year. A full list of the other cards in the set can be found at: http://www.nslists.com/80lond.htm
We stayed at Caxton Hall until March 1984; it was not our choice to leave, but it was closing at the end of the month, an event which was not entirely unexpected, as the registry office, used by so many stars and celebrities, had been closed since 1978, and the building was slowly being abandoned around us giving us the sense of meeting in an old deserted and spooky house. We were still all very sad, as a lot of us had spent many pleasant hours there with all the card events we had visited; the Cartophilic Society’s Annual General Meeting, as well as the Britannia and London Cigarette Card Company auctions. However we were heartened by the fact it would not be demolished, it would be turned into new homes, flats and offices. Little did we realise that the building would continue to moulder away behind locked and silent doors, and the conversion would not start to take place until 2006.
Anyway with the closure of the Caxton Hall, our branch meetings, and the Cartophilic Society`s own 1984 Annual General Meeting had to relocate. We chose to go to the Eccleston Hotel near Victoria Station.
The following year we celebrated our Golden Jubilee, with a meeting on the 28 September 1985, and we issued this one off commemorative card to mark the event.
You can read more at https://csgb.co.uk/cardoftheday/2023-06-21 Oddly, the card states "50 years, of the London Branch", but gives the date as "1935-1985"
1988 was the Golden Jubilee of the Cartophilic Society, to celebrate this an exhibition and lunch took place at London`s Barbican on, October 15. This included three displays of cards from 1888, 1938 and 1988. All members attending the lunch received a special souvenir, a postcard sized copy of “The Marquis of Lorne” card (as shown on this more recent cover) which at that time was the earliest dated card in existence.
At the end of 1988 we decided to move on from the Eccleston Hotel, and our January 16, 1989 meeting took place at the Victory Services Club in Seymour Street, close to Marble Arch tube station. These were much more accessible premises, and also half the rent; we celebrated our move with a sixty lot auction. You can read the story of the VSC at https://www.vsc.co.uk/about-us/our-story
In The "Card Times" Magazine for December 1994, I have unearthed an advance notice for their seasonal Christmas Meeting, which was to be held on Monday 12th of December at 5pm, in the El Alamein Room of the Victory Services - just two minutes from Marble Arch. There was a bumper auction at 6.30 pm, free dealers tables, and free Christmas Cheer. I am not sure whether this was the first ever such event, but as I work through the magazines in my library I will find out ...
1995 was the 60th anniversary of the Cartophilic Society and we decided to mark the event by issuing another set of cards; this second series of “London Branch Personalities” is now of twenty cards, and has “1935 1995” in the formerly blank bottom bar. A list of all the personalities appears at : http://www.nslists.com/95lond.htm
In 1998 we were involved with the Sixtieth Anniversary Celebrations of the Cartophilic Society. This card was given away to members at the special celebration, and what could be more fitting for a subject than Andertons Hotel, where The Society was first discussed all those years ago?
On the 29th of April, 2000 we celebrated the Millennium by hosting the Cartophilic Society AGM at Watford Leisure Centre. We had hoped to go to a location in Central London, but costs were too steep. It was also a sad day because the Society President Edward “Ted” Knight, as shown here, was retiring. He was very pleased with being the subject of this commemorative card, and that the new President, Derek Jenkins, presented him with an enlarged and framed copy.
Shortly after that we left the Victory Services Club, we settled into our latest home, a very comfortable, Victorian-themed snug, complete with Chesterfield sofas. This is called “The Carpenters Arms” and you can find it at No.12, Seymour Place, Marble Arch, Central London W1E 7NE. Its still a five minute walk from Marble Arch Underground Station (on the Central Line, and within Travelcard Zone 1) The hostelry was established in 1776, rebuilt in 1872, and is now coincidentally the HQ of another “London Branch”, that of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale – in fact, we perhaps ought to let you know they used to feature six different guest ales every month! Our branch meetings took place every month, starting at 5 pm; there was usually at least one dealer in attendance with a good stock of cards, and an excellent auction with approximately 100 lots that started at 6.15, this also included lots which had been brought along on the day by our members, and the cards were at prices to attract all purses. As our Branch Secretary said “…you`ll struggle to find better priced cards anywhere, let alone in The Capital City”.
In 2009 we again co-hosted the Cartophilic Convention with Hants and Surrey. This time even Watford was too costly, but this time things had increased far enough to push us to the border of the M25. Anyway it was the first time we had visited Surrey. We eventually decided on The Xcel Leisure Centre in Walton On Thames, and we had high hopes, in fact, our Commemorative Card, says it “…is expected to be one of the biggest ever….” This year, President Jenkins gave his final report, because he was retiring; being sworn in was his replacement, current Vice President Walton and a member of our club. A wag or two found the similarity in name of our new President and our location to be amusing. But why is it every time we bring the Society Convention to our area, we are having a Presidential changeover?
To bring you right up to date, on Monday March 16, 2020 we met as usual, but under strange and straightened circumstances. Coronavirus was taking a grip and we had only half the usual number of attendances. Our “bring and buy” auction still raised £300, but we decided that we would suspend the future meetings “for the time being”. At the time we actually said “Let us all hope it is not be long before we can return…”
But as of August 2020 we still cannot.