North East

Current status: Active

Welcome to the North East Branch Home Page 


BREAKING NEWS : There is a slight change to our schedule as this meeting, on June 1st, was to be an Ordinary, non dealer meeting, but we have great pleasure in announcing that John Vardon will now be attending. John Vardon has paid us a few visits and looks forward to coming along with his lovely wife. They come all the way over from Cumbria, a fair hike for him, but he always has good sales and enjoys chatting about cards with our visitors, which makes it worth his while. I said to John Vardon after a recent meeting that we have never had a disappointed dealer. This is probably because although we are a small club, we do concentrate on buying during the evening, and also we do not have several dealers in at the same time to share a collectors funds, nor members selling their own cards in competition with the dealer. Things that are all nice to know. Other dealers have shown an interest in coming, but we do not want to change things at the moment as the four seems to work for us.

Our meetings start at  6.30 pm at the Dunston U.T.S., Wellington Road, Dunston, Gateshead, NE11 9JL.- and this link in blue to their own website is not only a good read, it also includes useful directions on how to reach the stadium by road and public transport. They alternate between "Dealer Meetings" - shown in bold on our calendar, where we play host to a visiting dealer - and what we call "Ordinary Meetings", which have no dealer so allow lots of time to get together, talk about the local collecting scene, mull over any feedback from the last few meetings, and have a bit of a chat without worrying someone else was over at the dealer’s table buying the card you really wanted...

Our 2023 meeting dates and dealers are :

  • July 13th : Sean Clover 

  • August: No Meeting.         

  • September 7th : Mike Heard 

  • October 5th : Ordinary Meeting

  • November 9th : Paul Lynch

  • December: No Meeting.  


  • JULY 13TH - Sean Clover comes over from Rochdale, you may also know him from the BIG Durham Postcard, Cigarette Card and Stamp Fair. He took the slot vacated by John Shaw, who was cutting back on his travelling. Sean is always expanding his stock, and the condition of his cards is really good - plus he often comes with unusual sets.

  • SEPTEMBER 7TH - Mike Heard of Derby, with his amazing stock of cards, and vast knowledge of football, who you may know from the Durham Postcard, Cigarette Card and Stamp Fair as well, but you may not know he has been attending our meetings for almost 30 years! He was definitely our first “regular” dealer, and we are very delighted to hear he would be prepared to come more than once a year if we got stuck for any reason

  • NOVEMBER 9TH - Paul Lynch has been settling in nicely for a few years. You probably know him from Nottingham Albums and Cards; he is a dealer in all kinds of collectable cards, vintage reference books and intriguing ephemera, and he is also producer of the new generation of the Murray Card Values books. For more details keep an eye on here, or check out his website at:

We have had a number of dealers stalling out with us over the years who are always pleased to come back; but then it has always been our aim to make them happy when they come to us. All of them travel a fair distance, and it is heartening to hear our branch is held in such good regard by them, also good that our visiting collectors make it worth their while to come along, and keep coming back.


The beginning of the North East Branch was actually suggested by Edwin Hicks - in an article entitled “Lets Branch Out” published in Cartophilic Notes and News Vol.6 No.71 (September-October 1976) by Edwin Hicks. He started by saying that every week he recieved many enquiries about or Society, and he channeled them to the appropriate Branch. However he was currently ".concerned with an area that sorely needs a Branch, to wit, the area round the rivers Tyne and Tees - or "Geordieland". Collectors from these parts even come to Leeds ... and that is a long long way [so] A plan has been devised to serve them."  The plan was to use his stand at the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Flea Market, at the Guildhall, on the 6th of October, 1976, as a rallying point with the intention of attracting all local card collectors to come along and sign up to a new local Branch of the Cartophilic Society. He had even convinced the organizers of that event to help by passing the details on to the local media. And he had also got a local man, Mr. Douglas F Eyes, involved as the contact point for membership. He admitted that at this first stage the gathering of names was all that was required, but he also said that if that exercise worked he would try Sheffield, Leicester, and the Staffordshire area around Newcastle-under-Lyme.

His seed did indeed bear fruit and in the May/June 1977 edition of Cartophilic Notes and News magazine, (Vol. 7, No.77), it states : "A meeting took place in March which led to the formation of the North East Cigarette Card Club. It is hoped that this will inevitably become the North East branch of the Society. With nine enthusiasts present, and one person apology for absence, double figures were reached at the inauguration.
Your Editor
[.Douglas F. Eyles] had convened the get-together and for his sins was elected Chairman, Bob Jackson, with a haste that in any other circumstances would be most suspicious, volunteered to be Treasurer, "The Doctor" [actually D. H. Walwyn-James] was seen to be making a few notes and became, ipso facto, Secretary.
A simple code of conduct was agreed on for future meetings and all who were present felt that this was the start of something worth-while.
A further meeting took place the next month when fifteen attended - including a non-collector. The Club Chairman gave a short talk on the issues of F. & J. Smith and displayed some of the rarer cards from this firm. Then followed some hours of chatting, swopping, bartering, etc, all of which augurs well for the future.
All enthusiasts, either residing in or visiting these parts are cordially invited to get in touch with the club. The officers are in the `phone book and the Secretary`s address is shown on page 2176." 
 [It was c/o Newcastle-upon-Tyne Polytechnic]

I have been informed that the first meeting was held in someone`s own home. 

 I regret that I have not got all of volume 7 so my next one is volume 8 no.85, January-February 1979, and there is no mention of the North East Cigarette Card Club. However in the next edition, volume 8 number 86, March-April 1979, it is back - with a new Secretary, a Mrs. O. G. Walker of Whitley Bay. Her first name turns out to be Odette. The next edition is also missing from my collection as whilst it is no.87 so is the one after that and I only have the July-August not the May-June. However in July-August it is listed as North East Branch, so there is a possibility that there was a full explanation in May-June  - and one day I will be able to add it! I do know that the meetings are listed as being on the last Friday of each month in the Durant Hall, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, and commence at 7.30 pm. Mrs. Walker last appears as Secretary in April 1981 (vol.9 no.101), she is remembered as being a lovely lady, but sadly she had to stop coming to the club when we changed venues to Gateshead, I think. We have always had a wide spread membership. Odette lived at Whitley Bay, which us a good distance yon side of Newcastle. This has been our Achilles Heel. Every move and change has resulted in picking up new members, but losing a few at the same time.

The next edition of Cartophilic Notes and News (vol. 9 no.102) May-June 1981) has a new Secretary, namely L. Whitehouse of Middlesborough. This was Len Whitehouse, and he stopped coming when we changed the venue of our meetings to the Committee Room at Gateshead Central Library, Caedmon Hall, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead, because we also changed to the last Friday of the month at 7 pm. This did not suit him because the local coin and medal club, which interested him more, was therefore the same night as our meetings. This change was reported in Cartophilic Notes and News November-December 1983 (vol.11 no.122) Mr. Whitehouse was quite successful with his coins, and had a couple of local venues at which he sold them, including a unit in a collectors shop, and this eventually grew big enough to allow him to buy a lock up shop in Middlesborough and set up as a proper small business. We believe he is still alive?

Then in November-December 1984 (vol.12 no.128) the time of our meetings alters again, becoming earlier, at 6.30 pm. However our magazine shows that Mr. Whitehouse stays as Secretary until July-August 1986 (vol.14 no.138), so maybe he kept the post but did not attend the meetings. Anyway after that time he is replaced by Mr. J. D. Taylor of Roker, whose first name was John, who is there until at least March-April 1989 (vol.16 no.154). Then I have a bit of a gap in my collection. However in January-February 1996 (vol.21 no.195) the Secretary is given as Mr. M. Murphy of Waldridge Village, whose first name was Mick. John Taylor then became Treasurer. However no branch meeting dates or venues were given at that time which makes tracing the story rather difficult.

We know that in 2000 they were meeting at the Civic Centre in Gateshead on the first Thursday of the month. Apparently getting this room was arranged by Tom Stewart, and he got it for free, which was a great boon to the club finances.  It seems that they remained at that venue for some years, and also kept the same day and time. And in July-August 2004 (vol.28, no.4) Tom Stewart, revealed to be of Gateshead, is listed as the Secretary.

By 2007 George Hoare had become Secretary, until he retired some time after 2015, and Tony Coddington stepped into the chair. The meetings moved to Dunston U.T.S. Stadium a short while after and are still meeting there.