We spent many years using the Gateshead Civic Centre as a meeting place; we used to meet there on the first Thursday of every month.
Then we moved to the Dunston U.T.S. Stadium, Wellington Road, Dunston, Gateshead, NE11 9JL. There is actually a very interesting webpage about Dunston U.T.S., not only a good read, but it also includes directions on how to reach the stadium by road and public transport.
After many years of sterling service as Branch Secretary George retired. And Tony stepped up
Many of our branch members also used to be seen at the Bass Rock Quarterly Postcard, Cigarette Card and Stamp Fairs held at Durham County Hall.
A chat about our meetings
Our meetings have usually started at 6.30 pm and alternated between meetings with a visiting dealer, and what we call an ordinary meeting, which has no dealer. The latter are more of a get together, and we used the time to discuss recent meetings, plan for future ones, talk about the local collecting scene, and mull over any feedback from the last few meetings. They were also a good chance to have a bit of a chat without worrying someone is over at a dealer’s table buying the card you really wanted
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.
Before meetings were cancelled we had established a pattern of four regular dealers per year, these being:
- Sean Clover, who comes over from Rochdale, and is fairly new to the card scene over our area, though 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 may not have a huge stock, but his condition is really good and he often comes with unusual sets, including this one of Peninsular ‘Hindu Gods’ in really lovely condition, snapped up by a delighted buyer recently.
- Paul Lynch has been settling in nicely for a few years and has a regular September spot. 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. On which note, the brand NEW edition of this work, a special volume to mark the 50th Anniversary of the original publication, was supposed to be launched in time for the Cartophilic Convention in April 2020; sadly neither the publication or the Convention took place. For more details keep an eye on either his website at: https://www.collectorsworld-nottingham.com.
- Mike Heard of Derby, with his amazing stock of cards, and vast knowledge of football; you may know him 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.
- 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.