It seems fitting that one of the first cigarette card collecting clubs was in Scotland, because the earliest cigarette card dealer price lists known is a four page list that was issued by G. A. Johnson of Netherton, Wishaw, in North Lanarkshire, Scotland.
This item is dated for 1916, but thrillingly it is Number 6. So that makes us wonder what happened to numbers 1 to 5 and when were they issued?
If you can shed any light on this, or happen to own one, do let us know.
AYR Branch : Cameric : 1939 - ??
The first mention of an Ayr Branch appears in April 1939 (CNN Vol.6, No.67, p.147) in “Around the Clubs”. This 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”. Ayr, by way of alphabetical order, was listed first, and their Secretary was given as G. Simpson Dale of High Street, Ayr. The article concluded with “These meetings are being organized to meet the requirements of country members so that they, as well as members living in or around London, can share in the benefits derived from such meetings. It is hoped that this service can be extended to all large centres throughout the country, but new members are urgently needed to provide sufficient support.” I have no proof that this Branch was ever more than a secretary, though given the date it could well have been decided to temporarily suspend it for the duration of the Second World War. However G.S. Dale appeared in the Cartophilic Society membership roll after the War was over; he moved to Wellington Chambers, Ayr in the late 1950s, but disappears in the early 1960s.
EAST OF SCOTLAND Branch: Cameric : 1955 - ??
EDINBURGH Branch : Cameric 1955 - ??
Two names for a single Branch, but it was often called their "Edinburgh Branch" in our magazine.
“The Cartophilic World” Vol. 10, No.114, p.1451 (November-December 1954) has a page and a piece detailing a recent “Hobbies Exhibition in Edinburgh”, which had spread over four days at the Waverley Market, partially in aid of the Westerlea Home for children. A Mr. McGovern had been responsible for the stand, which represented both the Cameric Club and the Cartophilic Society. He was well known to collectors, especially in Scotland, as he had arranged many exhibitions and also written frequent letters and articles in the press. The write up tells us that Mr. S.P. Smith of the Cameric had supplied the cards on seventy-five of the mounted sheets, five being Mr McGovern`s, and two friends Messrs J. Donaldson and J MacGruer had helped to man the stand, which was 40 x 5 foot, including a small section they called “the office” where personal items could be stored safely and leaflets were housed. The cards represented cartophily old and new, including two mounts of players who had appeared for Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian over the last fifty years, the brand new Chix issue of Scottish Footballers, and a poster for the new cards which were soon to start being inserted into packets of Bluebird stockings. As well as to publicise cards the intention was to canvass the attendance for their opinions as to an Edinburgh Branch of the Cameric Cigarette Card Club. The piece concludes with “Judging by the number of really interested enquirers, young and old, we may be able to achieve our ambition. The next few months will decide.”
“The Cartophilic World” Vol. 11, No.117, p.1515 (May-June 1955) tells us, as part of the editorial, that “we hear from Mr. J.D. McGovern that he has formed an East Scotland Branch of the Cameric Club, and that he will be pleased to hear from any Society members who may be interested.” The following edition, (July-August 1955)
tells us “Some more news about the Scottish Branch of the Cameric Club appeared in the June 1955 number of “Tobacco” where the following paragraphs were headed “Cigarette Card Show Success :- “An exhibition illustrating the evolution of the cigarette card since 1888 has been staged in Edinburgh by the recently formed East of Scotland Branch of the Cameric Cigarette Card Club. It proved so popular that it is to remain open for an indefinite period. Mr. Patrick Murray, president of the new Branch and a member of Edinburgh Town Council says “Public interest has been fantastic”. The exhibits represent a cash value of around £1,000. Some of the cards are now worth £15 each.” As we mentioned last month any Society members who are interested are invited to get in touch with Mr. J.D. McGovern, 15 Coltbridge Avenue , Edinburgh 12”
The London Cigarette Card Company`s “Cigarette Card News” Vol.21 No.241 (July/August 1955) contains a list of five Branches, with the Scottish one called “Edinburgh”. The editorial gives more details,and also tells us that it was actually the “East Of Scotland Branch. This must mean they had meetings, because it was common practise, rather confusingly, to give the meeting place as the Branch name. The same article goes on to mention a report in the “Scottish News” about its formation, which included a photograph of Sir Compton Mackenzie examining one of the exhibits at The Central Library in Edinburgh which had been presented by the club. (As Compton Mackenzie had appeared on a cigarette card, W.D. & H.O. Wills "Famous British Authors" large size (1937) 21/40, I have to wonder if it was that which caught his attention!) The founder of the Branch was cited as Mr. John D McGovern, who had written a series of articles for the Edinburgh Evening News. It is not stated if these were about cards in general or the forthcoming Branch, we suspect a little of both. The series had recently ended but it was suggested that it was likely to be resumed.
Mr. McGovern was also a member of the Cartophilic Society, until 1960
SCOTTISH BRANCH : Cartophilic Society : ??
We are slowly piecing this together, so lets see what we can find out - do please get in touch with your memories at email@example.com
We know that it was operated by Jim Hill, between at least 1996 and 2011. Sadly no meetings dates appear in the magazine, only a request to phone the secretary for information. Perhaps being an all over Scotland Branch rather than a regional one the distance between the members made organising meetings difficult.