In a copy of Cartophilic Notes and News (September 1975) there is an article, extracted from the Brighton Evening Argus of 21 July 1975, concerning a Mr. David Bull of Lancing, who had just hosted an exhibition of cards at the recently rebuilt Hove Town Hall (it had only been officially opened in 1974). We are not certain if the photo came from the paper, but underneath this photo is a request, namely: “Will members who are interested in the formation of a SUSSEX BRANCH please communicate with [him]”. We believe this is the first mention of a Sussex Branch.
In the 1980s Sussex Branch was run by a group of collectors led by the late Gordon Brayne. Some of you may recognise this name and rightly know him for his card research and authorship skills; and in fact his excellent work on South American cards can still be borrowed from our Society Library (its item S59). That Sussex Branch unfortunately closed some years later, but it was revived one year later by Granville Elliot (who is no relation to our current secretary), and he ran it successfully for a further twelve years. During that time, meetings were taking place at the Baptist Hall in Hangleton Way, and The Neville public house in Neville Road, both of these venues being in Hove.
We wonder if any of our readers remember going to either of these places on the third Tuesday of every month and would like to share their memories?
During this time the branch also hosted the 2004 Cartophilic Society Convention, at the Winter Garden in Eastbourne – and here is a snapshot of the venue adorned with the official Society banner.
In fact Gordon Brayne was made an honorary life member at that event.
Do you still remember the “Yellow Perils”? In case you don`t, this referred to the new branch Sweatshirts, created specially for the occasion, which were much in evidence, buzzing all around the convention, helping speed up the queues of collectors trying to gain admission, running the raffle, and even valuing cards which had been brought in by locals after a “Cartophilic Roadshow” had been advertised on local media.
Reportedly some good finds turned up, along with some new collectors who attended monthly meetings, but sadly this was not enough and the branch closed in 2015.
However, on May 21st 2017 we were reincarnated. In this, thanks are due to Ivan Elliott, for it is he who brought The Society back to Sussex, with a great team and at a brand new venue. Ivan had been a Cartophilic Society member since he joined our Hants and Surrey branch, which was not long after it opened in the early 1980s. We used to meet once a month at Chailey Parish Hall, Chailey Green Road, Chailey Green, Lewes BN8 4DA. It was a very well equipped hall, with very good disabled access, situated on the A 275 road, and right next to the Five Bells public house – so keep an eye out for its inn sign, which has five actual bells in a domino pattern
Sussex were one of the first branches to return on July 25th following their 16 month enforced closure. That very rainy day saw one Sussex collector getting lost en route to the venue at South Chailey, but still around 20 people turned up – including several visitors whose own branches had not yet opened. There was brisk activity on the tables and a successful bring and buy auction. Society President, John Walton, described Sunday July 25 as “Cartophilic Freedom Day”, as Lea Valley Club was also being re-launched.
This website will entertain you for quite some while until then, there are lots of drop down menus!
Our Featured Card: Issued by R & J Hill, of Shoreditch in London and Birmingham, these cards were originally inserted in packets of “Sunripe” and “Spinet Oval” Cigarettes, and were hand coloured real photographs. This particular “Views of Interest”, is local landmark Lewes Castle