Welcome to the Sussex Branch Home Page
A QUICK CHAT ABOUT OUR MEETINGS
Sadly Sussex Branch is no more, but it has risen many times, and we hope that it does again ...
Hastings Branch (Cameric : 1939 - ?)
This was the first cigarette card club in Sussex. It appears on page 109 of The London Cigarette Card Company`s Cigarette Card News (March 1939 : Vol.6 No.66) in a section entitled "Around the Clubs" it states “THE CAMERIC CIGARETTE CARD CLUB. - Branch meetings are now being held at different centres throughout the country. Members wishing to attend these meetings should get in touch with the respective Branch Secretaries for details of date and place of meeting”. The list was in alphabetical order so Hastings brought up the rear, the others being Birmingham and Bournemouth.. The Branch Secretary for Hastings was given as J.B. Brown, 196 Queens Road, Hastings. The article concluded with “Members not residing in any of the above areas and wishing to hold their own branch meetings should apply to the Secretary [of the Cameric, A.E. Cherry] for details. Applications can only be considered from members living in towns.” (Not sure why this was?)
And this is all we know of the Hastings Branch, but it does say "meetings are now being held" so there must be some proof of its existence?
Sussex Branch (Cartophilic : 1975 - 1986)
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, though it seems not to have started until September 1975. In the 1980s the 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).
Sadly it closed in 1987.
Sussex Branch (Cartophilic : 1987 - 2015)
Just one year later, Sussex Branch was reopened by Granville Elliot, and he ran it successfully for 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 hosted two Cartophilic Society Annual Conventions.
The first was in 1993 at Hove Town Hall, and here is the Commemorative Card for that event. It was also a memoriam card to Miss Dorothy Bagnall, known as The Queen of Cartophily, who had died in 1991.
This Sussex Branch also hosted the 2004 Cartophilic Society Convention, at the Winter Garden in Eastbourne – in fact Gordon Brayne was made an honorary life member at that event.
This is the Commemorative Card issued for 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.
Sussex Branch (Cartophilic : 2017 - 2022)
Sussex Branch was reincarnated on May 21st 2017 thanks to Ivan Elliott - no relation to Granville) - 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.
This Sussex Branch used to meet once a month from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 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, with an inn sign of five actual bells in a domino pattern. Sussex were one of the first branches to re-open after the covid closedown, on July 25th, after sixteen months of inaction. 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.