Convention 2003

Friday 25th and Saturday 26th April - READING

 Reading had hosted before, in 1990. In fact this was our first return to a non-London based venue. We had grown somewhat in the meantime and the number of dealers tables in 2003 was practically double to the 1990 one.

This year we had introduced a two tier entrance system where Society members were to enter free but non-members would pay an admittance fee. To defer some of the possible problems associated with this we had arranged for a free entry coupon to be printed as part of a feature article in the local papers; this coupon could be cut out and brought in, and be exchanged for free entry. Hundreds of locals took part in the scheme, but almost £400 of admission fees were still received from non-members at the door.

This was just one of the ways that Reading Branch Secretary Mr. Eighteen and his willing volunteers were so useful. We also advertised a valuing service and had a table specially set up to receive anyone with cards they wanted identified or valued. This was also popular, and it was most exciting to see what came out of the shopping bags and boxes Most of this was due to the media coverage that we had managed to set up. We appeared on the BBC`s Southern Region News, and on Meridian News, this latter being an extensive feature including footage of interviews with some of our prominent personalities. We are not sure if this still survives. If so please send us a link. The feature also included a newly found piece of footage dating from before the Second World War; this might have been “Calling All Cards” which you can still see on Pathe News, but without finding the video we may never know. We also appeared on both the local radio stations.

We again found relatively few members taking time out to come in to the separate hall and attend the Annual General Meeting. This might be blamed on the fact that the stalls no longer closed during the meeting, and some members preferred to continue browsing. New Councillors Messrs. Hunter and Davis were elected. The latter was to become Editor. Mr Walker was to become Company Secretary. Mr. Howsden was again voted the winner of the Cartophilic Cup, for the fourth time in five years.

Our members also voted Kellogg’s “Walking with Beasts” to be the set of the year. One other important piece of business was to raise the subscription rate. It was to be £16 as of January 2004.

2003 Convention Commemorative Card