Held 25th and 26th April. Well we planned, and announced, that we would be at Thetford, but ended up at the University of East Anglia, their Sportspark in Norwich. Despite East Anglia being our largest, and one of our earliest branches, being founded in 1964, this is actually our first trip to Norfolk, although we did come close in 1989 when we visited Peterborough. This year`s event found us in a huge hall, but we have worked tirelessly and attracted 60 dealers, and 130 tables; almost double the number of dealers who attended that event in 1989. Strangely the after-event examination found that whilst public, non member attendance was quite high, we did not have so many members attending as usual. Though to be fair, transport links to Norfolk can be challenging, even out of the beet season. Local collector and stalwart of the Branch and Society, Ted Wareham, had been on BBC Radio Norfolk with a super interview all about cards, the local branch and the forthcoming convention. We also had local support from Butterworth & Son, the Bury St. Edmunds firm that kept on packing cards with its tea, and excellent cards they are. In fact they had a stall at the convention, selling complete sets, and also packets of their tea bags, each one containing cards. The Annual General Meeting went smoothly, even the proposed £3 raise in subscription fees! This was needed to cover the continued improvements being done to the magazine, which was now produced in colour, also to the ever rising cost of post. In fact our President estimated each magazine was now costing almost £20 a member. We were heartened by the success stories read out by representatives from some of our branches, by seeing a familiar friend in the audience, our erstwhile membership secretary Mr Slaney, and by our latest publication “The Handbook of Silks” written by another former membership secretary and last year`s newly created life member Mr. Stevens, who was delighted to receive a presentation copy, the final copy yet unsold. It was so popular a reprint will be ordered. A great victory for a subject which is sometimes glossed over by collectors, though in truth silks add a lot of interest and variety to a thematic collection of any subject. Next year`s venue was announced as Walton on Thames. And 2010s, which was to be held at Southport, hosted by Yorkshire Branch. And then business closed, and the lots for the auction started to be lined up along the table.
University of East Anglia, Norwich