Cornwall Branch12th Sep 2017 by Michele Auborn
CORNWALL BRANCH 1975 – 2018
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Founded in 1975, for many years this Branch was run by collector Roy Worgan and a band of dedicated fellow enthusiasts. Before becoming Branch President Mr. Worgan had been Branch Secretary. He was still actively collecting and exhibiting cards almost until his death at the age of 94 in 2018, and in fact was dubbed “Mr.Cornwall” by the Cartophilic Society magazine when his life membership certificate was presented in 2012. However many of our readers learned only then that he was not Cornish at all, having been born in the Bristol area.
During his time the Branch met one evening a month, in Truro. The Truro City Arms appear on this woven silk by Godfrey Phillips, issued with their B.D.V. brand in about 1918. BDV actually stood for Boyd and Dibrell, Virginia, who were the American suppliers of the tobacco that Phillips used. Silks like this have always been very popular and add a lot of interest to a collection; in the 1920s and 30s they were made into cushions, smoking jackets and all manner of homewares which used to turn up at auction on a regular basis and elicit groans from collectors who spotted “the one they needed to complete their set” firmly sewn in the middle!
Cornwall Branch used to meet at Truro Royal British Legion Clubhouse and Truro British Legion itself dates back to 1916, when it was founded by the then Mayor and his Council to provide a meeting place for men returned from the war through wounds and illness. It started out in various hired small rooms, and then purchased a building of their own, the very one that Cornwall Branch used to meet in, in St Mary’s Street.
Later on, once Dave Wilesmith became Branch Secretary, the meetings were moved to the afternoons, and to every second Monday of the month. In 2017 they lost their much loved venue and had to move their meetings to the Treviscoe Institute and Community Centre, in St Austell, a town which is mentioned on this card, from the set of “Mining” by Wills. (see the gallery below for the back)
Cornwall Branch was always slightly isolated due to its great distance from most of our other Branches, especially after the West Country Branch closed in 2013. And despite advertising through various sources in the area, a lack of new members resulted in the Branch finally deciding to close.
Their final meeting took place in April 2018, just a few months after Roy Worgan’s death, when the members met for an informal lunch and were treated to an interesting display of local cards, souvenirs and photographs of past Branch Happenings.
We are pleased to learn that despite the demise of the official Branch, its members will continue to keep in touch informally and also to collect cards.
Here is a gallery of a few Cornish cards, and more will be added. We hope that they will inspire you to add a few to your collection in remembrance of this former branch.
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