The home of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain

Cotswolds Branch

Cotswolds Branch

Secretary: Jim Lightstone
Telephone: 01242 528587

🌟 welcome to YOUR local branch πŸŒŸ

May we wish that all our card friends  will soon be out and about in this area again, enjoying visiting fairs and markets and taking in the wonderful country air. Sadly this but a dream right now, but we will one day wake to resume our collecting. At that time, we look forward to seeing you at

The Cotswold Area Civil Service Sports and Social Club,
Tewkesbury Road, Uckington, Cheltenham GL51 9SL.

We have called this home for many years, its a bright, modern building, which you may not realise has been on this site for over fifty years, and it also has the bonus of free, ample, car parking.

You can find a very useful map Here


Our Branch meetings used to take place on the third Wednesday of every month – starting at 7pm. They had a visiting dealer; John Shaw was a frequent regular, but we also had visits from Mike Towersey and Keith Johnson. This year, we had planned to return to hosting both a Spring and an Autumn Rally, on Sundays lasting from 10am till 4pm. These were due in June and September. Would it not be wonderful if these were able to take place! Watch this page for the first signs of breaking news. And hope, as always, for the best.

To whet your appetite, and keep you going through your isolation, here is a brief taste of an All Day Fair. 

Early morning, just before the doors open, inside dealers looking at their stands, making sure the most exciting goods are visible, and waiting for the rush of collectors old and new, the non-collectors who come, and look for a friendly face to ask about their relative’s album of cards, and maybe go home with information, or, even better, a glimmer of thought that it might be good to perhaps try and make up that set or two, or buy some other sets to add…. Later in the day, another room slowly fills, it has seen traffic all day, people examining cards in plastic leaves, some have stopped to write notes in their books, others have brought their whole collection on tablets, no not stone ones, but small electronic devices, and they race their fingers over the screens, searching. Some, newcomers, ask where others got their auction lists, the answer is universal, you get them simply by applying to the secretary. Some cards seem to have a steady stream of people looking at them, others see the same viewer, back and forth they come, trying not to look too anxious, debating whether to turn the wallet upside down so the number is less visible or the back is on show, that’s not so bright, not so enticing. The room is almost full, some are happy with the front seat, others hover at the back. A figure steps up, starts the bidding with a tap of his gavel. They’re off, and it’s every bit as exciting as any horse race. Some will win, others go home disappointed, and others pay more than they had hoped and more than they will tell their families. And a few will secretly go home and slide their new purchase in their album late that night without telling a soul. They will swear later, when their other half looks over their shoulder, that card, oh it’s always been there, you must not have noticed…..

Now in case you didn’t know, we also host a Christmas event. Our latest was on the 11 December 2019. We have a visiting dealer, this time’s being Brian and Maureen who came all the way over the Severn for us with their wonderful Cardiff Collectables. And we also have a buffet, which is excellent – but as we all know, it has to be really great food to part a collector from an odds box….  


Our Branch History … all began on the 17th of March, 1983, at the rather grand Carlton Hotel in Cheltenham, when three local collectors met to discuss the formation of a little card club. Things moved swiftly – and by 1986 we were rallying out at Swindon Village Hall in Cheltenham, with several Cartophilic Society luminaries attending!

At that time we charged 20p to attend  meetings and our annual subscriptions were Β£1; things have changed a little, and we now charge Β£1.50 as a meeting attendance fee, with annual subscriptions at Β£5, but we still feel this is great value!

And, by the way, we are delighted to report that two of our founder members are still very active in the hobby – one has designed the Official Cartophilic Society Convention Card for many years, and the other is currently our Branch Chairman! Three cheers for Geoff and Dave.

Speaking of the Cartophilic Convention… did you know Cotswolds Branch has hosted three of them – the 1995 event in Cheltenham Town Hall, and the 2007 and 2015 events, both held in Worcester. We have not been able to track down photos of the first or last event – so if you have any you would like to show here do get in touch? But to see the other event, just click the blue type below to go back to 2007:

[Our featured card is The Bell, Tewkesbury, card number 7 from Hignett “Celebrated Old Inns”, it`s right opposite Tewkesbury Abbey, and was built before Henry VIII was King. It is not the original building, having been rebuilt in 1696 after a fire. But it ably represents all of the lovely half-timbered buildings that still remain throughout the Cotswolds]

and many thanks to our Branch Sec. for all the additional info!

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