The home of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain

Kent Card Club

Kent Card Club

Secretary: Tony Atkins
Telephone: 01622 820263

You may not know this, but some years ago there were actually two card collecting clubs within the County of Kent. These were “East Kent Branch”, run by our current secretary, based in Canterbury and meeting at the Chaucer Club – and “North Kent Cigarette Card Club”, run by Bob Hogben, based in Orpington and meeting at Crofton Halls. 

After the death of Bob Hogben, our current secretary decided to combine the two clubs into one single “Kent” club. Owing to its more accessible location, we decided to use the North Kent venue – the full address being : 
Crofton Halls, Crofton Lane, Orpington BR6 8PR
– after all, if you were coming by public transport, the Halls were right next to the Orpington Main Line Railway Station; or you could get a bus or train to the centre of Bromley, or Central London – only 25 minutes away; or if travelling in by car, there was free on-site parking. Plus, the building itself was a modern complex with good lighting, offering three halls for hire. And it hosted several other collectors fairs through the year, always proof of good facilities and lighting!

We imagined we were well settled here when the current restrictions on meetings and gatherings took hold. We are not sure when life will return to normal, but one day we are certain it will. So, as a reminder of the “good old days” to those who came, and to whet the appetite of any future attendees and members, here is…

The story of a typical meeting

Our meetings were held on the first Thursday of every month, save January or August when we did not meet. We used to run on Winter and Summer time, mainly because a number of our members had been having to leave before the end in order to catch their trains – “Winter” meetings started at 4.30 pm, and closed at 8.30 pm, while “Summer” were later, starting at 6pm and ending at about 10pm.

Entry cost £2 per person, which included a strip of raffle tickets. The raffle happened at 6.30. And any visitors arriving after that had taken place was charged a reduced admission price of £1.

We usually had approximately 40 tables in the hall, and our dealers came with a varied assortment of cigarette cards, trade cards, postcards, stamps, and postal history. We have even had packets and tins from time to time. We also had an auction which started at 6.45, and many of our members brought prospective auction lots with them on the day.

🎅HO! HO! HO! Our 2019 Christmas special on December 14th was very well attended, around 85 members through the door from 10am, with a good queue outside earlier, and it’s fair to say all in attendance, dealers and buyers, had an enjoyable time and some were not quite finished when the doors were closing at 4pm. A host of dealers, including nationals like John Shaw brought some superb cards, and there was much interest in the seasonal raffle, at 2pm, in which the first prize was a £100 Marks and Spencer’s hamper. On which note, we are delighted to announce this year’s lucky ticket holder was someone we all know, namely Colin!  

And now we must close our album temporarily… 

To all our current dealers, many thanks for all your support throughout 2019 and the beginning of 2020, for bringing such wonderful cards, and in some cases for coming such a long way to see us. We are glad that we were able to start letting you come into the hall to start setting up from 3.30 pm.

To our officials, helpers and visitors, may we take this chance to say how much we really appreciated you all. Visitors may not realise that  all our “staff” give their time and effort for free, not just during the meetings but in the other many hours of preparation and packing up.

And although Tony was unbelievably delighted to win “The Member of The Year Trophy” at the Convention in Nottingham in 2019, our “behind the scenes” members also deserve to be included in the success.

Our thoughts are with all our collecting friends right now. We hope you enjoyed spending some of your time with us and that your memories will not only fill your dreaming hours but get you through, and become reality again in the very near future. 

Here are a couple of quotes from visitors

Who went to Orpington on Saturday? It really is a brilliant fair, lots of dealers and very well attended. Bob and the committee should be very proud. If you haven’t been, you really should make an effort to get there, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

I heard from some guys that went down to Orpington and got some great cards. I think what struck me was the variety of gum and tobacco issues people bought, they are certainly getting a nice mix of dealers by the looks!

[Our featured card at the top of this page is number 15 from Ogdens “Poultry Alphabet” –  “O” for Orpington, where these still popular chickens were first bred. In fact the original Black Orpington was bred in 1886 by William Cook]

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