Countdown underway to world’s biggest postcard fair

There’s only a few days to go until the start of the world’s biggest postcard fair – at rural Shepton Mallet in Somerset.

Barrie Rollinson’s FestivalofCards 2017 is the largest and most-eagerly anticipated event for collectors of the year – certainly in Britain, and once again it is attracting a good number of overseas dealers.

The festival takes place at the Bath and West Showground on Friday February 24 and Saturday 25. Opening times are 10am-6pm on the first day and 9.30am-4pm on day two.

More than 130 dealers will be attending.

Check out Barrie’s website at www.festivalofcards.com

PPM will be there at stall P13, so why not come over and say hello. But the office will also be manned as usual during the show.

There will be a full report in the April PPM, including details of a change in month for the festival in 2018.

The Kempton show ‘will go on’

The new organiser of Kempton Park Fair has apologised to any buyers who turned up for his cancelled show.

Tristan Brittain had to call off what would have been his first event on February 4 because he couldn’t get enough dealers to make the event at the racecourse viable.

A major problem was that the date clashed with the long-established nearly month fair at Haywards Heath – which attracts a number of dealers who might otherwise have gone to Kempton.

The fair was advertised in the February PPM – which was distributed from January 24 onwards – but this March issue was printed three-weeks after February 4.

Tristan said: “I’ll have to put this one down to experience. I do have the two other dates for the year booked for June 18 and December 16 so I’m determined to try to make Kempton Park work.

“Obviously the dealers knew the fair was cancelled. My concern was any collectors who went along not knowing it was off. I can only imagine how annoying that was.

“But I had no way of letting everyone know. How could I? I would have no idea of who was planning to attend or I gladly would have telephoned every one of them myself.

“All I can say is that I’m really sorry. I’ll try to put on a fair to be proud of in the summer and before Christmas. It won’t be for the lack of trying.”

Kempton Fair cancelled next month

We have few details – but organiser Tristan Brittain has cancelled next month’s fair at Kempton Park.

The event was due to be held on Saturday February 4th, clashing with the long-established and monthly Haywards Heath fair, which attracts many of the dealers who might otherwise have attended Kempton.

Tristan said he had failed to get adequate dealer support to proceed with the event, although he hoped to go ahead with two other show later this year.

We will post more details when we have them.

Horray for Hollywood!

PPM gets ready for the annual Oscars ceremony in the February issue with a look at Hollywood and some of the stars who have graced the awards over the years.

Other features in next month’s issue include the menace posed by rats to the fighting forces of both sides in trench life during World War One; a look at the famous WW1 song If You Were The Only Girl In The World;  Sir Thomas Lipton’s tea empire; Romanov Russia; and The Tuppenny Tube on London’s old Central Line.

The price remains £3.75 plus £1.20 post/packing (total £4.95) but Picture Postcard Monthly remains just £3 an issue, including postage, for subscribers (£36 a year).

The February issue will be available from January 25th. Why not order your copy now?

Judges – the Marmite postcards?

Do you love them – or loathe them?

Cards published by Fred Judge of Hastings are not everyone’s cup of tea – and there are at least three tens of thousands of them, from mountain streams and abbey ruins to super street scenes.

One big fan is John Eastlake, who has just retired after around 15 years as Judges voluntary archivist.

Find out his views and see some of his favourite Judges cards after years seeking out new numbers both for his personal and also for the company collection.

There’s no doubt which side of the ‘Marmite’ side of the fence which John stands on.

And there’s a special five-page report in the January edition of Picture Postcard Monthly, available now.

East of England Fair – special offers

Organiser Stan Woodhouse is greatly encouraged by response to his new East of England Paper Fair at St Ives, Cambridgeshire on March 11.

He has more than 20 dealers already signed up, and others who haven’t paid yet but who are pencilled in.

“I am expecting to have 35 to 40 dealers on the day, so for a first fair I’m quite pleased. But I would like to remind any dealers who are thinking of coming that there is a discount for those who have paid me by February 1.

“All the wall tables have been taken, but the cost of a double-centre table is £75 (£65 with discount) or a single £40 (£35.)

“Also all customers will get the chance to win one of two £50 prizes of postcards or accessories on the day. There’s a £2 on the door entry, and I will be inviting all customers to let me have their personal contact details. Those who agree will go into the draw.

“There will be two draws during the event and anyone whose name is picked out can buy £50 worth of cards or whatever from any dealer and I will go and pay that dealer for them there and then.”

Big auction of British postcards Down Under in 2017

Top Australian auction house mossgreen is staging a major two-day auction next year which includes British postcards.

The auction will be at mossgreen’s Melbourne headquarters on February 27/28, and also features cards from Australia and around the world.

And, if it’s anything approaching the quality of last year’s event, some very special cards will go under the hammer. The postcards will be on the second dale of the auction.

Head of Philately & Numismatics Gary Watson said: “The large range of topographicals and real photo postcards run the gamut from street scenes to country views and from family snap-shots to the RMS Titanic leaving Southampton.

“Subjects include advertising highlighted by a wonderful group of ‘Niven’ cards, artists, aviation, commemorations, disasters, glamour, hotels, humour, military, mining, railways. shipping, sports and many more.

“Numerous cards also have postal history interest, and there are plenty of larger lots to complement the outstanding singles.”

Full-colour catalogues are available on request. Email gary.watson@mossgreen.com.au or visit the mossgreen website here.

News from around the fairs

There’s plenty of activity around the fairs scene at present – as the build-up starts to the two-day postcard fest at Shepton Mallet next year.

Festival of Cards ’17 organiser Barrie Rollinson has a full house for the massive hall at the Bath & West Showground in Somerset for the country’s biggest fair on February 24/25.

But there’s plenty of action to come before then.

It was Clive Baker’s Canterbury fair today and there’s another big event at Kempton Park next Saturday (Dec 17), with the Royal National Hotel, London, the following day.

There’s no shortage of big fairs after Christmas either – with Wickham (near, Fareham, Hampshire) on December 27 and both Tolworth and Gloucester on December 28.

The Wickham and Kempton fairs will be the last to be organised by David Mouser, who has been putting on events for 42 years. David will still be on the postcard scene, but is handing over the reigns of his two shows to Tristan Brittain.

Postcard award to Bernard

Donald McGill guru Bernard Crossley has become the first winner of the Conrad Graham award for postcard research and writing.

Bernard was presented with his trophy and cheque at the most-recent Bloomsbury Fair in London by ex-PPM editor Brian Lund, who is administering the award with his wife Mary.

Brian said: “Bernard’s excellent biography of McGill, coupled with his work in helping to set up the Isle of Wight museum dedicated to the comic artist, and his assistance to the University of Kent in a McGill project, made him a worthy recipient.”

Two other winners – Mark Routh and Antony Edmonds – have also been chosen for awards by Brian and Mary, who were tasked by Conrad Graham’s executors with selecting ten trophy recipients after the book and postcard enthusiast left £1,000 in his will for the purpose.

The Lunds would welcome your nominations for the remaining seven recipients. Email reflections@postcardcollecting.co.uk.

In the meantime, PPM readers are also invited to make their suggestions for Best Article of the Year for 2016. Editor Mark Wingham has asked Brian and Mary Lund to administer the award to ensure independence. John Claydon won the 2015 trophy for his ‘Warhorse’ feature.

Postcards for Pudsey

Reflections of a Bygone Age is again supporting the BBC’s annual ‘Children in Need’ appeal – continuing charity work it began in 1988.

Brian and Mary Lund are raising money from the publication of special souvenir postcards as well as admission money to the major far in Nottingham which they are organising on November 5, and a raffle at that event.

Many of the postcards have been designed by noted artists, including Rosalind Wicks, Brian Partridge, former Beano illustrator Duncan Scott, Terry Irvine and Michael O’Brien and Robert Besley – who has designed this year’s card. Two cards also featured the work of renowned photographer Martin Parr. Other designs have been adapted from old postcards, after the work of McGill, Nash and Attwell.

The 2016 postcard (which is being featured in the November PPM) is based on a 1916 design by Adrienne Nash and costs 50p (plus postage) or is available at fairs. Cards from some previous years are still available, also at 50p, and a pack of 18 different costs £7.50 inc. postage.

If you can’t buy the cards at a postcard fair, you can obtain them direct from Reflections of a Bygone Age, 15 Debdale Lane, Keyworth, Nottingham, 0115 937 4079 or email reflections@postcardcollecting.co.uk

Brian and Mary have already raised more than £26,000 for Children in Need. Reflections of a Bygone Age produce the Picture Postcard Annual, which is being published later this month.