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Chairman's Report Statistics Ray Billings
Fair & Competition Editor's Blog A Travelled Postcard
Lea Valley From JohnDevaney Wants
Six Spoons of Sugar Back in a tick Next Issue
Chairman's Report

What a wealth of talent we have at the club. We have seen three superb displays by members this year. First: Geoff Ashton on the Golden Age on L.L. cards. The cards are so well photographed and printed that on our new digital projector the results were astounding. Geoff’s knowledge and talk made this a fantastic evening. Second: Tony Harden on the Country Railway Station in the Community. Another first class evening with in depth study on how our railways used to be. Some fine and rarely seen cards. The third: It was very nice to see a cigarette card display by Graham Wright, with cards from lesser known publishers. Most of which I had never heard of. Another superb evening.

As well as displays, several members have produced books on their chosen subject. John Howes, John Cahill, Geoff Ashton, Tony Barham, Ray Billings, Hilary Fisher, and Peter Meyer has now completed fourteen on European Railway Wagons! Articles in Card Times and Picture Postcards by John Cahill, John Devaney, Geoff Ashton and Ken Townsend. Congratulations to Ken for being voted joint third for last years article on Steamers on the Thames and also to Ken and Doreen, who recently celebrated their Golden Wedding. If I have missed anyone out or if you have a special Birthday or Anniversary coming up, please let me know.

The Annual Dinner was a huge success and a big thank you to Roy and Ann for their hard work in organising it once again.
With 120 lots on offer at the auction on 9 April, over 100 sold raising a further £50 for Club funds. If you have lots for the next auction at the end of July please let me have them as soon as possible.
Happy collecting.
Stats and Winners
Coral Print
John's Jottings Part One

Hello there card pickers! Your friendly neighbourhood wacky wordsmith at your disposal!! (hopefully not in the wastepaper bin!?). I've been cordially requested by Mike to write a little piece for the newsletter so I'm happy to oblige. All being well, and there are no objections to my individualistic adjective-strewn style, I shall endeavour to make this a regular feature of the newsletter. Please excuse my excessive use of the exclamation marks!!! These are the inevitable result of reading too many comic books. I'm sure Cliff (Maddock) understands!.

I've been a member of the Reading Society for a few years now and I'm pleased to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed it. You are a very friendly and wonderfully eccentric bunch!! I'm personally grateful for your good company at this particular time, as I've been feeling rather vulnerable lately due to the sad loss of someone dear to me. Your good-humoured companionship has helped, in a small but vital way, to get me through this 'cold spell' in my life. This, above all, is what makes societies such as ours so special. I would especially like to take this opportunity to thank John Cahill (who is to trade card new issues what Harry Potter is to broomsticks!), and his wife Ann, for all the kindness and support they have shown to me over the past few difficult months. Like those elusive "Fireball XL5" cards, you are two in a trillion!!

Recently, I've been absorbed in writing-up some personal reminiscences of my reckless flicker card youth for the Cartophilic Society magazine. I hope this will be published in due course. You have been warned!? By the time this newsletter appears, I will also have had further Flicker Lane memories immortalized in the Timperley Fanzine "The Bugle". If Mike is in desperate need of a light hearted space-filler for the newsletter, he is welcome to use extracts from these if he considers they may be of general interest. Feel free Mike ---- it's the best way to be! In addition to this, I will eventually be contributing another article, or two, to the PPM magazine: although I will have to tread carefully as it seems (after the merciless critical annihilation I received for my last effort!) there are some very volatile postcard collectors out there!
Ankles Away! Another
suitor falls victim to
the Gabrielle Ray flash!

I am still considering the publication of a book/booklet on postcard glamour queen Gabrielle Ray at some stage. (Again) I would greatly appreciate any practical advice on how to get such a project off-the-ground (particularly during these prohibitive economic times!).


I personally feel that it is a shame that such a delightful Edwardian theatre actress, and immensely popular postcard model, should have no book tribute to her name. In my opinion, Gabrielle's life (what we know of it!) and her inestimable contribution to the formative art of the glamour postcard truly deserves to be highlighted in such a book. If any member can be of help, or can offer advice, please come and have a chat with me at the meetings or I can be reached at my new address at: 10, Yelverton Rd., Whitley, Reading. RG2 7SU (Tel 0118 975 2553 ). Thank you.

In the meantime, I hope to present a talk on Gabrielle Ray in the near future. (Ed: 10th September club meeting. Title should be "Big Hats and Bare Ankles" not as published). With all that eye-popping, less-is-more, Edwardian glamour on show it may be advisable for the easily excitable men folk to bring their smelling salts with them! (Ed: Harry Hepworth please note!). The enticing sight of her bare ankle has been known to bring on a feverish frenzy of desire, which could leave you foaming at the mouth!! A cold shower before this presentation is highly recommended. The womenfolk who are 'not in the mood' should also make sure their chastity belts are well locked-up before returning home with their over stimulated husbands. I take no responsibility for any hyperactive bedroom activity, which may result from prolonged exposure to Gabrielle's more risqué postcards! Men with a fetish for big hats are advised, at all costs, to keep away. The whole experience will be just too much for you!?



Raymond Donald Billings
26th October 1927 - 29th September 2008

Ray Billings died on September 29th in the Prospect Hospital in Swindon. He was buried in the Earthcott Green Memorial Woodlands on 28th October 2008 following a service in their chapel. The order of service featured his postcard of Concorde's last flight on the cover. The coffin was transported to the woodland cemetery on a cart pulled by a pony. Ray together with Pam were members of the club from October 1989 to 2008 and he was a regular attendee at the Club Fair. He was a freelance writer specialising in aviation, and contributed many articles to the Reading Natter, PPM and also published many postcards on aviation themes. Bryan Brinkley


Club Fair & Competition

All arrangements for our 18th Annual Fair are now well in hand with 160 tables booked and at least 90 dealers attending, many of whom are only seen at a limited number of venues. The cigarette and trade card side of our hobby will be well supported by a good selection of dealers from far and wide.

We also welcome entries for the Club Competition in three classes: 1. Cigarette or trade cards or both; 2. Postcards; 3. Cigarette and/or trade cards with postcards. Rules and entry forms will be available at club meetings or from Geoff Ashton. You still have 11 weeks to prepare an entry!
Editor's blog

Not much from me this time ("Hurrah" I hear from the back row) Thanks to the great efforts of our members submitting items for publication. Thank you very much all of you. Besides this newsletter being the largest so far produced, it also took longer than it should due to your editor losing most of it off his computer and having to re-type it. Thankfully I was a bit ahead of the game as Geoff has a few illustrations to add. I hope that you all enjoy this issue. If there's anything you wish to say please do not be shy. Next issue is due out on July 23rd. I already have more from John Devaney and I have held over the 'competition subjects tied into members names' additional suggestions so if you have any especially on your own name please let me have them. Mike Tubb
A much travelled and valued Postcard

A superb postcard of the Medieval Bridge spanning the Lot River at Cahors, France. The bridge was built between 1308 and 1355 and is possibly the best preserved of all French medieval fortified bridges. My brother-in-law, whilst on holiday in Cahors, promised to send me a postcard of the bridge, but forgot, so brought the card home. Again he failed to give me the card. Imagine my surprise when the card arrived in perfect condition mailed from Richmond, Virginia U.S.A.
David Gerkin
Lea Valley Christmas Fair Competition

I have been travelling to the Lea Valley club a couple of times a year over recent time. It was last year at the Christmas do that I noticed the card competition! My interest aroused I studied the entries, quite a good standard but only half a dozen bothered. There was a form to fill in by the public for their choice of 1st, 2nd and 3rd. This duly done I awaited the results, there was one very clear winner, (nearly up to Reading standards) we clapped as he was awarded the coveted trophy.

I did join the club a few years back and benefit from their bi-monthly news in the form of the 'Pasteboard Press'. On reading through I was reminded of the Christmas card competition with a first prize of £25!! Cor I thought got to have a go for that, might pay for my day out. So the day arrived, bag packed and competition entry sorted. I arrived at the desk about 10:30. I wondered if I would be allowed to enter being half an hour late, rules is rules you know!!! I was told by the jolly group at the desk, of course you can enter more the merrier. Anyway they said we don't start judging until 11 o'clock to cater for late comers! (What a good idea maybe we should do that at the Reading Fair.) The entries had improved somewhat and a similar theme to mine had been entered, blast I thought there goes my £25.

It was to my surprise that I won hands down, in fact when I went up on the stage to receive my prize I was told I had more votes than the rest put together. A warm feeling came over me. I was also told by the organiser that he had won for the last three years and had left the cup at home! It would come my way in February via a kind friend when I go to Orpington's North Kent branch meeting. One of the entrants said look out next year, now we know the standard required. Maybe the Reading bug of showing our cards and judging them is growing in the land?

John Cahill

I think that's enough for one newsletter don't you? This will teach Mike to complain about a lack of contributions! One final mention, from a child of the 60s, regarding the passing away of cult actor Patrick McGoohan in January. 'No 6' is no more but the resistance to conformity lives on. Don't knock yourself out, dad, coz "dem dry bones" are still connecting!? Love, sadly, may not be all we need but a few cards certainly help! "Be seeing you.......".

John (The Phantom Scribbler1) Devaney


Urgently require any examples of the ultra-rare Como "Supercar" 1st series, and "Fireball XL5" trade cards. Also Goodies "Dr. Who", (although you will probably need a Time Machine to find them!?). My postcard collecting themes are, not surprisingly, Gabrielle Ray but also any card featuring the moon (from McGill to fantasy to the actual moon-landing!) or fantasy/glamour generally. Other wants include a peaceful world; more respect, politeness, and compassion in modern 'what's in it for me' society; more friendship, love and smiles; less petty bureaucracy and more 'people first, profits last' diplomacy; and, last but not least, a tranquil sea of cards in which to drown our troubles! Amen to that!! I don't ask for much do I?
John (Mr Utopia) Devaney
(10, Yelverton Rd., Whitley, Reading. RG2 7SU

Mike mentioned in his newsletter 2009-1 the nostalgic attraction of the 'Best of British' magazine. I sometimes treat myself to the occasional copy if I'm 'in the mood' (cue Glen Miller!?) for a bit of a dewy-eyed, before-my-time, insight into Old Blighty and all who sailed in her!
Tel 0118 975 2553)

A Nostalgic News Snippet
As with many postcard or cigarette card sets, you may often rediscover (with a bittersweet sadness) qualities and aspects of what was once daily life, which have now vanished forever. The snippet shown comes from the November 2008 issue and features a local time slip book-signing event at Waterstones' in Reading. I'm hoping that sometime in the future I may have a similar, more glamorous, re-enactment of the Gaiety Girl Theatre contingent for my Gabrielle Ray book signing event - Anyone got a copy of the sheet music for 'The Merry Widow'? (if not it may have to be "the Timewarp" from "The Rocky Horror Show"!?)
John (Riff Raff) Devaney

My Strange Sense of Humour

Having seen various shop doors with a notice saying "Back in 5 mins" (just when I wanted to visit them) and remembering a cartoon on the same theme, I thought I could make up some relevant to their particular trade. So here is my initial list:
Back in a tick
Back in ten pins
Gone to lynch
Gone for a leak
Back in a minuette
Closed due to unexpected circumstances
Closed for a bit
Gone for a leek
Gone to launch
Ale be back soon
Gone fore tee
Please be patient
Gone to spend a penny
Closed won't be back heifer
Bryan Brinkley  

Next Issue

News, Views, Space Fillers, Wants, for the next Newsletter need to be with the Editor, Mike Tubb, by July 9th for publication on July 23rd.
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