The sunniest Sunday afternoon in late August saw 20 members of the Reading & District Cigarette Card & Postcard Club and their guests cram on board the “Caversham Princess” for a leisurely cruise upstream from Caversham Bridge to the landing stage at Mapledurham House and mill. Mapledurham estate and manor was bought by Richard Blount in 1490, and it has remained with his descendants ever since. The present manor house was completed in 1612. During the Civil War the estate was sequestered and plundered by the Roundheads but returned to the rightful family owners around 1651. The present owner began the restoration of the house in 1960 and work is still ongoing.
The estate, house, church and watermill were used to shoot the film “The Eagles Have Landed”, the revenue from the filming enabled the start of the restoration of the watermill, which is the only working mill on the Thames today. The miller gave a talk about the history of the mill, the working parts and future restoration plans. The mill also has the first very impressive turbine to generate electricity on the Thames, preceding Windsor Castle’s two turbines by more than 6 months, and the outlay should be recovered within the first eight years of a predicted 20 years life. The grounds were immaculate, and the glorious weather , the bird sounds, and peacefulness of the surroundings turned the clock back many decades. On the return trip many waterfowls, insects, and plants were seen on the river, while the appearance of large riverside Edwardian houses enabled us to catch a glimpse of former times, it was a marvellous day out to remember.
August 7th’s meeting at Charvil Village Hall was a quarterly Club Auction, and a nice assortment of postcards sold well for the member of the public who entered them. The other lots mainly cigarette and trade cards were submitted by club members.
September 11th at Charvil Village Hall was a talk by the President Ken Hussey on WW1 postcards depicting action and trench scenes together with behind the front line scenes, nursing and visits by King George Vth. These cards were approved and censored views by The War Office, and were published by The Daily Mail to keep the public back in the UK with a sanitised, morale boosting picture of the War and our soldiers.
The end of September was an informal evening when the members were able to buy and sell cards between themselves and from guest postcard dealer, Mike Collier from Witney.
The meeting on October 9th will be at Charvil Village Hall, 7-45pm, when Richard Howarth, Club Chairman, will give a presentation on “Shipping and all that”.
While the meeting on October 23rd at the Jubilee Hall, Charvil, will be on “Members Recent Finds” , always an interesting and popular evening.
Members of the public are welcome to come along to any meeting, or offer cigarette cards and vintage postcards for sale in the quarterly Auctions, please ring 0118-9695155, or visit the club website readingpostcards.com