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Formed in 1977 by 10 people with an interest in postcards and collecting, the first meeting was held on 22nd November at the Crest Furniture Showrooms in the Mid Kent Shopping Centre, Allington [a mile from the centre of Maidstone] belonging to Chris Easton, who was instantly voted on as Chairman! The 10 founder members were:

Chris Easton, Eileen Easton, Eric Baldock, Kay Baldock, Irene Hales, Tom Hales, Kim Hales, Audrey Hodge, John Dann and Karen Arthurs. Irene was the first Secretary, her husband Tom the Treasurer, and Eric the News Editor.

Meetings started every third Tuesday of the month with an annual subscription of £1 to cover costs, and within 3 months the attendance had risen to 29 members. Very soon the membership had outgrown the Crest Showrooms, and the club moved to a room in the nearby Allington Castle on 16th May 1978. At the meeting, Bernard Mundel (who travelled up from Hythe to each meeting) presented a silver salver that was "to be awarded annually to the winner of a simple competition for members.

Click here for a list of the winners of the Bernard Mundel Trophy

In the early days of the club, topics for discussion and display included cards by Young and Cooper (and the first checklist was compiled by Tom Hales), publishers in the Maidstone area, Bamforth Song Cards, Hop Picking, and Salmon Artists.

By June 1978, 46 members had joined the club, and speakers from all parts of the UK came to talk on their chosen subject. A club dinner was first organised for the 14th November 1978 at the Thomas Wyatt in London Road, and 33 members assembled for "a most enjoyable dinner." After the dinner, Irene Hales was the first to be presented with the Bernard Mundel Trophy for her winning entry ' The Hop Story of Kent.' Later in the year, this same entry by Irene won 2nd prize in the Politics and Social History section of BIPEX (the forerunner of the Picture Postcard Show in London). At the end of the first year, the club had grown to 62 members, and was now urgently looking for a new home, as the rooms at the Castle were not large enough!

On 23rd April 1979, the club moved to it's current home, St Paul's Hall in Boxley Road, and meetings were moved to the third Monday of each month, where the club continued to flourish, the membership at one point reaching more than 80! Interestingly, around this time, Terry Hougham (a dealer from Canterbury) was offering to purchase Young and Copper Hop Picking cards for £2 each! I wonder what the equivalent price would be these days! Founder member Eric Baldock is still associated with the club, and at one time or another since 1977, has held most of the major posts in the club! Click here for a list of the officers since 1977.

On the formation of other clubs such as the South East Kent Postcard Club (based in Canterbury) in 1980, some members left to join those clubs as they were closer to their homes. Since then, membership has been fairly constant at about 45-50 members, with 20-25 regularly coming along to the monthly meetings, and all of the regular events such as the auction and fairs are a permanent part of the club's year. Visits to and from other postcard and philatelic clubs are arranged regularly, with Ashford, Canterbury and New Romney clubs most popular.

The Club Postcard came into being in 1988, when a view of the Archbishops Palace and All Saints Church photographed by Arthur Monk, was converted into a postcard. A few years ago, current Vice-Chairman Tony Davis updated the postcard, and we now have 4 views of the Maidstone of today - including the famous Shaun the Sheep!

In recognition of her services to the club, Irene Hales was made an Honorary Member in 1989. Bernard Mundel was similarly recognised a few years later. Sadly, both Irene and Bernard are no longer with us, but their great deeds in helping the club to prosper are remembered. Since then other committee members have also been made Life Members, including Eric Baldock, Kay Baldock, Kim Frazer, John Dann, Karen Arthurs, Ron Kemp, Tony Davis, Janice Brunning and Rosemary Dellar.

After the 25th Anniversary in 2002, the founder members were all made life members of the club, and presented with certificates.

25th Anniversary Celebrations - 21st October 2002

As the club was formed in November 1977 by 10 local people interested in postcards (see the History of the club for further details), it seemed appropriate to celebrate our 25th Anniversary as near as possible to that date. In the end, Monday 21st October 2002 was chosen, and here is a report of the evening's entertainment's!

What a splendid evening! The meeting was a celebration of 25 years since the formation of the club, and it was fitting that the talk was given by Chris Easton, who was the first Chairman, and one of the instigators of the club. Chris gave recognition to Tom Hales for jointly starting the first postcard club in Kent, and reminisced on the first few meetings being held in his carpet showroom. He also congratulated the club on 25 years, and the committee for continuing to organise evenings that interested the members and kept the club running.

The title of Chris’ talk was "Chris Easton Entertains", and this was achieved most successfully. He showed family PC’s including one of the family carpet business with Chris himself standing outside their shop. Also on display were items depicting the history of corsets, and some of his research into the VC’s which were awarded during WW1. He is also very keen on the then and now scenes of France, and frequently takes trips south to take more photographs. His final set of cards related to glamour around the first World War, and he described how the soldiers would have pinned up the PC’s of the models in the trenches.

The founder members of the club were made Honorary Life Members, and Chairman Tony Davis presented certificates signifying the award to (from left to right) Eric Baldock, Chris Easton, Kay Frazer, Irene Hales (previous Life Member) and John Dann.

Following Chris’ presentation, nibbles and wine were enjoyed, and a specially made iced birthday cake in the form of a postcard, was carefully divided into pieces for consumption, and distributed to other members who were not present. Many thanks to all who were involved in the organisation of the event this evening, which was well received by all.

Principle Officers of the Club since 1977

Date              Chairman                   Secretary                    Treasurer

1977            Chris Easton             Irene Hales               Tom Hales

1978            Chris Easton             Irene Hales               Tom Hales

1979            Chris Easton             Irene Hales               Tom Hales

1980            Chris Easton             Irene Hales               Tom Hales

1981            Chris Easton             Irene Hales               Tom Hales

1982            Chris Easton             Irene Hales               Eric Baldock

1983            Chris Easton             Irene Hales               Eric Baldock

1984            Chris Easton             Irene Hales               Eric Baldock

1985            John Taylor               Irene Hales               Eric Baldock

1986            John Taylor               Irene Hales               Eric Baldock

1987            John Taylor               Irene Hales               Eric Baldock

1988            Eric Baldock              Irene Hales               Arthur Monk

1989            Eric Baldock              Phillipa Hoad             Arthur Monk

1990            Eric Baldock              Phillipa Hoad             Arthur Monk

1991            Eric Baldock              Phillipa Hoad             Arthur Monk

1992            Tony Davis               Kath Knowles             Arthur Monk

1993            Tony Davis               Kath Knowles             Derek Knowles       

1994            Tony Davis               Kath Knowles             Derek Knowles

1995            Tony Davis               Kath Knowles             Derek Knowles

1996            Tony Davis               Ron Kemp                  Derek Knowles

1997            Tony Davis               Ron Kemp                  Derek Knowles

1998            Tony Davis               Ron Kemp                  Derek Knowles

1999            Tony Davis               Ron Kemp                  Derek Knowles       

2000            Tony Davis               Ron Kemp                  Derek Knowles

2001            Tony Davis               Ron Kemp                  Derek Knowles

2002            Tony Davis               Ron Kemp                  Derek Knowles

2003            Tony Davis               Ron Kemp                  Derek Knowles

2004            Tony Davis               Ron Kemp                  Derek Knowles

2005            Tony Davis               Roger Vidler               Derek Knowles

2006            Tony Davis               Roger Vidler               Derek Knowles

2007            Tony Davis               Roger Vidler               Mike Thompson

2008            Tony Davis               Roger Vidler               Janice Brunning

2009            Tony Davis               K&S Hursey                Janice Brunning

2010            Tony Davis               K&S Hursey                Janice Brunning

2011            Tony Davis               Myrtle Newsom           Ron Kemp

2012            Tony Davis               Myrtle Newsom           Ron Kemp

2013            Tony Davis               Myrtle Newsom           Ron Kemp

2014            Julie Lester              Myrtle Newsom           Ron Kemp

2015            Julie Lester              Myrtle Newsom           Ron Kemp

2016            Eric Baldock             Myrtle Newsom           Ron Kemp

2017            Eric Baldock             Janice Brunning           Ron Kemp

2018            Eric Baldock             Janice Brunning           Ron Kemp

2019            Eric Baldock             Janice Brunning           Ron Kemp

2020            Eric Baldock             Ron Kemp                  Richard Wheeler

2021            Eric Baldock             Ron Kemp                  Richard Wheeler

2022            Eric Baldock             Ron Kemp                  Richard Wheeler

2023            Eric Baldock             Ron Kemp                  Richard Wheeler

Maidstone Postcard Club - History

MPC - Page 4 of 4


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