Tag Archives: woking

2010 Autumn South of England Postcard Fair

25 Sep

Today I made my way to Woking, Surrey to The 2010 Autumn South of England Postcard Fair held at the Woking Leisure Centre. You may remember that I wrote about the postcard fair held at Woking earlier in the year.

Autumn 2010 South of England Postcard Fair

To be honest there are only a few reasons why I go to Woking: for a postcard fair, family history fair or to visit the Surrey History Centre. It is not that Woking is a bad place (or so it seems to me), just that there is not much else to entice me into the town, although Brookwood Cemetery is nearby.

An added bonus is that I got to travel along one of my favourite stretches of railway line, the North Downs Line, which travels along the foot of the North Downs for part of it length. In the bright sunshine the southern slopes of North Downs looked so wonderful, with their trees starting to show the first signs of their Autumn colours.

The fair itself seemed a little quiet, there were lots of stalls with postcards, cigarette cards, ephemera and various other paper collectables, but it didn’t appear to be that busy. Personally I got off to a slow start, and despite my best efforts I struggled to find anything to spend my money on.

Eventually I got lucky and in the end I came away with six postcards and one photo. Not really what I would call a successful day, but it was quite enjoyable nevertheless. I am sure you will be seeing some of these cards in the future, I know I always say that, but I really must get around to writing about some of them, after all that is the reason I am buying many of my postcards these days.

The 2010 South of England Postcard Fair, Woking, Surrey

23 May

It had been quite a while since I had been to a postcard fair at Woking Leisure Centre, in Woking, Surrey, although I did go to the leisure centre in October last year for the family history fair.

The leisure centre is a great venue for a postcard fair (and a family history fair) because it has all the facilities that you could need on site, such as a restaurant and plenty of car parking. There is also plenty of space to move around and most importantly for me it is just a short walk (less than 10 minutes) from Woking railway station.

The fair was held over two days (Friday 21st May and Saturday 22nd May), with a specialist modern postcard fair included on the Saturday as well. There were supposed to be over 75 dealers (spread over more than 110 stalls) over the whole weekend, but I didn’t count them. There were certainly more than enough to keep me busy for almost four hours, before my money ran out and I decided I needed to start heading home.

It wasn’t just postcard dealers, although were in the majority, there were dealers selling accessories (albums and pages), cigarette cards, ephemera and most surprisingly for me someone selling old Ordnance Survey maps, something I had never seen before.

So was it worth me going? I would have to say “yes”. The cost of admission was only £2 (£3 on Friday) and with such a large number of dealers it was inevitable that I would be able to add to my collection. I came away with eight postcards, several of which were incredible bargains, and one Ordnance Survey map (a 6” to the mile, 1912 edition of Henfield, Sussex).

There was however on item which I would have loved to have bought, a professional and probably unique photo of the shop in Hailsham which once belonged to my GEERING ancestors. The photo was a lot later than when my ancestors were there (probably by 60 or 70 years so) and the shop front had changed quite a bit since their time, so I couldn’t really justify the £30 asking price!

The fair was organised by Specialist Postcard & Paper Fairs, their website has details of their upcoming fairs, the next one being at Twickenham on the 16th and 17th July 2010. Time to start saving my pennies!

… and whilst we are on the subject, where do I get my indecisiveness from?

22 May

Why do I find it so hard to make a decision? Is it something I inherited from one of my ancestors? If so, which one?

All of these questions crossed my mind as I tried to decide what I was going to do today. In truth I had known that I had to make a decision for several days, but had been putting it off.

My two options for today were walking another section of the South Downs Way or going to the postcard fair at Woking, Surrey. There were of course other options, such as staying at home and doing nothing, but I had at least narrowed it down to these two possibilities.

I could always toss a coin for it, but the logical side of me thinks that I should be able to make the decision without using luck. The problem is that although I can see all the advantages and disadvantages for each of the options, it still doesn’t help me make up my mind either way.

So it makes me wonder, did my ancestors have the any difficultly making decisions? If I had a time machine would I be able to go back and find my ancestors sitting on the fence?

Their decisions probably wouldn’t have been quite so trivial as mine, but is indecisiveness something that gets passed down through the generations, or something you learn from those around you?

WSFHS Open Day and Family History Fair

31 Oct

Today the West Surrey Family History Society (WSFHS) held it’s annual open day and family history fair at Woking Leisure Centre in the town of Woking, Surrey.

This was the first time I had been to the WSFHS fair, but not my first visit to Woking Leisure Centre, because it is also the venue of a postcard fair, although it has been several years since I last went there.

The leisure centre is a short walk (about 15 minutes) from Woking railway station, although it looked like I was the only one who was making my way there on foot. I arrived not long after the doors opened and the large hall soon began to fill up.

There was quite a variety of stalls, well over half of them were family or local history societies and organisations, including the Society of Genealogists and the Guild of One Name Studies. There were a couple of online data providers present, Findmypast.com and The Genealogist and several offline data providers selling microfiche, printed material and CDs, like the Parish Register Transcription Society.

First of all I checked out the stock of the three postcard dealers who were there. I struck gold on the first one, and came away with six postcards all of which were priced at £2.50 each, real bargains. After that the other two seemed over-priced, but there wasn’t really anything else that caught my eye, except for one that I already have in my collection which was marked up at £25. I was glad I already had a copy, which cost me £15 several years ago.

There wasn’t really anything or anyone special that I wanted see. I should have prepared some questions for some of the people on the various society stands, but I hadn’t. Instead I wandered around checking to see what resources they had on offer, to see if there was anything that might help with my research. I could quite easily filled several bookshelves with the various books and pamphlets that were on sale, but I was good and kept my wallet in my pocket most of the time.

I did come away with three CDs, which will hopefully help my research in the future. From the Parish Register Transcription Society I got the parish registers for Cowfold, Sussex (quite a few relations in there) and the Eastern Sussex Settlement Certificates & Bonds and Parish Apprentices, which will hopefully contain several of my East Sussex relations. The WSFHS had a special offer on the third edition of their Surrey Marriages CD, and although I already have the second edition I couldn’t resist the temptation of a half price CD.

There was much that I missed out on at the fair, I didn’t take advantage of the cafe, make use of the research room, or attend any of the talks. Next time I will be better prepared with lists of questions to ask the various stalls, I should have done this time, but it was just down to laziness on my part.

I certainly looked like the fair was well attended, it was starting to get a little too crowded for my liking, but I am sure the stall holders were loving it. I shall definitely go again next year if I get the chance.

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