North Romford Community Centre Clockhouse Lane, Collier Row, near Romford, RM5 3QT
For the third year in succession the Club’s April Convention was held at the North Romford Community Centre in Collier Row and for the second year running the Club hired both the main hall and the adjoining side room in order to accommodate all the table space required.
As usual the event was very well supported by dealers including a number from overseas. Unfortunately Simon Aiken was unable to be present this year but his position was ably filled by Brian Hayes, who laid out a wide and very impressive selection of worldwide shells as well as those from his native South Africa, including Many of the rarer cowries from those shores.
However, as well as the dealers’ wares it was a delight to see a substantial non-commercial display exhibited by Club member Bob Williams, featuring fossil shells and their modern-day equivalents. Congratulations to Bob on such an impressive and thought-provoking display into which I know he invested considerable efforts. I encourage others to follow his example at future Club events.*
Another novel alternative to dealers’ displays was Graham Saunders’ discussion table, billed as a Turrid Workshop. It is plain for all to see that, when our Club meets, we do not need any prompting to talk (and talk and talk) about shells but this was an intriguing development which I think should be continued in some way.
The Club’s auction plays a central role in the Convention and this year’s was the first to be organised by our new ‘Auction Manager’ John Fisher. John had assembled a full and varied set of lots (from rare cowries to a condiment set!) and, acting as auctioneer as well, oversaw some occasionally heated bidding. As in previous auctions many of the lots were donations being sold to raise funds for the Club – our warm thanks go to the donors and to John for his organisational efforts.
My personal thanks are extended, as ever, to all those who helped in many ways to ensure that the day was a success. For a number of reasons the attendance was not as high as in previous years but for those present an enjoyable, fascinating and sociable time was had by all.
* Unfortunately, following the day Bob was unable to relocate a box of specimens, primarily Buccinids, both fossil and recent. If anyone has accidentally inherited such a box and has been wondering where it rightly belongs, please contact me and I will arrange for its return.
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