Dale Tremble of Southend was a member of the collectors branch and it occurred to him that it might be possible to expand it to a national club, so he placed a few adverts in late 1980/early 1981 to gauge the response. They were usually placed in the ‘Collectors Gazette’ and the earliest surviving one I have is from the February edition of 1981.
Interest was deemed sufficient to go ahead, most of the members of the ‘collectors branch’ signed up so that was disbanded and the National Scalextric Collectors Club was formally launched in January 1981 with the publication of the very first Newsletter which also included a potted history of the brand by Roger.
NSCC Newsletter #1
Swapmeets devoted purely to slot cars, which we now take for granted, were non-existent prior to the formation of the club and the NSCC introduced them in the first few months of its life. As noted in the newsletter above the very first was held at Luigi Ciaparelli’s dental surgery in Romford on March 15th, 1981. The club has organised them ever since and they have expanded greatly over the years.
The first membership list was produced in April that year, it contained just 37 names and it is quite remarkable that five people on it, Geoff Spencer, Robert Cast, Paul Whitehead, David Wells and Chris Gregory, remain members to this day.
Unfortunately, Dale decided to step down as organiser/secretary after just six months, announcing that he had sold his collection in the June issue and was seeking someone to take over. It remains unclear why he stopped, I met Dale in early 2000 and got no definitive answer but he generously provided me with all his early club archive material which forms the basis of this early part of the history. As far as I have been able to ascertain no more newsletters were produced that year although there must have been some method of communication with members as another swapmeet was held in November.
Rob Brittain took over the running of the club and restarted the newsletters from scratch in January 1982. As he began at #1 again it means that all subsequent publications are incorrectly numbered to this day.
The newsletter gradually expanded to 6 sheets of A4, mostly consisting of members wants and swaps which were a mainstay of the club’s appeal for many years until the arrival of eBay. A secondhand price guide was also introduced for people’s guidance.
The only swapmeet of that year was held in Petersfield, Hampshire:
Petersfield Swapmeet 1982
The June issue brought both good and bad news:
Good – Hornby Hobbies officially recognised the club and were willing to help promote it.
Bad – the club was in danger of running out of money, probably due to subscriptions being set too low to cover the printing and postage costs of the newsletter.
An urgent appeal was launched for members to donate £2 each to see the club out till December. This had the desired response; the financial crisis was averted and membership cost was increased to a more sensible level (£4.50 per annum!) for the following year.
A monthly prize draw was introduced in September, two entries for a pound with a top prize of a C96 white Auto Union. As the total membership was 70 people at the time the odds of a substantial win were rather good!
By the end of 1982 10 newsletters had been produced (July/August and October/November were combined issues), membership had increased to 85 and the club was properly up and running. One notable new member was Dave Yerbury of Accrington who you may know as the maker of AA Bodies.