Please note : NATIONAL MEETING CANCELLED and information on our future meetings in respect of Covid-19.
At this moment in time all our regular meetings are postponed until further notice. Meetings are under continual review by the organisers and will respond to the changing landscape as necessary
We have now cancelled the 2020 NATIONAL MEETING due to be held in Burton on Trent in September. We have been liaising with the Town Hall venue throughout the lockdown period and monitoring the subsequent restrictions in place after. Whilst they are now able to open the hall for events there is a maximum limit of 30 in place. We would also need to manage social distancing of at least 2 metres throughout and not be allowed any cash transactions or any food or drinks. We would also have to monitor controlled access to the toilet facilities throughout the event. As such, it’s left us with no option but to cancel for this year. At this time we are unable to say when any of our next local area meetings can be held either. Keep your eye on this space as we keep monitoring the situation.
There should be a new “shop” available in the next newsletter and we are currently exploring the best way to run auctions and older mat sales, look out for details here and in the newsletter.
As soon as we have further information we will update this page.
Take care and stay safe.
The Society organises several meetings across the country each year, along with it’s main “National Meeting” which usually takes place at a different venue each September. Any member can organise a local meeting and the Society will support you by providing any brand new and recent issues it has received along with a selection of mats to be used in an auction. If you are interested in organising and holding a local meeting the contact us via the contacts form. We will get back to you and liaise with you about your needs and how we can support you.
So what happens at a meeting ? Well, usually the organiser will find a suitable venue, often a pub or a club that has enough room for c30-50 members along with space to spread “new issue” mats out on tables. Members usually arrive well before the start time and a signing-in list is maintained with members signing in as soon as they arrive. Nearly every member brings a bag of spare mats that they don’t want and a “drop-out” area is created where members just put all these mats. Anyone can delve through this growing pile anytime during the meeting and freely take anything they want – it’s a great way for newcomers to build up a collection.
Lots of intense swapping takes place between members and if you find yourself with a mat that other members are looking for you’ll soon find yourself with lots of swap offers. Members chat and swap and talk all things beermats throughout the meeting…..it’s all very informal.
The only formal parts are when someone announces the new issues are ready and members go up and pick through all the mats they want – at this stage, usually due to the extremely limited numbers of each copy, members can have 1 of each of the mats. Members go and choose in the order they signed in, the earliest members getting the first pick – often useful if there’s only a very small number of some of the mats !! Once every signed in member has had their turn, if there’s any left any member wanting extra copies can go and get some more.
Once the new issues has finished, someone will run an auction of the older and rarer mats that have been supplied by the Society. There’s usually a list available giving details of the mats and their respective catalogue number. Members get the opportunity to openly bid for any mat that they want – some go for pence……some go for pounds. More often than not there’s a raffle ticket sale ongoing throughout the day, usually beer related prizes with all monies going to a local charity of the venue.
All in all, meetings are well worth going to – you’ll be made very welcome as a new member and if you let the organiser know you’re coming they’ll probably give you lots of mats that remain at the end of the drop-out. You’ll meet lots of like-minded collectors, local contacts and often friends for life.
Forthcoming meetings :