Find a local comp club
I’ll never forget my first experience of a compers’ meeting – it was about 15 years ago at a fabulous event known as ‘Big Brum’, organised by Birmingham comp club, Kompers Korner. Over 100 compers would gather annually to exchange entry forms, chat and enter fun competitions – with a massive charity raffle to end the day. I went alone to the first Big Brum and chatted to several other compers – we had a great time, it was a relief for me to find people who finally understood the strange hobby I’d taken up!
Not long afterwards I joined the Compers News chat forum and went to a meeting round the corner from my house in Nottingham – there were about 20 of us there, including comping legend Brita Bevis. I met a group of girls that day who remain some of my closest mates. Meeting compers in real life is inspiring and fun, and it certainly helps you to win prizes when you work as a team! Soon I was invited to join the Toton comp club (hosted at ‘Britain’s Luckiest Granny‘s house!), started a North Notts comp club (with Compers News Editor Steve), and attended Notts about Comping in the city centre. Now I’m a member of Brighton Breezy down on the South Coast, meeting with likeminded wine-loving compers every three weeks.
These days the bigger comping days are few and far between – London Competitors Club has quarterly meetings for members and guests, and you can still find events occasionally in Manchester, Yorkshire and the South-West (read my write up on ComperCon 2017, the most recent!). Local comp clubs are still popular, but it can be difficult to find up-to-date information on meeting venues and times. I’ve contacted several comp clubs in order to get a current list together – if you’d like me to include details of your club or comping event, get in touch via my Contact page.
If you’d like to attend a comp club but don’t see a local one listed here, there may be a local Facebook comping group you could join on this post – you might find a few members are interested in starting a club in the same location!
I also have my own Facebook comping club Lucky Learners – a group where new and experienced compers from round the UK (and indeed the world!) can chat and share tips and comps.
All comp clubs work differently. A few smaller clubs are held in member’s houses on rotation, but most will be in a pub or café. They can be as often as fortnightly, or organised on a whim every 6 months! It’s rare for members to make it to every meeting, and new members or guests are usually welcome. Comp club meetings are relaxed and informal, but there may be rotas set at the beginning of the year to decide who’s responsible for bringing raffle prizes. Here’s what generally happens:
- Wins – members take turns to say what they’ve won since the last meeting
- Prize draws – members may bring magazines (with entry forms in), ‘quallies’ (promotional products where a receipt is required for entry) or stamped postcards to be given away in prize draws
- Entry forms – members bring along any entry forms, free magazines and newspapers or photocopies of current competitions, often bundled into sets ready to be distributed between club members
- Quizzes – members might take turns in setting a quiz
- Comping chat – members might need advice on Facebook, Twitter or a certain competition – or simply need a bit of motivation to get going after a comping break!
List of UK comp clubs
Kempsey Compers – meet on the third Thursday of every month near Worcester, usually at 7.30pm. Contact Valerie at KempseyCompers@gmail.com
Notts about Comping – meets monthly on a Saturday morning in Nottingham city centre. Contact Maureen at email@example.com
Manchester Marvels – meet every 8 weeks in Prestwich. Contact Elaine at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ridings Round Compers – meet every six weeks at 1pm in Harrogate. Contact Emily – email@example.com
East Kilbride Compers Club – meet on the first Monday of every month in Nerston area, 8pm. Contact Ann on 01355 248287
Great Yarmouth Coastal Compers Club – meets every few months, usually Tuesday at 7pm in Belton. Contact Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org
London Competitors Club – meets quarterly in London on a Saturday. Membership currently costs £17.50/year but you get free entry to the club meetings, access to the email groups and a quarterly magazine. Contact email@example.com, or find more information at www.compelation.co.uk
Chelmsford Comping Club – meet every second Friday. Contact Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brighton Breezy comp club – meet every third Tuesday at 7.30pm in Hove. Contact Nuala at email@example.com
Southampton competitions club – meet on the second Thursday of every month at 7.30pm in Chandlers Ford. Contact Chrissy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bristol Compers Club – Meet every 6 weeks. Contact Cara at email@example.com
West Country Winners – meet just outside Newton Abbot every six weeks. Contact Oonagh at firstname.lastname@example.org
If there’s not a club listed here that suits you, don’t worry – I’ll hopefully be adding more clubs to the list. Also check my post about local Facebook comping groups to join, as you might find someone near you who wants to set up a club!