By 1981, the exchange packet was flourishing and, following an unfortunate experience, it was decided to join the BPF Exchange Packet Section, as a result of which we obtained new sources of external books for circulation and a means of avoiding "bad risks".
In 1982, Basildon Philatelic Society played host to the annual Autumn Rally of the Association of Essex Philatelic Societies, so, for that year only, the fair was held in the Spring, and Basildon Stamp Day was held in October at Pitsea Leisure Centre, then newly opened.
This event succeeded in attracting additional members from the Pitsea, Stanford-le-Hope and Corringham areas, where membership had hitherto been very sparse, and consequently, subsequent autumn fairs were held at Pitsea Leisure Centre. This event was known from 1985 onwards as Pitsea Stamp Day and included a small exhibition.
Basildon has always been a very active society in county affairs, providing a consistent representation on both the Council and Executive of the AEPS and entering most annual AEPS competitions. After many years trying, Basildon's first county successes were the Quiz trophy in 1984, and the Stokes Cup and Stamps, Postal History and Novices Trophies in 1985.
For services to organised philately in Essex and our Society in particular, our then Chairman, the late Harry Smith, was awarded the British Philatelic Federation Award of Merit in 1985.
The Basildon Stamp Day was transferred to Laindon (St Teresa's Church Hall) in 1986, while the 1987 spring event was cancelled due to the planned venue not being ready in time.
1988 was a problem year for the Society, with the demolition of the Towngate Centre and consequently an enforced change of venue, initially in March to the nearby Unemployed Workers Centre, which proved unsuitable, and then to Laindon Community Centre in July. This led to the pleasant problem of growing attendances outstripping available room capacity! Our AEPS Quiz team brought the year to a successful conclusion with victory for the second time.
Having settled in successfully at Laindon Community Centre, the decision was taken in 1989 to move all stamp days to the same venue, due to falling attendances at Pitsea and consequent dealer reluctance to participate in events there. Although attendances stabilised at Laindon, we have never returned to the high attendances of the 1970s, probably due to the competition from a surfeit of commercial fairs.