Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000
Preface Introduction The Club Foundation 1809 Soiree 1899 Movies Member Prestige Council Meetings 1903 Founding President Mees Years 1904-12 The Great War Between The Wars Recorded Years Riots! Police! 1931 Edridge Road, 1932 1932 Nudes Ladies and Exhibitions Club Room eviction The Studio: 1933 Cine! Ladies! 1934 Highs and Lows, 1936 A/V, Stag Party, 1937 Freemasonry 1938 Baird Television 1938 War! 1940: Bombed ! Annual Report 1940-41 Making Do 1941 War Ends 1942-5 A War Retrospective Ladies? 1946 Ladies Admitted 1947-8 35mm Slides arrive Struggling 1949 SLF Out! 1949-50 Troubled 1950 Outings 1951 Winter Season 1951 Celebrations Mees Visits Croydon 1955 1956 Nonexistence 1957 1958-1959 1960 More Success 1961 The Darkroom 1961 Frivolity 1962 All Change 1963 1965-1967 Exhibitions 1967 Photeurop 1968 Photeurop 1969 Years 1970-1972 Terra Nova Years 1973 Years 1974-1975 19 Selsdon Road Years 1977-1979 Changes 1980 Friends Meeting House Close the Club 1983 Progress? 1984 Turnaround? 1985 Years 1987-1988 Slow Revival 1989 About Club Outings The Helpers Postscript
A fortnight later a Mr A. Brooker gave a talk on "Winchelsea and Rye" and explained that some of the slides were 35 years old (1900). The records state "Some of the slides showed this only too plainly". Even so, what would an historian give to have those slides today for the unique record they would be...
The New year 1933 commenced with a ladies' evening so no Minutes were read. Was this in-deference to save the Ladies from boredom or to maintain the male secrecy about the Club's doings. There is no answer but apparently the lantern lecture by John St Aubyn FRPS was well received by all. On 11th January as if to emphasise that ladies did exist in their own right Miss Gladys M. Callow showed "an exceedingly fine selection of cine films of zoo subjects". The record states Miss Callows' work was destined for the Kodak library. Members were enthralled at the moving pictures and said "..it had been an evening none of them would forget in a hurry. Her films were a triumph of pure photography and skill". Miss Callows was to visit the Club again in 1937.
Next week on 18th January the Club was back to still photography and a Mr E. Dockree came to deliver a most entertaining lecture "Gleanings". He last visited the Club in 1898 and said he had been a photographer for over 60 years and many of the slides were from 12 x 10 plates and of subjects impossible to get nowadays. He claimed that in 1890 some subjects were so dark that exposures of 24 hours were required so slow were the plates. Out of 140 slides 77 of them had obtained medals. The applause at the conclusion of the lecture was hearty and prolonged testifying to the immense interest taken.
There is a reference on 25th January to a Criticism of Prints in the Portfolio which is the first indication that there was a circulation of prints for criticism. The comment was made that "Portfolio evenings should be more frequent".
A word here would not be out of place to refer to the Club's competitive spirit which was not catered for to a large extent. According to the records the majority of the weekly meetings were presented by visiting lecturers and equally divided by those of an illustrative nature (i.e. places visited) and those of a technical quality on how photographs are taken or produced by either prints or slides. A smaller proportion of evenings were devoted to cinematography. In the summer members displayed their own work which if favourably commented on, no doubt encouraged them to submit for the competitions held for lantern slides: or best outings print: or portrait etc. Again if successful, then members would enter the Annual Exhibition normally held in the Club rooms. For each competition or Exhibition Silver and Bronze medals were awarded. A success would encourage a member to submit to the Exhibition of the RPS - the Institute of Professional Photographers or the London Salon. Although since 1931 there had been the Central Association and the Photographic Alliance Annual Exhibitions there is no record of the Club making any submissions. There were no competitions with neighbouring clubs as few existed and there was no competition available for members to compete on a regular basis. The only source for comment was the portfolio. In later years the Portfolio was to cease when monthly competitions became a regular feature of the Club syllabus taking the place of technical lectures which died out with the increasing standardisation which came in after the Second World War. With the competitive increase came an expansion of the Club activities at the local and national levels in the 1950s and finally internationally with Photeurop in the 1970s.