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
Kodak Ltd sent Mr Twain to talk about the production of their papers, explaining they manufactured 200 varieties of coatings and papers. Those were the days. Mr Twain was accompanied by his Professional Sales Manager, Mr Samson, the father of Tom Samson one of the present Club Trustees, who joined on 27th April, 1955. His work with Archie Hanford started in 1937 and after serving in the Air Force during the Second World War, he developed the professional side of aerial photography with considerable success.
An innovation in the syllabus was an evening where Council "thought it would be an excellent thing if members would bring their prints and transparencies for friendly criticism". This took place on 25th November and ended in disagreement on whether a "Bromoil" was a photograph or a hybrid!
1937 began with an A/V show by J. Chear FRPS: not the slick presentation seen today but individual slides projected to an commentary backed by musical gramophone records. The skill had to be seen to be believed with which two turntables were loaded with individual 78rpm records and the needle placed in the exact position through the recording to bring forth the sound required. As one record was faded out by the volume control, the other was increased so that a constant loudness was maintained. Now it is done by tape but almost as good results were obtained 50 years ago.
The Annual Exhibition on 3rd February had an invitation panel of prints by the Club professional members which included Howard King, John Erith FRPS, Archie Handford ARPS and H. Bradford Lemare FRPS. A fortnight later at the AGM the President, Treasurer and Secretary were re-elected and under AOB a Stag Party or Smokers' Concert was agreed. "No reason why the Club should not have another good hearty smoker, and that it should be held at the Greyhound". This took place on 7th April. Tickets were 1/- each and there were 28 members and 18 visitors. There was no mention of ladies being present and no record of what actually took place! A smoke screen?
The problem of motivating members was still not resolved as out of a membership of 110 there was only one entry for the Table Top Competition held on 5th May, which was abandoned and members discussed instead the merits of different types of films.
Cine again appeared at the Club on 19th May as well as 3rd November and 1st December. This first was attended by such a large number of members that standing room only was available at the Studio to see 9mm, 9.5mm and 16mm films and a collection of cameras of J. E. Saunders worth over £800. (This at a time when a modern semi-detached house could be bought for £600: So what would the collection be valued at today?)
The Winter Session commenced on 6th October with the President John Keane giving an interesting account of the early days of the Club's history and in this Centenary Book credit is given to those reminiscences which are the main record of the Club's early history.
On 20th October the Club heard a lecture on the "Blue Mountains of India" by A. Coleman FRPS, presented in Finlay colour, a plate using a geometrical mosaic but with individual elements to a larger size than on Dufay colour. The lecturer said the slides were only a small selection from about 2 cwt (100 Kilos) of negatives awaiting process! The weight quoted serves to remind those of us who use 35mm film by the mile, that 50 years ago it was all so much more hard work with glass plates.
And as if to emphasise the point on 8th December the incomparable Lance Vining ARPS gave a talk on "Photography with 35mm Miniature Camera" at the end of which the applause was "hearty and prolonged". The year ended with a lecture and demonstration on a new colour process "Photocolour" where any number of prints could be made from the three separation negatives.