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
The interest that "Group 7" had shown in "Modfot 1" and then Photeurop stimulated George Pollock to seek to bring Photeurop to Great Britain but the terms dictated by the three originating Continental Clubs of Germinal (Brussels), Lausanne (Switzerland) and Val de Bievre (Paris) were that G.B. must be represented by a Club. Croydon was chosen and elected to stage the whole event in 1969. The Club consented to this on condition that no financial liability was attached to Croydon.
With the cost being underwritten by the Organising Committee and Sir George Pollock personally, the stage was being set to bring the best of Continental photography to the UK courtesy of Croydon Camera Club. To steer Photeurop into the UK it was agreed that the two year Presidency rule be waived in the case of Harold Stillwell who had a good relationship both personal and linguistically with the Continental clubs, which was important to maintain, particularly as these three original Clubs were keen to be assured that the UK end of Photeurop was being supported by a club. Hannah O'Sullivan became Secretary.
The Presidential duties were now becoming a bit onerous for visits to the Continent were unclear as to being on behalf of the Club or Photeurop so a ruling was sought and the decision was "Council was empowered to pay unreasonable, unusual expenses which any officer feels unable to pay while undertaking Club duties". How delightfully put to make one feel a pauper if expenses are claimed!
The Ninth Photeurop Exhibition was first seen in the UK showing at the Arnhem Gallery from 23rd May -1st June 1968 and opened by Vincent Hanworth and supported by the Cultural Ambassadors of Poland, Luxembourg, France and Belgium. Croydon was proud to have succeeded in joining the Common Market where others had failed. A smaller gathering than anticipated underlined the basic difference in approach to organised photography between the UK and the Continent. Over there the Clubs are well supported by the town chosen to host the exhibition which vie to put on a display on location and by personnel better than the previous, or the future and the prestige is lavish. In the UK there is not that commitment or recognition, financial sponsorship is little and catalogue purchases (a substantial source of revenue) are almost non-existent.
The promoters, Sir George Pollock et al, viewed the small attendance with concern and were to be proved right in the long term that revenue from the next three bi-annual displays did not generate sufficient income to fund the next staging by Croydon in 1977.