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
In the Winter Session, Dr I. D. Wratten (Deputy Chairman of Kodak and Hon Life member visited the Club on 30th October 1968. Amongst the lecturers who came to Croydon during the year were George Lewinski, Courtenay Hosking, Mary Allen and Noel Hapgood FRPS, then establishing himself as a leading landscape photographer, regularly gracing the front covers of Country Life. He was our Exhibition judge in 1970.
In the many changes of Club premises the 3-1/4" lantern which was always in a suitcase under the Studio piano, went missing and has never been seen since. Only in recent years with the revival of interest in the old monochrome slides is its loss proving serious.
Harold Stillwell retained the Presidency in 1969 with membership 116 but the Club showed no "competition edge" and only submitted 14 slides for the CA Annual Exhibition. Photeurop was taking too much attention as the 10th Exhibition was organised by CCC. It was held at the Arhhem Gallery from 8th-29th November 1969 and John F. Keane flew over from Geneva especially for the occasion. His generosity to the Club was unsurpassed as John Keane paid the air fare for Club representatives to attend the 3rd opening of the 10th Photeurop in Lausanne so that the tedium of an overland journey was avoided.
The 10th Photeurop Exhibition was opened by Mr Leslie Freeman, Chairman of the Greater London Council instead of Lord Goodman, Chairman of the Arts Council, who arrived later. The Mayor of Croydon, Mr and Mrs D. Wratten, Mr John F. Keane (from Geneva), Dr Axford - President of the Royal Photographic Society, the President of Germinal, the President of Lausanne and the Vice President of Val de Bievre also attended, as did the Cultural representatives of the Swiss, German and Belgian Embassies and many other photographic personalities.
At an informal dinner afterwards the President of the Swiss Club made Harold Stillwell and Sir George Pollock honorary members of his Club and presented Croydon with a magnificent picture book "Lausanne 1000".
Lecturers during the year included Michael Noakes and Ron Spillman.
Towards the end of 1969 the Club decided to institute a John Keane Award for the Best Colour Transparency at the Exhibition. A Club member, Glen Ellis, at that time H. M. Consul in Perth, Western Australia, suggested an exchange of prints with a tape commentary and the first selection was shown as part of the Annual Exhibition on 2nd March 1970 and created much interest in the diversity of views and the styles of presentation. The interchange of an approximately six-monthly basis continued for almost two years until Croydon decided the less expensive way would be to make 2x2 slides of each picture and simply post these, thus removing the curse of all organisers which is the photographer's moan that he has "lost" his picture for a year. But Croydon never got down to making those slides and the link faded away.
The Club still had links with the South London Federation who invited Stuart Pickford to be their next President, an honour he declined due to his Club commitments as Exhibition Organiser.
At a meeting on 31st March 1970 Council decided it could not afford the time or money to state two major exhibition (Photeurop and Club) in a year and decided the next Club Exhibition would not take place until 1971.