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
Lack of financial control and the inability of the Treasurer to attend Council meetings resulted by October in a call for the appointment of a successor. The Treasurer resigned on 27th November 1976 and Mr Roger Hardy (joined 24 October 1973) was appointed. Communication with members had almost lapsed there being only one Bulletin issued in the last 18 months, and the general discomfort of members on uncomfortable seats and cold rooms at Terra Nova meant yet another change in meeting place was inevitable.
During the preceding year Stuart Pickford in his professional capacity as Architect had designed for Miss Spackman a Studio attached to premises she had bought at 19 Selsdon Road. This building had been opened as a Dancing Academy with an offer from Miss Spackman for the Camera Club to use the premises for meetings when not used for dancing. Council agreed to investigate, although there are no Minutes of any meeting to confirm the move, but it is known from the Bulletin that the first meeting at 19 Selsdon Road took place on 9th October 1975. The Club were in rent arrears to T. S. Terra Nova and not able to pay out of existing funds until Harold Stillwell agreed to pay four years' subscription in advance to extinguish liability to the Sea Cadets and leave some Club investment intact.
Stuart Pickford paid £60 for an electric duplicator to enable the Club Bulletin to be restarted and stored surplus Club equipment at his offices in Church Street.
The year ended with the possibility of a more stable outlook and with funds of approximately £500 for staging the 1976 Photeurop Exhibition "assured", though there is no record of what that "assurance" was. Being given by the Croydon Photeurop Chairman Stuart Harper there was to be some doubt still felt. Ultimately by October 1978 revealed outgoings were £550, cash in hand approximately £150 and a deficit of £400.
The commencement of 1976 saw a move to rejoin the South London Federation as a system of competitions would be nearer to Croydon though retaining membership of Surrey Photographic Federation where the Club won the Final of Knock-Out Competition on 15th May 1976. Croydon actually rejoined the SLF on 17th February 1977.
At the Central Association AGM on 6th March 1976 Stuart Pickford was elected President of the CA, the second Croydon member to hold that important office, the first being John Keane (1938-42). At the Club AGM on 26th May 1976 a new President was elected - Dr Peter Lewis; Roger Hardy was confirmed as Treasurer and his first task was to recommend a subscription increase to £5. He did not present audited accounts due to not receiving sufficient information from his predecessor so the AGM was reconvened 14 days later for that purpose. Afterwards both Mr Stillwell and Mr Pickford criticised the conduct of the AGM and of members in general for lack of decorum and respect for the dignity of the Chair.
During the year Minutes of meetings were poorly kept and some sheets missing completely from the records though by 2nd September 1976 it is noted that badges to identify Council Officers had now been received and were in the President's possession, where they remained. During the Autumn Session an invited judge A. Cloquet had produced a "violent reaction" from members over his comments that the Syllabus Secretary was instructed not to invite him again! Poor Mr Cloquet, he will never know what he did.
At the Council meeting on 13th January 1977 Conrad Keifer's death was reported. He first joined the Club on 25th June 1920, and was one of the oldest members. He died on 21st January 1975. The Bulletin reappeared but only half the former page size and not well liked as the print was too small, but it was cheap.
By the approach of the AGM there were problems with accommodation at the Studio where the Dancing classes were to be out by 8pm to allow the Club to commence at 8 but in reality the dancers stopped at 8 and were still changing when Club members arrived - a not very satisfactory arrangement. As the Dancing Classes paid more rent than the Club Miss Spackman was not disposed to enforce the hours of the Lease. The Council accordingly decided to look for alternative premises.
The 15th Photeurop 1977 opened at the Arnhem Gallery on 14th March, but the Club was unable to steward or sell catalogues and national publicity fell short of expectations and it was generally considered a "low key" event. However, it was reported by Harold Stillwell on 12th May 1977 that at first sight the finances had broken even.
A proposal to grant Honorary Life Membership to Sir George Pollock was rescinded after it was stated it was conferred on "those who have in any way given signal assistance in the furthering of the welfare of the Club". Council felt Sir George did not fully meet this qualification. Harold Stillwell and Stuart Pickford moved the election of Sir George as Honorary Member at the AGM on 25th May 1977, where membership had dropped to 64, and Roger Hardy stood down after a year as Treasurer to take over as Secretary from Hannah O'Sullivan. Mrs Lewis became Treasurer to her husband as President, a situation which threw the Club Administration into turmoil when in October 1977 the Lewis's announced they were leaving the UK to take an appointment in Hong Kong.