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
To attempt to bring some discipline, meeting times were started closer to 8pm than had been normal and to improve standards the requirement for becoming an advanced-worker was emphasised as being of ARPS or FRPS standard. Too frequently if one had been in the Intermediate Class for a long time that was the justification for moving to the Advanced Class.
For the AGM 1984 the subscription would be increased to £10 as all alternative fund raising ideas were considered to require too much effort and members would not pay 10p per slide or print to enter the Annual Exhibition which would cost approximately £350 to stage at the Fairfield Halls.
Harold Stillwell retired from business in May 1984 and would not stand for re-election as President being then resident in Wiltshire. The realisation that the Club was having frequent Presidential changes producing a lack of continuity prompted a strong proposal from some Council members for the creation of the office of Chairman as being consistent with having a Vice Chairman and leaving the President as a figurehead to be unchanging for as long as the Club determined; the first occupant to be Harold Stillwell. The proposal brought forth equally strong opposition mainly on the grounds that we had existed for 94 years without a "supremo" and one was not now necessary. And although the subject came up again in later years it was never implemented.
Although Harold Stillwell would be able to give only spasmodic attendance to the Club, Council felt his 100% commitment when he did appear, justified electing him for another year and at the AGM on 30th May 1984 with 16 members present, Harold Stillwell, was persuaded to remain President; Michael Hope Vice Chairman and a new Secretary Peter Fenner, a member for eight weeks! It was just as well the President had 30 years' of Club experience behind him as the Club was having a new Secretary every year and continuity was being lost every 12 months to the detriment of the Club management. Membership stood at an all time low of 48 and the Club had a deficit of £340 but this was partly offset by the surplus of £104 from the Annual Rummage Sale where Stuart Pickford found a new and continuing role as Auctioneer.
With the Club now meeting at the YWCA since 7th March 1984, pressure was put onto the YWCA to give us use of the Dark Room and although there were meetings and promises made, nothing materialised except the YWCA suggested that the rent should go up!
The President reported on 10th May 1984 that he had purchased on behalf of the Club a Stevenson Trophy and the Stillwell Cup.
For many years the lack of facilities for Arts Groups in the town has been a severe restriction on the promotion and development of artistic expression, so it was with keen interest that Stuart Pickford attended the inaugural meeting of the Croydon Arts Council on 24th May 1984 and got himself on the Steering Committee to promote the art of photography. The Arts Council had a slow start but its efforts resulted in the Croydon Corporation allocating funds for the promotion of arts in Croydon and the Camera Club has made several successful requests for financial assistance in its activities which are continuing up to the present time. Stuart Pickford is now (1990) Vice Chairman of the Arts Council.