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 AGM on 27th May 1987 re-elected R. King ARPS as President with Secretary Tessa Most and Treasurer Clifford Fifield. Membership was around 60 and the subs went up to £15 and would have to go higher the following year unless membership increased, so a recruitment drive was instigated to obtain another 30 members. It failed to produce any as it was not carried through with enthusiasm.
Also lacking enthusiasm was the Centenary Sub-Committee which did not meet for six months between January and July. It was then strengthened by Tessa Most who complained at the lack of forward planning which she had urged three years previously. However, she of known energy and not to suffer fools gladly, was unable to move the Sub-Committee to action as, after meeting on 14th September 1987 its next scheduled meeting was 14th March 1988 when it reported it was still looking for sponsorship!
Whilst the lengthy saga of the Centenary Exhibition was to run its course the Club had success at the CAPS 1987 Annual Exhibition when David Eaves won the PAGB Silver Medal with second placed highest individual marks. Another success was the Award of PAGB to Mrs M. Marshall ARPS an Honorary Member and present Secretary of the PAGB and as from April 1989 the President of PAGB - the first from Croydon to hold that honour.
Further honours came to Croydon members by December 1987 with Harry Cundell and David Eaves being awarded ARPS. During December 1987 the death was reported of H. G. Trodd who joined the Club on 26th April 1938, and for whom the Club had been planning a 50th celebration of his membership. To keep Club finances healthy the subscription was supplemented by a weekly raffle but after complaints that the so-called prizes were "rubbish" the quality was improved and the ticket price raised to 25p each.
Just before the 1988 AGM came word that the YMCA were to refurbish the building and there was a possibility the International Lounge where the Club met would no longer be available. This was confirmed later and the alternative room offered was much smaller and much more claustrophobic with a lower ceiling which restricted projection facilities. If this was the best accommodation the YMCA could offer the Club would have to move.
The recruitment drive having failed the Treasurer proposed to increase the subscription to £17 pa but at the AGM on 25th May 1988 S. G. Pickford persuaded the meeting to approve a subscription of £20. The new President was J. M. Hope ARPS (joined 10 Dec 1982) and the past President Roy King ARPS, became Secretary, with Clifford Fifield remaining as Treasurer. The lack of drive on the Centenary Sub-Committee brought Tessa Most's appointment specifically to co-ordinate the Centenary programme, but the first meeting she called on 14th June 1988 did not take place and no news reached Council from the Sub-Committee until 2nd February 1989.
In the interim the Club purchased a 2 1/4 square projector but then decided that large slides would not be allowed in competitions due to "practical difficulties" i.e. nobody wanted to bother changing over projectors! Inertia reigned supreme yet on some matters where simple decisions were needed it did take action and plastic cups were introduced in September 1988 so that those preparing tea no longer had to wash up afterwards and miss some of the second half of the lecture. During this period S. G. Pickford was elected Vice Chairman of the Croydon Arts Council and was able to steer the Club in making a successful application for a £200 grant towards Exhibition expenses.
The death occurred on 30th July 1988 of an Honorary Member, J. J. Taylor, aged 92, who joined the Club on 30th November 1938 and for many years was an excellent exponent of stereo photography. If that aspect can have said to have been almost eclipsed at exhibitions, an ascending style was the commercially produced ENprint universally the snapshot colour print and up to now barred from competitions as the Club wished prints to be produced by the members themselves. Since 27th October 1988 ENprints have been allowed into the Preliminary Class and by June 1989 for an experimental period of one year commercially produced colour prints to a maximum size 10 x 8 were admitted in all classes.
At the beginning of December came the amazing discovery of the bust of John Keane, donated to the Club in 1959 and now for sale in an antique shop in Faversham. There was equally an astonishing lack of interest by the Club in its recovery until news reached the ears of the Author in June 1989, who then bought it in the manner already described. No doubt to the majority of the membership who knew nothing of John Keane, the problems of suitable meeting rooms and the lack of direction of the Centenary Committee were far more important than the recovery of a bust, which was part of Club history. Mrs E. Malarkey reported to Council on 2nd February 1989 that the Centenary Event would not take place in the Arnhem Gallery which is far too expensive but would now have to be held in the Sun Lounge and the Exhibition Corridors on the same level.