Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History 1890-1918
Keen Photographers

Resolutions, good or bad, seem to be natural to this Club and they used to have the distinguishing feature about them that they were no sooner passed and entered on the Minutes than an attempt was made to rescind them, and frequently with success.

It must be of interest after many years and from a starting point to recall the first Resolution that brought about the formation of the Club and I shall leave it to the members of the present day to determine whether it was good or bad. Judged by the results that followed the passing of that first Resolution it may be said to have made history if it made nothing else.

But before we come to that first Resolution of the newly-hatched Club I think we should begin in the orthodox manner of the older writers and adapt the style of the historical novel - as thus:-

Towards the close of a perfect summer's day in the year blank two weary travellers might have been seen walking slowly up Crown Hill towards the High Street, their eyes lighting up with pleasurable anticipation as they caught sight of the old signboard that in their days spanned the road in front of the "Greyhound". Both looked as if they had travelled many miles along dusty Surrey lanes.

They were accompanied by a sort of half-witted youth who pushed before him with much panting and blowing and muttered curses a cumbersome contrivance on wheels, a cross between an old fashioned bathing machine and a doll's house, both of which it resembled.

There was a red glass window at one end and a door with a black curtain at the other end through which the head and shoulders could be thrust into the stifling heat and fumes of the interior. The inside was filled with a strange assortment of flasks and dishes and weird contrivances that in an earlier unenlightened age would assuredly have been sufficient evidence to condemn the owners as necromancers or disciples of the Black Art or even have brought them to the stake. And it was in fact, this fate that overtook them or rather to which they condemned themselves for they were presently seated comfortably in the cosy parlour of the “Greyhound” with well cooked steaks before them and foaming mugs of ale served by a buxom wench.

Then having allowed our travellers to finish their meal in peace I should proceed to disclose the fact that they had simply been out for the day with their heavy apparatus to practice the then comparatively nearly invented photographic craft, that the strange machine on wheels contained the necessary materials for sensitizing and preparing the plates they used in the new and amazing process.

And I should then go on to claim these two (unknown to history) as the pioneers of the Croydon Camera Club whose spirit of friendliness and enthusiasm still lives and animates the members and will continue to do so let us hope for many years to come.