Croydon Camera Club History 1980-1990
Leading up to the AGM of 1982 the Council was clearly in disarray. The Council meeting of March 8th 1982 was postponed and that of April 6th had no quorum. The President, not surprisingly, insisted that the Council must meet before the AGM at the customary last Wednesday in May, and therefore cancelled a Club Wednesday evening on April 28th to hold a Council meeting in front of the handful of non—council members who happened to be there. At this meeting Liz Malarkey, as she had done before and would do again before the decade was out, agreed to give her time and considerable talents to the Club, by being co-opted as Secretary. With more arm twisting the President and Syllabus Secretary, agreed to continue thus helping to ensure that a Council could be put forward at the forthcoming AGM. Stuart Pickford didn't want to continue as President, but out of loyalty agreed to another year. Donald MacFarlane was only handling the Syllabus because no—one else would take it over. There was a general feeling of despondency in the Club. There was no atmosphere to help enrol new members during these days of decline. There would still be visitors coming on Wednesdays, interested in joining a Camera Club, but not liking what they saw and therefore not joining.
On the positive front individual members were still trying hard. Liz Malarkey arranged an Exhibition of prints to be displayed in the window of the Brittania Building Society. Tony & Joy Cane staged a barbecue for the Club again, and three members, Colin Izatt, Stuart Pickford and Harold Stillwell gained acceptances in the 1982 C. A. Exhibition. Tony Cane, always the practical member so valuable to a Club, made a new print easel, complete with lights, to replace the previous easel that had to be illuminated by a spotlight. In June 1982 Stuart Pickford arranged a successful day trip to Boulogne.
The winter programme of 1982/83 started badly and got worse, leading up to the February 1983 Print Criticism when there were 1 preliminary, 6 intermediate and 2 advanced prints. The following March Print Crit having 0, 9, 1 entries in the three classes respectively. Much embarrassment was given to visiting judges and the March Slide Crit was no better with just 11 slides entered.
This quite rapid decline mainly over the last two years, principally because of a poor syllabus which led to advanced members leaving, plus less than ideal premises, couldn't go on. The Council at that time were dispirited and couldn't see any way out of the downward spiral, President Stuart Pickford realising that this couldn't go on, put forward a motion to the 1983 AGM to wind up the Croydon Camera Club. There was even a rumour that the Club should contact the Thornton Heath Camera Club with a view to merger, if only the Croydon name could be kept.