Croydon Camera Club History 1980-1990
The new season started with sadness. Whilst the Club was meeting at the YMCA, Roy King was called away to take a phone call, which told him of the sudden death of Chris Cripps, still in his thirties, who only a year ago had been the Club Secretary and had been at the Club the previous Wednesday. Chris had put a lot of time and effort into the job of Secretary but had not received the appreciation due, and he had been more than ready to stand down after a year. As a tribute to Chris' memory, Tony Cane purchased a print case to be used by the Club.
On November 26th 1985 the second Wratten Lecture was held, given by the South African photographer Barry Wilkins FRPS. Most of the 100 members and guests present declared the photographs, which included many split and double screen images, primarily of the South African wild life scene, were both marvellous and memorable. Again congratulations were given to Tessa and Brian Most who had arranged the evening so successfully for the Club, in conjunction with the RPS.
Star lecturers in the seasons program were Bill Wisden, Alan Richards, Joan Wakelin, the other Roy King and Helene Rogers and in October 1985, in conjunction with the RPS Don Morrison came down from the North East with some magnificent slides of the Northumberland coast.
A mini-bus outing to Bradford, and in particular the National Museum of Photography, Film and TV, organised by Tessa Most was deemed a great success. In February 1986 Ian Coulling, was awarded his Fellowship of the Royal in pictorial prints and pictorial slides, the latter being rare and Alan Richards was awarded his third Fellowship. Only four months later Michael Hope was awarded an ARPS in applied slides. All this was followed by Stuart Pickford receiving an APABB for services to photography, having been President and then Secretary of the Central Association of Photographic Societies for many years.
In the Club competitions, the competition for advanced prints between Alan Richards and Ian Coulling was joined by recently promoted Sam Tanner, Jean Duthoit and Roy King while the advanced slides battled mainly between Ian Coulling and Michael Hope were joined by Harry Cundel1. Harry a past President of six or so years ago was one of the Club's three trustees. Harry had supported the Club through thick and thin and had been more successful photographically a number of years ago. Suddenly he found the urge again to compete and his entry back on the slide scene saw the re—birth of some of the most imaginative slide photography seen in the Club for years.
Many new members included Roger McCallum. In May 1986, prior to the AGM, a Council meeting was held in Wiltshire at the home of Harold Stillwell, another of the Club's trustees, who declared that he had done his job and put the Club back on its feet and it was now up to others to keep it going. Members recognised what a debt they owed to Harold, who not only had saved the Club from closure, but had during the last few years regularly travelled thousands of miles between his new home in Wiltshire and Croydon. And so the whole Council travelled down to Wiltshire themselves, where Roy King, having served as Treasurer, was able to see on the Council a successor in Clifford Fifield. Clifford Fifield, was well qualified and willing to take over as Treasurer, allowing Roy King to be proposed as President of the Club and Tessa Most once again to come out of retirement to serve as Secretary.
Almost immediately after the AGM in June 1986 the Annual Exhibition was held, again in the Sun Lounge of the Fairfield Halls, this time with no financial support from the Midland Bank, but a small grant from Jessops, the Leicester based photographic dealer who had recently opened a shop in Wellesley Road, Croydon. Peter Wilkinson was the judge of this Exhibition organised by Alan Richards and the Judge chose as the best panel one of Sam Tanners, who therefore had won the Trophy two years running, and Roy Bigg won the premier slide award.