Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History 1980-1990

Years 1987-1988
Enprint class is born

The Council for the new year was little changed from the end of the last year. No longer was there a shortage of volunteers to serve the Club; no longer were there constant arguments over how things should be done. David Eaves took a firm hand on the scoring system for the internal competitions. He wanted the system of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Hon Mentions in all classes, which gained 5,4,3,2 points respectively, also every other picture entered gained a point. This was accepted without any argument and worked so well that it hasn't been changed up to the current day. It was noted that it was also the scoring method used in 1981.

An innovation proposed by Roy King was a new class for absolute beginners that of commercially produced EnPrints. In the world outside Camera Clubs, nearly every family had a camera and 95% of the films taken were colour prints (slides and black and white together being a mere 5% of the use of film). These colour prints were processed either by sending the film away to processors or the faster growing print shops, which gave an hour service or a one day. The prints came back as "Enprints", ie small 6" x 4" colour prints. Thirty six exposures developed and printed all for £3 or so! As this form of photography represented the majority outside the Club, the Club was always seeing potential members coming along on Wednesday evenings, who had no dark room facilities but wanted to improve their picture making and have their Enprints assessed. So the Enprint class was born, in the hope that encouraged by success in this class entrants would want to go on to the other print classes. The only problem this class presented was that of presentation. The prints were so small that no one could see them on the easel!

Another change was both in the composition of the assessment panel, with Ian Coulling and David Eaves doing the assessment and the President acting as chairman. The assessment was no longer in public.

Sad news came in October 1987, 'Troddy' died. H. Gordon Trodd FRPS joined the Club in 1938 and was described in an obituary as 'one of the finest print technicians and probably the last of the Romantic Pictorial Traditionalists' He shied away from executive office, but was made a Vice President of Croydon Camera Club. In later years he moved to the South coast.

More member successes

Good news came in December 1987 both David Eaves and Harry Cundell obtained their ARPS, which made three associateships gained by the Club in one year.

On October 17th 1987, the day after the great storm toppled so many trees in South East England, a dozen or so members enjoyed a most pleasant weekend based in Kintbury in Berkshire.

The third Wratten Lecture, on November 4th 1987, proved to be even better than the previous two. Dr David Wheeler FRPS presented his lecture "Selective Vision" of brilliant colour slides. For the third time an excellent Wratten lecturer had been found and brought to Croydon by Tessa Most.

Too much enthusiasm?!

The strength of the Club showed in the growing success of its internal competitions, with so many prints and slides being entered that not enough time was available. The Council even considered that the Club might have to reduce the number of entries per person from 3 to 2. Not only numbers were strong but variety too. The November competitions reported multiple printing, slide sandwiching, and hand colouring and that was just in the intermediate class. In other classes liths, toning, dyeing, humour, experimental slides and many straight prints and slides came forward. Entries and acceptances to outside Exhibitions were increasing this being actively promoted by David Eaves who had been a very successful exhibitor before he joined Croydon. David Eaves gained a Certificate at the SLF Finals day and was a Silver medallist in the Annual C.A. Exhibition by obtaining the second highest individual points total out of all the entrants. David wasn't the only one entering as four club members each gained acceptances at the first Surrey International Exhibition of creative photography, organised by Helene Rogers and Bob Turner and displayed locally at Epsom. This was said to be an excellently organised and refreshing International on Croydon's doorstep.

At the same time acceptances were reported from the RPS Pictorial, the RPS International Print, and the Midland Counties and the Worcester Slide International.

The Annual Exhibition with praise indeed

The Club Annual Exhibition held in January 1988 again in the Sun Lounge of the Fairfield Halls had financial assistance from the London Borough of Croydon, this award being achieved by much hard work from the Treasurer Clifford Fifield. The Judge was Lucilla Phelps and she chose a panel of landscapes from Ian Coulling for the premier print award, with the best overall slide from Roger McCallum. The Exhibition, organised by Liz Malarkey, showed how the Club had been pulled back from the low of a few years ago and produced a really exciting presentation of images. Even Harold Stillwell reviewing the Exhibition in the Bulletin said it was the most interesting for years. That was praise indeed.

To coincide with the Fairfield Exhibition Wally Conquy had collected and mounted a Club Exhibition of members pictures on 10" x 8" prints to be shown at the Katherine Street Library for publicity purposes. This then became a travelling exhibition to be shown at public places in the Borough.

The 1987/88 session was a good year for outings. At Easter 1988 4 cars containing members journeyed to Tintagel in Cornwall to be hosted by Alan and Peggy Richards who now lived there.

The loss of I.D.Wratten

Another particularly sad death of a Vice—President occurred in 1988. The death of I.D.Wratten CBE, Hon FRPS brought to an end the association of the Wratten family with the Croydon Camera Club over three generations and nearly 100 years.