Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000

Council Meetings, 1903


At the beginning of January 1903 Kenneth Mees, now 21, presented a paper on the Hurst and Driffield system of film speed testing (H&D) in which he paid tribute to Mr W. H. Wratten (of Wratten and Wainwright) for supplying for the trials such a large number of accurately coated plates.

At the AGM in 1903 Secretary E. A. Salt resigned with no stated reason but the surmise must be that he was out of tune with the President, whom he described as being "bossy"; and that it was he under the pseudonym of "Aquarius or the Man with the Watering Pot" who wrote an article in the BJ of 14th August 1903 which caused the rift and ultimate resignation of Hector MacLean.

Ripples of discontent had occurred at a Council Meeting at the end of March 1903 when reference was made to a speech by the President at the 6th Club Exhibition held from 18th to 21st March in which Kenneth Mees had three prints exhibited. The speech had evoked Press comment and also disturbed some members but the President justified his remarks by pleading he had spoken in his private capacity and not as President. E. A. Salt used his contact with the British Journal of Photography to publish a long fictional but thinly disguised account of a visit "to a saintly street in the purlieus of South East London where in Croydon was to be found that particular section of the photographic world which leads the rest and where on the topmost storey the Perpetual President holds sway!"

The account is of a fictitious meeting of a club where the President talks so much about the lecturers' prowess that the meeting has to close without the speaker being called! Underneath all fictitious events is usually a grain of truth and a good deal of unrest was felt in the Club about this time. The result was a sort of Cabal with the avowed intention of getting rid of the President.