Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000

Between The Wars

Subscriptions increase to 15/-

At the end of the War membership was 56 but by 1920 quickly rose to 110 but finances were in difficulties and F. C. L. Wratten gave 14/2d to clear the deficit for 1919 and bring the books straight.

In 1919 J. Keane began his second period of Presidency (in 1921 the two-year limitation on office was rescinded) to last until 1931, during which period the membership hovered around the 80 mark as the fortunes went up and down responding to the industrial unrest of the mid-20s. In the first year of his presidency the Club received a £20 legacy from the late C. Welborne Piper, which was used to repair the President's chair. The shutter testing apparatus perfected by E. A. Salt in 1909 continued to be used and produced a commission of 10/9d to the Club funds in 1923, whilst hire of the Club rooms to the Croydon Wireless Society in 1924 and the East Croydon Masonic Lodge in 1926 also helped; but the 10/6d subscription still the same as at the founding 36 years previously, was proving inadequate and the President had to donate one guinea to balance the books, where after 50% increase to 15/- came into effect in 1922 and was to last until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.

Intriguing lecture subjects

Lecturers after the War included Howard King (3lst January 1923), W. L. F. Wastell (Past President RPS) - 28th January 1925 and in June the first lecture by a lady, Gladys Callow, zoologist, though with gentleman escort! She went "solo" with her lecture to the Club on 11th January 1933. E. A. Robins on 9th December 1925 lectured on "The Life History of the Edible Crab", a fascinating subject for a camera club! Alexandre Keighley Hon FRPS came on 30th March 1927, and Cyril Saunders Spackman demonstrated "Woodcut" on 13th April 1927.

International Exhibition, 1927

In this year the Club had its first and only International Exhibition at the Art Gallery, Park Lane, from 16th to 21st May with entries from America, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Herbert Felton FRPS, the celebrated interior photographer, came on 21st November 1928 and the famous portrait photographer Marcus Adams FRPS came on 23rd January 1929. In 1930 the syllabus included Edwin Moore, Vice President of the Croydon Vegetarian Society with an address "Can Butchers be Good Artists?", and on 30th April Stanley Butt on "Some Curiosities of the Cranial Osteology of the Lower Vertebrates (with special reference to Odontography)"! Just the right topics to enter the era of the Club history where records of each meeting have been preserved for reference!

Central Association of Photographic Societies (CAPS), 1930

1930 also saw a great shake-up in the organisation of photography in the UK - for up until this time the central organisation was the Royal Photographic Society to which Croydon was affiliated on payment of an annual subscription. On 24th May 1930 all clubs not members of a regional grouping became members of the Central Association of Photographic Societies and so did Croydon though CAPS as it is often called, still had its subscription rate determined by the RPS until 1950. Croydon's fortunes now became channelled through the CAPS to which it paid its subscription.

35mm film arrives

With the year 1930 marking a milestone in organised photography it also reflects a subtle change in the balance of lectures which became less concerned with inventive processes and techniques as practised by members but more with commercial manufacturers seeking to explain the advantages of their product, particularly in the field of colour photography.

The excellence of their products was taken for granted and interest turned to the merits of several image sizes, including the new 35 mm Miniature Camera. On the cine scene the addition of "talkies" influenced photography and the possibilities of overseas travel by rail and air increased the popularity of the "travelogue" type of lantern show.