Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000

The Recorded Years: 1930-1933

Sumptuous meeting rooms; just like home

Minute books of ordinary meetings and Council meeting now exist from this period as a permanent record - not based on recollection. There is no record of the accommodation or Club management but from bits of information that can be gleaned the Club had sole use of its Club rooms, which included a bar. This was presided over by a bar steward not normally engaged in photography and the Club employed a cleaning lady, Mrs Godden. Members were able to hire lockers for equipment etc at 5/- per annum and a Dark Room was provided. The premises were let occasionally to other groups and were open for Members' use from 8am to 12pm.

The Minutes of the previous week's meeting were recorded and read and approved as the first business of the next meeting and before the Speaker was introduced. After the lecture or lantern show it was customary for the membership to speak about that which they had just seen and heard, and it was this part of the proceedings which earned the Club a terrible reputation for "putting down" speakers who had not found favour.

Speakers were always met at the station (if travelling by rail) and taken for a meal by the President or Secretary before the meeting. The cost was born from a voluntary "Hospitality Fund" contributed to by Members. The Syllabus was arranged by the Secretary and approved by Council.

The President was expected to be present and is always recorded as summing up the evening in a few well chosen words. There was a special chair to give recognition to the Presidential status in the absence of a chain of office.

With the President John Keane already in office since 1921 it is reasonable to assume that all the foregoing was the pattern he had established. Membership was 89 and the year Accounts showed a loss of £6.3.4d.

Lectures 1930: latest innovation called Kodacolor

The first recorded lecture in 1930 was on 15th October when a local sculptor and artist C.S. Spackman gave a talk on "American Architecture", and a fortnight later Fred Judge FRPS, the well know postcard photographer came from Hastings to talk about his work and so impressed members that he was invited to judge the Annual Exhibition at the Club rooms on 28th January 1931. Of the 81 prints 30 were Bromoils. On 5th November under sponsorship from Ensign Ltd Herbert Felton FRPS , the famous interior photographer paid a visit, followed a week later by L.J. Hibbert FRPS showing "The latest and most wonderful achievement in colour cinematography namely 'Kodacolor'".

A portrait demonstration was held on 19th November with two lady models and in the absence of the President the vote of thanks was given by Mr H. Bedford Lemare though how this came about when he is not recorded as being a member till 19th October 1932 is a bit of a mystery.