Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000

1949 Struggling Attendances
Syllabus struggles

The syllabus at this time did not contain any noteworthy names perhaps reflecting that the pre-war stars had been dimmed or worn out, and that new names had not yet made themselves nor used sufficient of materials still in short supply to create new and interesting lectures.

Most of the talks were given by members and one of the most interesting was that given by Norman Gryspeerdt on 19th January 1949 on the publicity side of cine film production showing boxes of stills, some from the forthcoming film "Cardboard Cavalier".

Poor attendances

The first competition for the Dorrett Cup was held on 16th March and awarded to H. G. Trodd. By 24th March the Council were concerned about poor attendances of around 20 on average out of a membership of over 100 and in an endeavour to revive interest the Beginners' Section in competitions was revived and "new and prospective members should be introduced to members of Council who would endeavour to make them feel at home". So the Club is still bedeviled by not showing enough attention to new members, a situation which did not improve in spite of this good intent.

A Mr John Huntley came on 6th April under the auspices of the J. Arthur Rank Company and on a 16mm projector loaned free of charge by Dolland & Aitcheson showed "Early History and Development of Cinematography". This was the young John Huntley so renowned later for his historical transport film shows now given at frequent intervals to a packed Fairfield Halls.

For an SLF inter-club print competition a large audience filled the Studio to see Upper Norwood CC beat Croydon 95 to 85.

I. D. Wratten elected Vice President

At the AGM on 25th May 1949, the President and Treasurer we re-elected with a new Secretary R. S. Hatful who only joined on 9th February - very rapid promotion. He made his mark by reverting to pre-war practice by recording who was in the Chair and who gave the vote of thanks to the speaker. I. D. Wratten was elected a Vice President, whilst holding the position of Vice President RPS. J. MacLaren donated a "Progress" medal. Croydon won the next SLF competition against Beckenham PS 94 to 88.

Alcoholic evening refreshments!

Plans were to be discussed for a Diamond Jubilee Celebration and as from 9th June bar prices were increased. Spirits l/6d, beer 10d, mineral water 6d. It was agreed that "all visitors to the Club; could partake of bar refreshments at the Club's expense", which act of generosity was designed to get round any problems relating to the Licensing Laws!

Relations with "Spacky" dip

Although the Club had on several occasions sought alternative accommodation it still appeared to remain on good relations with its landlord "Spacky". That is until 11th August when it was reported "Mr Spackman made a request that in future all printed matter issued by the Club which included the address of The Studio shall bear the following announcement: 'By permission of C. S. Spackman RBA'. Mr Spackman stated that if the Club did not comply it could find alternative accommodation. A case of "Do as I say or go".

Stephen Whitaker, Treasurer since 1929, pointed out there was no provision for such an arrangement in the Agreement with the Club. "Spacky" said he was aware of this but he wasn't prepared to abide by the Agreement which was in his view out of date anyway. The Club's suggestion of a new Agreement was refused as he did not wish to be bound in any way. Neither was he prepared to accept any alternative wording. There seemingly being no alternative but to accept the request it was put to the vote and carried with several abstentions.

Relations with "Spacky" did not improve when he then stated Council could no longer hold meetings on a Thursday evening at The Studio.

It was decided that the Dorrett Cup would be handed on year by year with a small replica for the winner to retain as a permanent memento, and Mr Dorrett agreed to so provide. Norman Gryspeerdt then asked if he could have the miniature of the Exhibition Cup he won in 1946. He eventually got this in 1950 and it was probably the last miniature the Club ever gave.

Attendances dire: Monthly Print Competition abandoned

Attendances for the Winter Session were still low at the start and on 7th September the Monthly Print Competition was abandoned for lack of entries; yet that of 12th October had a large entry and was well attended, possibly in anticipation of the Annual Exhibition on 5th November held at the" Rendezvous" in Grants Department Store. The Silver cup went to Miss N. Moon and a silver medal to R. Wiltshier. It was interesting that lantern slides were 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 but Transparencies was the name given to 35mm slides. Also despite protests from members, the Exhibition Committee held that hand coloured prints were ineligible.

The Annual Dinner at in Grants Restaurant cost 12/6d and was "informal dress" due to the "scarcity of evening dress" — a reminder that clothing coupons still restricted how one dressed.