Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000

1962 Frivolity
From Studio to multi-storey car park

1962 brought the first intimation of the Club having to seek new premises when "Spacky" stated he may have to vacate The Studio in the next three years. This arose from notification that the Local Authority were seeking powers to acquire the Studio for demolition and erection of a new multi-storey car park to serve the town centre. This information was "duly noted by Council, with regret". The last meeting in The Studio took place on 23rd September 1964.

The Success of Chris Corn

It was particularly pleasurable on the 3rd January 1962 for the Club to celebrate the award of FRPS to Chris Corn who joined on 22nd April 1948. Of 89 applications submitted to the RPS, 14 had been accepted of which six were in the Monochrome Pictorial Section and Chris Corn was the only one in Britain to get the award that year.

To celebrate the rare feat of having three FRPS's as members the custom of the last presenting a cake to the present was continued and Sam Allard FRPS did just that. With the cake ceremoniously cut and passed around together with various toasts of increasingly exaggerated extravagance the author is indebted to the only total abstainer present (the judge T. H. Jones ARPS) for an accurate report of this unique event in the history of the Club.

No doubt the frivolity contributed to the AGM report on 30th May 1962 containing the fact that members in the year had consumed 2000 bottles of beer and 1 600 nips of spirits!

Although membership was holding at 154 there was so little support for the four Spackman Medal awards that their withdrawal was eminent and this was confirmed at a meeting on 5th November to save "Spacky" embarrassment. With his death on 16th May 1963 they were not revived.

Rent and Meetings

The rent was increased to £100 pa from a pre-war rent of £52 and expenses, which had multiplied four fold. A bargain at the time.

Council meetings are generally noted ending about 11.30 and on one occasion after midnight but a proposal to terminate discussion at 10.30 was defeated six to four.

In May 1962 the Club received a Bronze Plaque at one time awarded to the late C. P. R. Harpur and this was presented each month to the member with the highest score in the monthly print competition.

Arising from the AGM the Club approached the SLF to rejoin and Croydon CC was back in membership by March 1963.

Christmas Cards

With a club of such longevity the acknowledgement of endeavours by former members can easily be overlooked and when C. Kiefer an Hon Life Member who joined the Club in 1920 asked for help (due to his age) in the production of Christmas cards as a commission, it was reported on 5th November that no members had volunteered to help. The author who was on Council at the time did not know the history of Mr Kiefer, but now that he does, he feels ashamed that he and none of the 160 other members responded.

On 3rd December 1962 a row broke out concerning the Annual Exhibition with several Council members complaining they did not know what the Committee was doing. This was interpreted by the Committee Chairman Chris Corn as a lack of confidence in him, sufficient to table his resignation and leave immediately. A vote of confidence after his departure was eight to one in favour and after the meeting was reconvened in a calmer atmosphere a week later Chris Corn agreed to continue as Exhibition Chairman for 1962. He resigned from the Club ten years later.

Dirty weather in the shape of dense fog caused the meeting of the 5th December to be called off as so few members attended.

Staging an A/V "Spectacular"

Arising from the remarks made by B. F. Bullock on 6th September 1960 about the lack of Club involvement in photography beyond the Club Room, steps had been taken to remedy this and Mr Bullock was elected to the CA Executive: The Club had also undertaken on behalf of Kodak Ltd to do the groundwork to stage a "Spectacular" in Croydon at St Peter's Hall, Ledbury Road on 23rd January 1963, at which Kodak gave an eight projector presentation with music (embryonic A/V) on three giant screens, and also held a Club colour slide competition in which the author was pleased to have one of his slides in the final 12 and to receive a Kodak book "The A-Z Guide to Colour Photography". Slight backhanded praise!

Participation in the Central Association Annual Exhibition was strengthened under the eye of the President and the Club succeeded for the first and only time in winning the prestigious "Switch Shield" awarded to the best club overall in the exhibition.