Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000

Photeurop 1968
Photeurop comes to Croydon

The interest that "Group 7" had shown in "Modfot 1" and then Photeurop stimulated George Pollock to seek to bring Photeurop to Great Britain but the terms dictated by the three originating Continental Clubs of Germinal (Brussels), Lausanne (Switzerland) and Val de Bievre (Paris) were that G.B. must be represented by a Club. Croydon was chosen and elected to stage the whole event in 1969. The Club consented to this on condition that no financial liability was attached to Croydon.

With the cost being underwritten by the Organising Committee and Sir George Pollock personally, the stage was being set to bring the best of Continental photography to the UK courtesy of Croydon Camera Club. To steer Photeurop into the UK it was agreed that the two year Presidency rule be waived in the case of Harold Stillwell who had a good relationship both personal and linguistically with the Continental clubs, which was important to maintain, particularly as these three original Clubs were keen to be assured that the UK end of Photeurop was being supported by a club. Hannah O'Sullivan became Secretary.

The Presidential duties were now becoming a bit onerous for visits to the Continent were unclear as to being on behalf of the Club or Photeurop so a ruling was sought and the decision was "Council was empowered to pay unreasonable, unusual expenses which any officer feels unable to pay while undertaking Club duties". How delightfully put to make one feel a pauper if expenses are claimed!

Photeurop 23rd May -1st June 1968

The Ninth Photeurop Exhibition was first seen in the UK showing at the Arnhem Gallery from 23rd May -1st June 1968 and opened by Vincent Hanworth and supported by the Cultural Ambassadors of Poland, Luxembourg, France and Belgium. Croydon was proud to have succeeded in joining the Common Market where others had failed. A smaller gathering than anticipated underlined the basic difference in approach to organised photography between the UK and the Continent. Over there the Clubs are well supported by the town chosen to host the exhibition which vie to put on a display on location and by personnel better than the previous, or the future and the prestige is lavish. In the UK there is not that commitment or recognition, financial sponsorship is little and catalogue purchases (a substantial source of revenue) are almost non-existent.

The promoters, Sir George Pollock et al, viewed the small attendance with concern and were to be proved right in the long term that revenue from the next three bi-annual displays did not generate sufficient income to fund the next staging by Croydon in 1977.