Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000

Years 1977-1979
Bureaucracy under seige

Garrick MacDonald was appointed Treasurer and M. Saunders acting President. Roger Hardy resigned as Secretary after eight months and Stuart Pickford was asked to become acting Secretary in January 1979.

The period after the AGM was marked by irregularities of conduct of meetings borne out of desperation to get members and the naivety of some Council officers.

Persons were visiting the Club and entering prints in Competitions when not members; they were also being sold raffle tickets and on one occasion won first prize. The consequence was a Special General Meeting on 27th July 1977 when Stuart Pickford and Harold Stillwell proposed that no person until elected a member "shall participate in Club activities" and Rule 4 be thus affirmed. The President and Council wanted visitors to be able to participate for four weeks at the President's discretion. Fortunately the Council motion was heavily defeated and Rule 4 remained intact. A Council meeting on 7th July was irregular as having no quorum and the Secretary was censured for allowing it to happen though it was the Chair who was in the wrong. The Secretary again was in trouble as his predecessors had not had cups and trophies engraved for the last four years and it was agreed money must be found to keep the records up to date.

By 3rd November 1978 a decision was taken not to hold a Club Exhibition in 1978 but at the beginning of 1979 for which purpose over £100 cost must be found. Stuart Pickford, Mrs E Malarkey and Mr Stillwell were to be the Exhibition Committee. Stuart Pickford as well as Secretary was by the end of the year producing the Syllabus as well as assisting with the Bulletin. Luckily for the Club his second year term as President of CA would end in February 1979. Unluckily for him he was appointed Hon Secretary CA on 20th October 1978. A post he still holds today [1990].

Resignation from the Surrey Photo Federation

The Club resigned from the Surrey Photo Federation on 1st March 1978 and never rejoined in spite of the invitation in 1989 to do so when the Federation were seeking to break away from the Central Association. Late starting of meetings, absence of sufficient members to hold Council meetings continued in 1978, at the AGM on 31st May, the Club had 68 members and Milford Saunders was confirmed President.

Syllabus trouble

A Summer Syllabus was produced but the Secretary refused to issue it on the grounds that it was no credit to the Club. Council accepted it was an emergency, but as the formal issue would not be ready till mid-July this was cancelled as being too late.

The Winter Syllabus included a visit from Joan Wakelin FRPS on 11th October 1978. For the second time a demonstration of Female Nude Photography took place on 29th November 1978. The Club came 12th out of 13 entries in the CA Switch Shield Competition and Council recorded on 20th July 1978 that Sir George Pollock had been elected President of the Royal Photographic Society.

No Money

Council overturned a recommendation from the Exhibition Sub Committee on 30th October 1978 that the Exhibition be cancelled for lack of support and to revive interest Harold Stillwell would present a trophy for the Best Colour Transparency. The Photeurop Committee reported a deficit of £400 and had applied to the Visual Arts Committee for a Grant.

No Paid-up Members

The end of the year showed paid membership at 31 and a decision that if subscriptions had not been paid then no entry would be permitted to the Exhibition. No Bulletin had been issued; no publicity for the Annual Exhibition or even the Christmas Party. Worse was to follow as the Annual Exhibition Judge was ill and the Arnhem Gallery would not be available for the Opening Ceremony as printed on the tickets. The Gallery would also be closed on a Saturday. Relations with the Fairfield Halls management were strained to say the least, and as a member of the Exhibition Committee, Harold Stillwell offered his resignation from Council, and tribute was paid to his many positions held since he joined 27 years ago. Harold also felt let down in the knowledge that no grant for Photeurop was available and the Committee were £400 in the red.

The Annual Exhibition did however take place and Sir George Pollock, President RPS and an Honorary Croydon member judged the Exhibition and Stuart Pickford won his own cup for the Best Print in the Intermediate Section.

Harry Cundell made Hon Life member

Membership had recovered to 57 at the time of the AGM on 30th May 1979 when the subscription went up to £6. Harry Cundell took over from Milford Saunders after a year in office, who was then elected an Hon Life member, a surprising act as his qualifications were much less than those of Sir George who was refused the honour in May 1977. But that is the illogicality of Croydon coming to the forefront again. The constitution of Council caused the Secretary to observe that very few had the continuity or experience for the jobs that they had undertaken and the absence of leadership was dealt a severe blow by the sudden death of Milford Saunders on 6th July 1979.

"Sandy" as he was affectionately called, had held up the Croydon end of the Photeurop link in the last few years after Sir George Pollock stood down upon becoming President of the RPS and Harold Stillwell having resigned from Council. The Club approached both these persons in July and both thought that now would be an appropriate moment to call it a day, unless another Club wished to take over from Croydon, but finance was just as crippling now as previously, and Germinal were withdrawing for that reason.