Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000

Friends Meeting House Years 1981-1982
Council Line-up

At the beginning of 1981 the Vice Chairman, normally considered President Elect, resigned and a successor to Harry Cundell was now required. Stuart Pickford was proposed and that left the Secretary's post vacant. Hannah O'Sullivan was drafted back. Roy King remained Treasurer and that was the top Management by the AGM 21st May 1981. The Vice Chairman was Colin Izatt who joined just two years previously. Mrs M. Marshall the Club's first Lady Secretary and recently elected as Secretary to the PAGB was made an Honorary member of the Club.

Stuart Pickford was for the second time President of Croydon but it was not the thriving club of over 100 members as it was 15 years ago but a club dying on its feet. Membership stood at 56 and subscription £7 with costs outstripping income. Members were unwilling to assist the smooth running of the evening by bringing in Competition work one week in advance and so entries were allowed on the evening after 7:50pm which did nothing to stop work coming in at 8pm!

Winter Syllabus problems

By mid-Summer, the Winter Syllabus had not been established and the Syllabus Secretary resigned, and despite efforts by Council collectively to put one together by September, it was in disarray. The Winter Syllabus would have to be an extension of the Summer Syllabus and cover only up to December.

A quite remarkable lecture was given on 25th March 1982 by member Carrick McDonald on the "Psychology of Photography", proving conclusively that the photographer's guidelines of "always have a point of interest on the thirds" was an absolute first selection in psychology tests.

The Annual Exhibition held on 20th May 1982 at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, showed a net loss of £390 but when the sponsorship of £300 from the Midland Bank had been received the Club cost was reduced to £90. The Treasurer advised that the year's income based on the subscription and low membership would be £400 and he would recommend the next AGM 1982 that assets be liquidated and the subscription raised to £10. This was likely to drive away members at a time when more were needed but there was no alternative.

Out the SLF again

Early in 1982 Council had discussed withdrawing from the SLF again as members were not putting in the quality or quantity of work needed, nor were they showing any interest in visiting other Clubs. The decision was put to the AGM on 26th May 1982, and as a result Croydon withdrew from the SLF in March 1983.

In Assembling the Management team, Miss O'Sullivan declined to continue as Secretary and with no volunteers the President declared he would not stand again without an efficient Secretary. The Vice Chairman Colin Izatt was unwilling to step forward and the jam was resolved when Mrs E. Malarkey volunteered as Secretary whereupon the President offered himself for a second year and Donald MacFarlane was Vice Chairman and President elect. There was no-one to undertake compiling the Syllabus which was assembled by a sub-committee under Donald MacFarlane, a far from satisfactory arrangement for essentially the Syllabus relies heavily on personal contact.

The Stevenson Bequest

News came to the Club in April 1981 of the death of R. A. W. Y. Stevenson, who joined in 1922 and was the Club lanternist for many years. Kindly and always a gentleman, his voice would nevertheless thunder down The Studio if any lecturer dared to suggest that a slide was projected the wrong way round. "That's the way it's 'spotted'" would be delivered with no possible room for argument or further discussion. He bequeathed £300 with a wish that a trophy be established in his name. The Club did nothing and only diligence from some members prevented the money from being swallowed up in the general funds. The Stevenson Bequest has not been fully used to date and remains at £300 and in the author's opinion should be well applied towards the cost of this book as a fitting memorial to a solid and loyal member. The Stevenson Tankard was purchased in May 1984 to be competed for in the Annual Exhibition.

The Friends' Meeting house gave notice that the rent would be increased to £7 plus £3 for the kitchen per week and the Treasurer advised a loss of £142 which was extinguished by the sale of some of the Club's assets and the subscription increase was postponed.