Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000

About Club Outings
Club Outings

Throughout Club history, outings to various places formed an essential part in encouraging photography and the social side of the membership.

You can view photographs taken on Outings else where on this web site.

Ramblers Club

At the commencement of the Club it is hard to grasp that the motor car was almost non-existent and that the commonest form of individual transport was the pony and trap. There were on some town streets horse drawn trams, soon to be electrified, but the only means of distant travel was the steam train and then a walk. Thus the Club was a member of the Ramblers Association, with a delegate appointed until membership ceased in 1953. The purpose was to have access to the many walks the Ramblers had routed, plus a list of the places offering accommodation or teas.

The use of trains plus walking limited most excursions in the early part of the century to within approximately 25 miles of Croydon. The countryside around Dorking was a favourite rendezvous.

Stay at home

Not until after the end of the First World War did sufficient members own their own cars as to make such outings a possibility, and though by that time there were very popular charabancs, there is no record that these were hired by the Club for outings. Indeed there is little evidence that outings attracted much support even when the membership was over 100. Just before the Second World War, Croydon decided to be more ambitious and through its connection with Conrad Kiefer, planned to have a week in Switzerland, but the unrest before 1939 put paid to the idea. Croydon has never since ventured abroad with a week or longer outings for members.

Instead outings on foot were the pattern during the War and with petrol rationing continuing until the early 1950's car outings were not possible.

Coach hire rules ok

When they resumed they were normally during the summer months when the Club did not publish a formal Syllabus, so few records are available but, by the early mid-50's so many were subscribing to outings that coach hire was the common means and for many years a very happy sociable atmosphere was generated by using 45 seater coaches. Without question this assisted in boosting Club membership until the euphoria of collective travel faded away and growing affluence in the 1970's increased car ownership, so there was less incentive to be "collective" as it was easy to do one's own thing. Coach outings stopped, to be replaced with a motorcade but these too lost their appeal when indecisive directions by the organisers and vague objectives led to less and less participation.

In the good old coaching days of the 50's and 60's outings took place to Avebury, Shaftesbury, Swanage, Whitstaple, South Downs, Westbury, Tewkesbury, Abergavenney and to Norwich on 14th May 1961, which will ever be recorded in Club history as the place where the coach departed leaving the author and his wife still packing their bags in the hotel. Even when it reached the first photographic venue of Coltishall Mill, their absence was not noticed, and when they finally caught up with the party (having travelled by service bus to the mill), their appearance was commented on only as to why they were carrying their luggage!

The car takes over

Excursions by private car resulted in further distances being covered due to the ability of an early start and South Wales, Dumfries, Galloway and Cornwall all received a visit. The arrival of Photeurop brought weekends in Paris and Cologne, whilst the promotional fares by ferry companies across the Channel in the 1980's resulted in several visits to Boulogne and Bruges. Outings on the doorstep to London Docks and the Bertram Mills Circus now have historical significance.

Towards the end of the 1980s the opportunity to use the "new" 13/14-seat licensed minibus saw a revival of the "organised" outings, where at least we all ended up at the same place and saw the same things. Very happy weekends were spent at Felixstowe, Skipton and Kintbury.

It is expected that in the Centenary Year social outings will continue to play a major part in keeping Club members in touch, as well as producing pictures which bring prestige and honours, as Roy King ARPS with his photographs of "Inkpen" near Kintbury, will testify.