Croydon Camera Club History: 1890-2000
Preface Introduction The Club Foundation 1809 Soiree 1899 Movies Member Prestige Council Meetings 1903 Founding President Mees Years 1904-12 The Great War Between The Wars Recorded Years Riots! Police! 1931 Edridge Road, 1932 1932 Nudes Ladies and Exhibitions Club Room eviction The Studio: 1933 Cine! Ladies! 1934 Highs and Lows, 1936 A/V, Stag Party, 1937 Freemasonry 1938 Baird Television 1938 War! 1940: Bombed ! Annual Report 1940-41 Making Do 1941 War Ends 1942-5 A War Retrospective Ladies? 1946 Ladies Admitted 1947-8 35mm Slides arrive Struggling 1949 SLF Out! 1949-50 Troubled 1950 Outings 1951 Winter Season 1951 Celebrations Mees Visits Croydon 1955 1956 Nonexistence 1957 1958-1959 1960 More Success 1961 The Darkroom 1961 Frivolity 1962 All Change 1963 1965-1967 Exhibitions 1967 Photeurop 1968 Photeurop 1969 Years 1970-1972 Terra Nova Years 1973 Years 1974-1975 19 Selsdon Road Years 1977-1979 Changes 1980 Friends Meeting House Close the Club 1983 Progress? 1984 Turnaround? 1985 Years 1987-1988 Slow Revival 1989 About Club Outings The Helpers Postscript
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.