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
At the end of the War membership was 56 but by 1920 quickly rose to 110 but finances were in difficulties and F. C. L. Wratten gave 14/2d to clear the deficit for 1919 and bring the books straight.
In 1919 J. Keane began his second period of Presidency (in 1921 the two-year limitation on office was rescinded) to last until 1931, during which period the membership hovered around the 80 mark as the fortunes went up and down responding to the industrial unrest of the mid-20s. In the first year of his presidency the Club received a £20 legacy from the late C. Welborne Piper, which was used to repair the President's chair. The shutter testing apparatus perfected by E. A. Salt in 1909 continued to be used and produced a commission of 10/9d to the Club funds in 1923, whilst hire of the Club rooms to the Croydon Wireless Society in 1924 and the East Croydon Masonic Lodge in 1926 also helped; but the 10/6d subscription still the same as at the founding 36 years previously, was proving inadequate and the President had to donate one guinea to balance the books, where after 50% increase to 15/- came into effect in 1922 and was to last until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.
Lecturers after the War included Howard King (3lst January 1923), W. L. F. Wastell (Past President RPS) - 28th January 1925 and in June the first lecture by a lady, Gladys Callow, zoologist, though with gentleman escort! She went "solo" with her lecture to the Club on 11th January 1933. E. A. Robins on 9th December 1925 lectured on "The Life History of the Edible Crab", a fascinating subject for a camera club! Alexandre Keighley Hon FRPS came on 30th March 1927, and Cyril Saunders Spackman demonstrated "Woodcut" on 13th April 1927.
In this year the Club had its first and only International Exhibition at the Art Gallery, Park Lane, from 16th to 21st May with entries from America, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.
Herbert Felton FRPS, the celebrated interior photographer, came on 21st November 1928 and the famous portrait photographer Marcus Adams FRPS came on 23rd January 1929. In 1930 the syllabus included Edwin Moore, Vice President of the Croydon Vegetarian Society with an address "Can Butchers be Good Artists?", and on 30th April Stanley Butt on "Some Curiosities of the Cranial Osteology of the Lower Vertebrates (with special reference to Odontography)"! Just the right topics to enter the era of the Club history where records of each meeting have been preserved for reference!
1930 also saw a great shake-up in the organisation of photography in the UK - for up until this time the central organisation was the Royal Photographic Society to which Croydon was affiliated on payment of an annual subscription. On 24th May 1930 all clubs not members of a regional grouping became members of the Central Association of Photographic Societies and so did Croydon though CAPS as it is often called, still had its subscription rate determined by the RPS until 1950. Croydon's fortunes now became channelled through the CAPS to which it paid its subscription.
With the year 1930 marking a milestone in organised photography it also reflects a subtle change in the balance of lectures which became less concerned with inventive processes and techniques as practised by members but more with commercial manufacturers seeking to explain the advantages of their product, particularly in the field of colour photography.
The excellence of their products was taken for granted and interest turned to the merits of several image sizes, including the new 35 mm Miniature Camera. On the cine scene the addition of "talkies" influenced photography and the possibilities of overseas travel by rail and air increased the popularity of the "travelogue" type of lantern show.