Club History

Club History

The club was formed in 1946, when a few men met in the house of Mr. S. Mitchell, a local schoolmaster. They discussed such matters as making enlargements from holiday snaps and the process of developing films. Someone put forward the suggestion that a photographic club should be formed. Thus the Selsdon and District Photographic Society was born.

There were meetings in the Boys’ Club in Addington Road, but soon the club was meeting in the British Legion Headquarters in the same road. The Hon. Secretary was S. Mitchell Esq., no doubt the motivating force behind the photographic society. The yearly subscription was 10s. (50p) and the the programme consisted of ’lantern and cine lectures, practical demonstrations and print displays’. In the early days of the society, an exhibition of photographic prints was held in the Baptist Hall. A renowned photographer, Horace C. Murch, who had written over 2,000 articles on the subject of pictorialism, was the judge. He was the author of an instructive regular camera chat in the Selsdon Gazette and therefore was ideally suited to act as judge.

The members of the society held many subsequent exhibitions, showing great ingenuity in their photographs. All the pictures exhibited were taken, processed and enlarged by the members. Some of the better exhibits were inevitably the products of home-made enlargers. One member had constructed a device from an old sweet tin scrounged from a local shopkeeper, such was the deprivation experienced throughout the war and the post-war years.

The photographic society found its home for the longest period of its history in the Guide Hut of St. John’s Church, where it adopted the name of Selsdon Camera Club. It was the homeliness of this venue that gave the club its reputation of being an exceptionally friendly society. The club became affiliated to the Royal Photographic Society which held exhibitions and provided lantern slides and later transparencies, which enabled the enthusiast to see the work of outstanding quality.

SLF Season 2013-14 Trophies

SLF Season 2013-14 Trophies

The club is affiliated to the South London Federation of Photographic Societies and the Surrey Photographic Association, which provide competitions for aspiring photographers. Members of the club and the club itself have had great success in both of these competitive events.

The club is affiliated to the South London Federation of Photographic Societies and the Surrey Photographic Association, which provide competitions for aspiring photographers. Members of the club and the club itself have had great success in both of these competitive events.

The Vic Smith Trophy

Selsdon, 2015 winners of the Vic Smith Trophy, awarded by SLF for DPIs

Many members subscribe to the Royal Photographic Society and have been successful at all levels, obtaining LRPS, ARPS and FRPS status. When the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain began to award its distinctions, CPAGB, DPAGB and MPAGB, Selsdon Camera Club members were well represented.

There has been a revolution in the way in which photographs are processed. Digital imaging is the predominant method but traditional methods of the wet darkroom are equally acceptable within our club competitions.

The club now meets regularly on Friday evenings in the Methodist Halls within the Methodist Church in Limpsfield Road, Sanderstead. The Methodist Church has also been the venue for successful exhibitions. There are many activities within Selsdon Camera Club: many members go for local excursions with the Out and Abouters group, for example, a day’s outing or a weekend’s outing to places of photographic interest, to which partners are invited.

Experienced photographers are invited to join the club but there is also room for the beginner. Senior members are always ready and eager to help.

Photography is a wonderful hobby so why not share it with friends. Selsdon Camera Club is a most sociable place where you will find friendship with men and women with a similar interest to yourselves.

Vic Smith,
Hon. Life President of Selsdon Camera Club 2014 – 2017 & Chairman 1998-2000