by Mike Dales ARPS

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The History of the Club

The Beginning

Carshalton Camera Club was founded in November 1952, by Peter Stroud, a Band Corporal with 3rd The King’s Hussars.

Peter had successfully established a photographic darkroom and camera club in his regiment at the direction of his Commanding Officer and upon finding there was no club in the Carshalton or Wallington area, he elicited help from friends and members of local camera clubs in South London to set up Carshalton Camera Club.


The inaugural meeting was held at the Fox and Hounds in Carshalton High Street.  The Committee, was comprised of a number of long-standing members of other established clubs, with Peter Stroud holding the position of Honorary Secretary.

When the Fox and Hounds was no longer suitable as a meeting venue, CCC spent some years meeting at the United Reformed Church in Wallington (now the site of Sainsbury’s), then at the Elm Grove Centre in Butter Hill before returning to Carshalton in May 2007, to the club’s current venue; the halls of the Carshalton Methodist Church in Ruskin Road.

The office of President was introduced in the 1970s, and there have been three Presidents to date; Syd Jennings, Roy King FRPS who held the office until he passed away in 2011 and the current President is Gerald Kitiyakara LRPS, who was elected in March 2012.

Adapting to innovation

In its early years, in common with other clubs, Carshalton Camera Club members concentrated on producing black and white prints from film, taking the photos on medium format film then 35mm film with film and prints processed at home in permanent or mostly in makeshift temporary darkroom facilities.

The production of colour prints from colour negative film was a complex and demanding process, with only two or three members succeeding in producing good results. 

In the 1980s, the advent of Cibachrome (Ilford and Ciba-Geigy) chemicals for the home processing and production of colour prints direct from colour slides was a technical breakthrough, which encouraged more members to try to produce colour prints themselves.

Colour photography however, was mainly accomplished using colour transparency film, with slides being projected on to screen in a darkened hall. Producing high quality colour slides was a real test of the photographer’s skill because it was essential to get everything right at the photo-taking stage, as there was no means of manipulating or correcting the resulting image.

In the 1990s a relaxation in the rules allowed trade-processed prints to be entered into competitions, rather than only home produced as previously. This led to an increase in number of members entering colour prints into competitions as well as exhibitions.

In the 2000s members enthusiastically embraced the advent of digital photography, together with the advantages of post capture processing software such as Photoshop.

In 2007 the Club was able to purchase all the digital equipment needed to take us forward into the digital photography age after a successful application for a grant under the National Lottery Awards For All scheme.

Concurrent with all the above disciplines, the club has been a strong supporter of Audio-Visual presentation. Interest was kindled by Roy King FRPS in the 1970’s who built up interest in this method of photographic story-telling within the Club and formed a presentation team including enthusiasts Bernard Whittle and David Broadway to handle the cumbersome set-up and procedure for presenting an AV programme. 

This too has moved forward with the times, from the early days of projecting individual slides sequentially through two projectors alternating via a dissolve unit and synchronised with sound on a tape recorder to now being able to be produced at home on a computer and watched on a projector.

Photographic Affiliations and Awards

From an early stage, the Club has been a member of the Federation of South London Photographic Societies (FSLPS) and the Surrey Photographic Association (SPA) and is affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) through its membership of the SPA.

The club has participated every year in the inter-club competitions arranged by the FSLPS which we have won on some occasions and entered to a lesser extent in competitions organised by the SPA.

The Club has a good number of members holding Royal Photographic Society distinctions; 
Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society (LRPS) and Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS).

Other members have gained the distinctions Artiste Federation Internationale de l’Art Photographique (AFIAP), Excellence Federation Internationale de l’Art Photographique (EFIAP), by having had a specified number of their images accepted for exhibition by international salons supported by FIAP. 

A couple of members have enjoyed the elusive achievement of having work accepted for exhibition by The London Salon of Photography.

Annual Exhibitions & Events

The Club has held an exhibition of prints and slides (now PDIs) annually since the Club’s founding, with one or two exceptions, such as 2020 when, owing to Covid-19 restrictions, there was an online exhibition of PDIs in lieu of a physical exhibition.

The Club marked its 50th Anniversary in 2002 with a special exhibition incorporating then current work with a retrospective of award-winning work from previous years since the inception of the Club.
In 2012 the Club celebrated its Diamond Jubilee, marked by a retrospective exhibition at the Europa Gallery in Sutton Library, which was officially opened by Tom Brake MP.

It was on this occasion that Peter Stroud was given acknowledgement for having founded the Club by being awarded Honorary Membership of the Club, the only member to date, and since then, to have been awarded that recognition.

Success and Vision of Carshalton Camera Club

The success of this club can be attributed to our members rising to the challenge of changing photographic styles, treatments and genres and embracing the developments in techniques and technology, transitioning from film, darkroom and chemical based processes, to fully digital processes in the early 2000’s. 

This ongoing development of vision and encouragement of its members to achieve photographic excellence in a sociable environment continues to make Carshalton Camera Club a club that welcomes photographers of all ages, levels of skill and experience.

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