Tuesday, 31 January 2017

A rather unusual activity in London- 1938

In April 1938 a rather special event took place in London, In fact, the second celebration of a 'rather unusual event' for L.P.P. circles.Already Club activities of a far from solitary nature had suggested that this was a group of Print Circles where activity took place on both the home postal basis and as a parallel activity there were group meetings, at that time often in and around London. In retrospect these latter meeting seem to have taken place at a fairly frantic pace in the few years prior to the closure of the Circles during WW11.

The event I am highlighting today was organised by none other than C.C.B. Herbert the then Secretary of Circle 1( Later to achieve senior posts in the Circles and become Chairman/President)) who had proposed a treasure hunt in Central London in the April edition of Miniature Camera Magazine. About 40 Leica users gathered at Nelson's Column on Sunday April 24th to scour the West End for pictures taken in three groups- Named subjects, Titles and, lastly, objects, later producing prints from the negatives. Just to keep all above board the last shot on the roll-limited to a 36 exposure film- was a communal photo shoot of the date board on the gate of St Georges Hospital! The judge was Percy W. Harris and the day was voted a success. The contemporary press report below reveals an atmosphere which is rather dated, but it was almost 80 years ago. In other places are recorded such delights as a joint walk in London on Saturday afternoon and even a night photography session planned to last all night with a break to allow those leaving to catch the last trains!

I am delighted to detect a movement toward such joint activities in the past few years, even if conducted at 'decent' hours. Quite apart from the generous hospitality extended by Leica at Bruton Place and Annual weekends there have been informal groups meeting for 'days out' in the provinces and Circles have not hesitated to join up for quarterly lunches in the Country and for group visits. One concludes that the only solitary activity in Postal Circles is dealing with the circulating folios.

I cannot close without noting that the page filler on Mimosa film at the end of the article is also by Mr Herbert whose contribution in those days, and for some 30 years as President in post war days was tremendous for 51 years in all.

At the time of writing(2017) the L.N.E.R. Railway Society are cataloging the rail archive of negatives by C.C.B.Herbert. This amounts to some 16000 negatives and 2600 prints.

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