MPP Users Club to close...

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Xpres, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. Xpres

    Xpres Member

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    How many here are members of the UK based mpp users club?

    I received a letter today explaining that the officers of the club propose to shut it down at the agm on 23 March. It seems they have been asking for others to fill their roles for the last five years but no one has come forward. As they are all getting old and/or have other things to do they want to close the club.

    It's an ultimatum. Step up and help or lose the club.

    What do others here think? Anyone want to volunteer? I will, but that's only one of five positions.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2014
  2. Regular Rod

    Regular Rod Member

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    What is required? How can we help?

    RR
     
  3. Xpres

    Xpres Member

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    What they need is five officers to run the club who can be voted in on the 23 March at the agm. Chairman, Secretary, treasurer, webmaster and nl editor.

    This is the letter I received - quick scan with my phone so apologies for errors...

    MPP Users Club
    Dear Madam or Sir..
    You should have had formal notification ofthe AGM and EGM, and it is felt alittle explanation is needed. The club has been seriously short of officers for more than 5 years. but sadly, despite regular appeals and discussion at every AGM for years, no one has volunteered to take up the jobs vacant. Officers have had dilliculties from pressure of' other work and family commitments, and had to resign. One problem is that somejobs
    are more work than might be thought, At thc present, Dave Gosden has pressure from other work` and age is a problem for thc rest of us. Thus we need to retire. A Club cannot
    function without officers and therefore an EGM has been called. añer the AGM, so that the Club can bc closed if need be.
    However if, at thc AGM, competent members volunteer for the positions of.....
    Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Webmaster, NL Editor
    .,...then the club can continue.
    We have all enjoyed many years in membership and being able to help and contribute. also making man)vl good friends over the years too. We know closure is had. and very sad news, bul put simply. the horses are old. lircd. and can no longer plough lhe Dave
    lives in the far south west, so to attend the AGM involves driving more than 500 mile5_ Others also travel similar distances.
    You will be interested to learn that the club archives (and they are extensive) may go to
    thc National Media Museum, Negotiations are Linder way with an 'in principle' outline ._ agreement. They cover mors` than 20 years and include original and copy MPP material,
    plus all Galettes and NLS. lt is suggested that the balance of funds should go to a charity.
    to be chosen at the EGM. lf thc club does close. there will be at least one more NL, as a Y MPP camera, under another name. has been found recently and with closing ,É accounts. it will be good way to wrap things up properly in a ñnal edition.
    l hope this explains things. Volunteers should contact Dave at thc Website or Neill al thc i* above address. or come forward at the AGM.
    Best regards.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've only one MPP - a Microcord but I have used their website. It's been stuck in a time warp for quite a few years now but having said that it's not easy to maintain and improve a site which has a limited scope. Graflex.org is an example of a slightly larger and a bit more active website with it's own forum, useful for those purely Graflex questions etc.

    I can't see any benefits to the Users club other than the Newsletter, however a more open MPP User group with a forum might well attract far more people. The Graflex Historic Quarterly magazines are online & free but even they struggle now for content as the old collectors begin to drop by the wayside.

    There is a need for new blood to revive the website and it's content and more importantly be a better resource for MPP users.

    Ian
     
  5. ben_blt

    ben_blt Member

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    That's terrible news.

    I've only just come across MPP, Microcords and The MPP Users Club in the last couple of weeks. I've been shooting 35mm for the last 20 years but was looking for an entry camera into Medium Format.

    I was born and grew up in Kingston and went to school on the same road as MPP was based so it has particular interest to me.

    I'm happy to help out with Webmaster, NL Editor or any of the other roles to help keep the club going and could certainly re-do the website if that's required.

    Unfortunately I'm away on the 23rd so won't be able to attend the AGM, but if you're there and could pass on my interest that would be great.

    I'd be happy to try and drum up some more interest in the club by contacting the various Microcord flickr groups etc that I've come across in the last few days.

    I'll try and email the Club now to offer my support.

    Best,

    Ben
     
  6. Xpres

    Xpres Member

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    That's great Ben... just what the club needs.
     
  7. Keith Selmes

    Keith Selmes Member

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    I've found the website a good reference, and it would be a pity to see it go.
    However, having checked the site, I've remembered why I didn't join.
    I looked it up a few months ago, with a view to joining, but there's no friendly button to push, no way to set up a paypal payment, no donation button. It says you can send an email, and wait 21 days for a reply. Like most internet users, I thought "I'll sort that out later" and forgot all about it.

    Also, I have the impression they send out a hard copy newsletter, which I wouldn't want.
    If the material were published on the website, that would be much more interesting and useful.
    As it is, the website is very static, and not at all interactive, and I wasn't even sure if the club was still in being.

    I'm surprised if this has been shaping up for 5 years. I watch 2 or 3 photographic websites regularly, and I don't recall seeing anything until now.

    I don't want to get involved in running a club, but glad to see Ben offering as webmaster, which is what is needed. It would be nice to retain the current reference material, have an easier joining method, and something like a members upload area. But I don't know how much work that involves.
     
  8. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    I have an MPP VII and I am a member (and contributor) - but I live in California, and will not be in the UK for the AGM/EGM. MPP as a company was into some fascinating things - the last newsletter had an article on the UK mass chest x-ray program and the MPP equipment involved. I am just old enough to remember those mobile 'removal vans'.

    All small organizations have to contend with this - balancing membership and active support. With something like MPP products which are now a finite and aging resource, the interest is becoming smaller as the years pass. We saw the same thing with Mamiya - they stopped even referring to their older equipment about ten years ago, and their distributors followed suit. if you don't have people able to do the work, it won't run itself.

    The UK National Media Museum seems a good place for the records and data if it has to close down.

    I sent the current committee my response directly - that's what they asked for.
     
  9. ibraar

    ibraar Member

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  10. Farside

    Farside Member

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    Only just found this thread. Sorry to see it go, but looking at the site, it's still up but no members being accepted.
    I only just acquired an MPP last year at that, a MkIII with a later International back, MkVI flash bracket and relatively recent bellows by the look of it. It's been updated as time went on by one or more previous owners. My word, it's a lump of a thing and just the job to fend off assailants or fellow press sharks with.
    If whoever takes over the running of the website opens it up for donations, I'd chuck a couple of quid in - it's been a very useful source of information to me.
     
  11. kram

    kram Member

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    The club has a new committee and is excepting new members. Website update is an issue at the moment with a new webmaster! More of an issue with the site provider.
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Great.

    Welcome to APUG
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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  14. apugnumpty

    apugnumpty Member

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    I do hope to be able to join and help on the MPP Users forum, how do I contact them?
    I've just bought a MPP VIII and am keen to learn.
     
  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It would be good if someone could unravel the secretive links between MPP & Graflex that lead to the company abandoning their own MPP MicroPress design and instead using parts from Graflex, shutter, focus track, front standard, shutter release & cable etc in a casing possibly made by Celestion.

    Essentially the MicroPress is a Speed Graphic in disguise at a time when there were still severe Import restrictions on cameras and other luxury goods after WWII.

    HS Newcombe, an author (books & magazine articles) and camera retailer bemoans the shortage of high quality new cameras in the UK around the time the MicroPress was introduced in a BJP article.

    At a time when you needed a licence to import non essential luxury goods into the UK MPP and Graflex were using a lopp-hole that allowed parts to be imported but not finished items, how legal that was at the time would depend on what proportion of the parts were imported. If the casing was made by Graflex then it would be essentially an imported camera.

    Ian
     
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  16. Elmar Lang

    Elmar Lang Member

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    I hope there would be good news soon. I'm the happy owner of an MPP Micro Technical Mk-VII and an MPP Microflex: both are a joy to use and MPP Club's webpage was highly informative and interesting.

    Best wishes,

    Enzo (Trento, Italy)
     
  17. choiliefan

    choiliefan Member

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  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Since writing those 2 pages I'm now convinced that the casing of the MPP Micropress was also made by Graflex and ot Celestion/MPP. The reason for the secrecy was both Graflex and MPP were flouting the Import restrictions in force at the time which meant cameras could only be imported into the UK with a special licence. Parts could be imported.

    What's more amazing is that Basil Skinner and others claim there was no link at all between the two companies when the physical evidence or the parts is overwhelming.

    Ian
     
  19. Farside

    Farside Member

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    MPP - Graflex...
    If it's ducky-shaped, makes ducky noises, and walks duckly; chances are its got lots of duck dna in it.
    If any historian denied the evidence of his own eyes to that extent I'd never trust another word he wrote.
     
  20. colecowes

    colecowes Member

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    You may be interested in:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/880199758696160/

    I couldn't find any trace of the old Users' Club, so I thought maybe this would bring a few enthuaiasts out of the woodwork!