This is an article by Rodney Deval covering the history of the club from 1974 to 1994.
FOREWORD. (To the 1994 edition).
When I joined the Club in 1965 and attended my first reunion at Moorlands, Whitby , the first person to shake my hand and bid me welcome was Rodney Deval. This was the start of a lasting friendship and we have co‑operated together ever since.
Rodney gained the Licentiateship of the R.P.S. in August 19BB which was quickly followed by the Associateship in October 1989 in the Educational category. He is also a founder member of the Wantage Camera Club, but his main interest has been the Pen and Camera Club of Methodism in which he has served in an official capacity for many years, as Folio Secretary, General Secretary, and President, so with this vast experience I can think of no better person to edit the History of The First 70 Years and to expand it to cover the next 20 years and I commend it to all our Members.
The Club has expanded and advanced over the years in several ways and I am pleased to say that it still retains its original conception of furthering the art of photography within a Christian fellowship. So we look forward to our Centenary in 10 years time which will be a great achievement for a club which has survived two world wars and several postal strikes.
CHESTER‑LE‑STREET, Co.Durham. January 1994. Randal Bell , LRPS.
FOLLOWING ON ‑ 1974 to 1994
Compiled by Rodney Deval ARPS, 1993.
To follow John Morton in any undertaking is always difficult because he had his own very distinct style and on several occasions it has fallen to me to step into his shoes. The history which he wrote to accompany his ‘Wilf Harrison Lecture” in 1974 drew to its close in the early 1970’s, so it is there that I will pick up the story again and chart our further progress as a Club.
There can be no doubt that the constitution set up in 1960 when the first set of Officers were elected stood us in very good stead. The foundation was laid for the rapid expansion which took place between 1965 and 1972 when 6 new folios were formed, often with John as the founding Folio Secretary. The fact that this expansion was accomplished with so few problems, though some wondered if it was too quick, says such for his enthusiasm and ability to carry folk along with his.
In 1974 Harold Waite our first Chairman resigned having served for 14 years, finding it difficult to motor the long distances from Guisborough to our reunions ‑ particularly those on the South Coast. His patience and skill in controlling our meetings ensured adequate discussion but kept us to the point. Eric Smith was appointed in his place.
Early in 1975 we mourned the sudden death of Stan Flello who was a member of Mono ‘B’ and Colour “C”. His work was of a very high standard and he rapidly gained promotion to the Advanced Class in each folio. His exhibition prints were always a delight to see and those members at Highcliffe in 1971 will remember his Wilf Harrison Lecture ‘My Way with Colour”. Members of Colour “C” compete annually for a Trophy in his memory.
Toward the end of 1975 the Club suffered a grievous loss with the death of John Morton. In his part of the history he recorded how he joined, probably in 1937; became Folio Secretary in 1946/47; General Secretary in 1960; President in 1970 until his death. So John served the Club he loved so well for virtually 30 years in its most responsible positions. It was he who guided us through our period of rapid expansion, for it was he who recognised that in the Club we had, not only a common photographic interest, but also a wonderful Christian Fellowship which he wanted as many as possible to share. It was he who instituted the annual reunions, set the tone of those meetings and made thee so popular ‑ the business side of the early ones was almost incidental to the family atmosphere and photographic activities. He gave new members such a warm welcome that they were soon absorbed into the fellowship and never left on the edges of what could so easily have been a clique where older members were unapproachable ‑ as in so many other Clubs. Gordon Balhatchet and Alf Corbett in moving tributes to John in our Dec’75 Newsletter said, John ‘lead us into the deepest beauties of God’s world and that we are poorer for his passing’. John was unique and even after all these years is still remembered with great affection, he was the embodiment of all the Club stands for.
To commemorate his leadership of the Club members were invited to contribute to a memorial seat to be placed on the terrace at his beloved Willersley. Thanks were due to Harold Waite and Arthur Riley for the organisation, the seat was presented and dedicated in 1978. With the balance of the contributions Ray Warren obtained a Gallery Tray to be called the ‘John Morton Memorial Tray’ which was to be presented each year, at the discretion and choice of the President, to the person who in his opinion had rendered outstanding service to the Club, not necessarily as an office holder. The roll of holders is given in the appendices.
It is a feature I have noticed over the years of Methodist Societies that at a moment of crisis, such as we had experienced, other folk come forward and are able to assume the responsibilities left vacant. Since 1970 Randal had steadily gained in experience as General Secretary and he and Beryl, soon officially recognised as Assistant General Secretary, were able to continue the caring interest in members shown formerly by John. Harold Waite was drawn out of retirement to become President. We are very lucky that we have been so well served by succeeding Officers who have maintained the aims and principles John laid down and the spirit he engendered.
At the 1977 A6N at Plas‑y‑Coed tributes were paid to Keith Robinson, T.W.Davies (Scottie), Charles Cook and the Rev.Gordon Balhatchet. Scottie was recorded as being in membership in 1923 and had therefore been active in the Club for 54 years, no mean record. He was present at the first reunion at Scarborough in 1930, and another not recorded by John at Durham in 1933. I well remember him arriving at Willersley, around ’56 or ’58, with Joe Needham having motored down from Scotland overnight. The showing of his cine file of the 1954 reunion has already been described by John and he was always teased about it good naturedly. A giant of a man both in body and spirit. Gordon was always a tower of strength behind the scenes and a source of good advice whenever his opinions were sought. A valued preacher he conducted many of the ‘Church Parades’ at our early reunions when we would attend worship at the Methodist Church close to the Guild House where we were staying. He joined in 1936 and was an advanced member of Mono “A” when I joined in 1954 and later of the Colour Circles. He took a good photograph and was an able and kind critic of others work. In fact he gave an evening lecture at Willersley in 1956 on ‘The Role of the Critic in a Postal Portfolio’ and then in 1966 the Wilf Harrison Lecture ‘From Cam to Cawood ‑ The Story of the R.Wharfe’. A man of sincere beliefs and many talents.
We were delighted to hear that Ted Tattersall ‑ the Photographer and Journalist for the Recorder ‑ had been presented with the Silver Jubilee Medal for services to photography and Journalism over a long period. Ted Joined the Club rather late in his career, around 1964, and his tales of his escapades made hilarious listening. Some were retold in an article in the Recorder 21st.April 1977 ‑ the caption to his portrait gave his age as 83!
Bob Edwards was a member of Mono ‘A’ for many years and was the founding Folio Secretary of Colour ‘B’ in 1967. It was a great shock when we heard of his sudden death in 1978 shortly after he had retired. Bob had a unique, puckish, sense of humour which came out in his slides and prints usually showing people in ‘situations’ such as two nuns at Whitby having their breakfasts on trays an the greensward outside their Convent next door to Moorlands; or folk eating ice cream at the seaside; or a row of legs visible under the windbreak of a bus stop. One year he wanted a different group photograph at Willersley ‑ so we gathered on the lawn and he took it from an upstairs bedroom! After a period with Harold Waite as caretaker Irene Davies took over as Colour ‘B’ Folio Secretary.
For many years it had been our practice to close membership of folios at 20 and to start a new folio when there were 5 or more on the waiting list. Around the mid‑70’s the monochrome folios reported that numbers were drifting downwards, and had reached 14 (A) and 13 (B) in 1980. It was felt by same that these numbers were scarcely viable and that quality and fellowship were suffering. Discussions were started about the amalgamation of the two monochrome folios, but this was resisted by the members and they remained separate. Membership stabilised at between 10 and 15 and both folios have remained active and successful.
Arthur Riley joined the Beginners’ section of the (mono) folio in 1947/8 and I recall that he always had problems as he was acutely sensitive to metal in developers and was also allergic to egg products. I think it was with relief that he was able to take up colour work. He founded the Colour Folio in 1956 and was Secretary until 1965. He was also responsible for starting the Autumn ‘Northern Reunions’ in 1965 which proved so popular and were soon copied in the South. He was one of the first AV workers using a heavy Ferrograph reel/reel tape recorder and a Carousel projector operated manually without any synchroniser. He showed his various colour travelogues at our reunions and his ‘The River Derwent’ was an object lesson and inspiration to us all. It was with deep regret we heard of his death in 1980.
The 1981 reunion was scheduled for Abbot Hall near Grange‑over‑Sands the week‑end after Easter that year. Easter and the following week enjoyed wonderful weather. I had gone up for Easter and had been walking over Jenkins Crag and the Loughrigg terraces in shirt sleeves. Friday morning of the Reunion week‑end we awoke to snowflakes the size of half‑crowns and within an hour the Lakes were virtually cut off from the rest of the Country. A few hardy souls managed to struggle through on the M6(S) but those coming over the Pennines or from Durham etc and Leeds never made it. Randal & Beryl eventually struggled through by Saturday evening ‑ much of the AGN was held at long distance an the phone! It was at the 1991 AGM that both Harold Waite (President) and Eric Smith (Chairman) retired from active Office, the latter due to ill health. Tributes were paid to the valuable contribution they had made to the Club whilst in Office. I was elected President and Jim Stevens Chairman. On the Saturday evening Dan Austin presented ‘Lakeland Through the Lens’ as the 1981 Wilf Harrison Lecture. Those who had been able to venture out had seen it under very different conditions to those he portrayed so beautifully. His wit and enthusiasm for his subject made his presentation memorable.
Since their foundation the Colour Print and Freelance Circles had only been open to those already in membership of one of the Monochrome or Colour Slide Circles. In 1982 it was decided to open membership to any asking to join, subject to our other requirements being met. The membership of the Colour Print Circle soon went up from 9 (1982) to its 20 max. Since its inception it has remained non‑competitive except for a set subject competition introduced in 1992, and circulates bimonthly.
1983 saw us at Sidholme, Devon for the reunion and AGM the week‑end prior to Easter. Our Wilf Harrison Lecture was given by the Rev.Sam Connolly ‘In the Steps of the Master’ illustrated by slides taken on his visits to the Holy Land . Perhaps a word is appropriate here about Sam’s work for the Club as our Chaplain, to which post he was appointed during the week‑end. For many years our ‘Church Parade” had been held in local Methodist Churches often with the house “Host” preaching. After same wonderfully inspiring services at Autumn reunions held “in house” and due to parking difficulties for our large numbers, we started holding our main reunion services and communion ‘in house’. All found this very helpful, it increased our fellowship together and enabled Sam, or whoever was conducting the service, to pray specifically, by name, for those of our number absent through illness or other difficult circumstance. Sam, and his successors, have been most helpful in always writing a few lines of comfort, or phoning, when members have suffered bereavement or serious illness and this has always been appreciated. I was pleased to be able to award Sam the John Morton Tray in 1985 for his services to the Club. A contingent of members, about 15, journeyed to Sidmouth in January 1992 to support Sam and to represent the Club at Gertie’s memorial service. Gertie’s and Sam’s was a shared Ministry and we always enjoyed her presence and the twinkle in her eye at our reunions.
80 years old in 1984, no mean record, we assembled at Willersley to celebrate. Over 100 members and friends, some visiting for the Saturday evening, attended, (not quite a record, which goes to 113 at Abbot Hall). I had arranged with a manufacturer in Nottingham to make a Club badge, to my design, and I collected these an the way to Willersley, they sold like hot cakes! Talking of cakes we had one inthe back of the car! This was the anniversary cake which had been baked and decorated by Glenys. It was cut on the Saturday night by Annie Hebden, who had performed a similar duty at the 50th. anniversary in 1954. Unfortunately the flash failed to synchronise and we have no record of the event ‑ only one photographer at the ready at a photographic convention!!?
It was also in 1984 that we instituted the colour print competition for the “John Bissett Trophy’ in memory of John Bissett who had served as our Treasurer from 1966 until his death in 1972. Prints could be trade processed, of any size to 10″x8” max, to encourage less experienced workers to enter. Over the years since we have had some excellent entries for this competition.
In 1984 Randal and Beryl gave notice that they wished to resign as General and Assistant General Secretaries at the next reunion, having served in those capacities since 1970 a total of 15 years, and appealed in the Newsletter for a volunteer to come forward. A sad commentary but nobody did! Few have any idea just what is involved in the administration of aClub like ours ‑ perhaps they have and that’s why nobody offered’ ‑ with a circulation list of around 140. Building on foundations laid by John Morton they meticulously recorded our activities, successes and failures. Helped by Marion King who actually took the AGM minutes, every 3 or 4 months they wrote a newsletter, cut the stencils and ran off the copies on their own Gestetner. Beryl even acquired a long carriage typewriter to take sideways foolscap for the directories etc. But more than that they treated the post as a calling, showing loving concern for all members and binding us together as a Fellowship.
So 1995 arrived and we gathered at Abbot Hall, with better weather than last time, but still no volunteer to take over as General Secretary. To lighten the load various jobs such as Exhibition Organiser, Trophy Organiser, PR Officer had been hived off and folk found to act in these capacities. The situation was almost a repeat of 1960 when John Morton retired as Folio Secretary, I spent many anxious moments with his then discussing the way forward before a solution was found and he became General Secretary and I took over Mono ‘A”. Now, as President, I was in a similar position all over again. In the event of no last minute candidate the only obvious way forward was for Randal and I to change jobs. For him to be President, a well deserved honour, and for me to take over as General Secretary if only for a few years as caretaker. When this was suggested at the AGM there was an audible sigh of relief ‘Someone had been found’. The Club would continue as an entity rather than split into a series of unconnected folios, because that is what would have happened. No central administration, no reunions, no newsletters etc, just 8 separate Folios going their own ways.
Behind the scenes I had made a collection to enable us to show our appreciation in a tangible way to Randal and Beryl on their retirement from Office. I presented Randal with a framed print of Rydal Water by Heaton Cooper and Beryl with some Wedgewood Jewellery and Pottery. Following this presentation Harold Waite rose to speak and recalled how he had been instrumental, 15 years earlier, in proposing Randal as General Secretary. He then proposed that both Randal and Beryl should be elected as Honorary Life Members of the Club. This was duly seconded and carried by acclamation.
Randal and Beryl rounded off the Saturday evening by giving the Wilf Harrison Memorial Lecture ‘Our way with colour’, a series of AV sequences which were thoroughly enjoyed. Randal used the Porlock Duofade, two linked iris diaphragms placed in front of the Carousel projectors and operated manually to the accompanying commentary/music on tape.
During the year we had also mourned the passing of Eric Smith, one of our stalwarts. Eric had joined in the late 1930’s when the Club was just one, the monochrome, folio. He was promoted to the Advanced Class in 1946/47; was awarded Hon.Life Membership in 1974 and served as Club Chairman from 1974 to 1981; he was a skilled worker, a kind but perceptive judge and welcome lecturer. He was a great youth worker and was, for many years, the official photographer at the MAYC Rallies at the Albert Hall, London .
In 1984 Fred Stevens, Folio Sec. of Mono ‘B’ for 8 years, stood down due to ill health and this post was taken over by Mora Moseley who has continued in that position until this day. Fred later dropped out of Mono “B” but remained in Colour “D” and Freelance.
When the Club was founded in 1904 it was named the “Pen and Camera Postal Club” as some of the entries were drawings, however interest in this work soon waned and the ‘Pen’ came to mean the written word. In 1985 we decided to try and revive the ‘Pen’ activities and formed the Art Folio, open only to those already full members or associates, with Stan Snowdon as Secretary. We have had exhibitions at several Reunions and though few in number enjoy sharing each others’ work.
John recorded, in his history, how in 1970 he had organised and run a photographic week at Moorlands, Whitby assisted by Arthur Riley, Stan Flello, Randal Bell and myself. This week was well supported by Club members but not the general public, though it did result in two new members, Alan Newble and Fred Turner. It wasn’t until 1987 that we were asked to run another! Each year since 1987 Randal and I have run, with Alan Taylor’s help as Host and Excursion Leader, a ‘photobreak’ lasting 5 days. The course has included lectures, demonstrations, practical sessions and outings and has attracted a regular clientele of Club members, friends and “strangers” ‑ but they weren’t for long. Similar events have also been held at The Links, Eastbourne and Highcliffe, Swanage. All these events have really been independent of the Club but have given valuable publicity and attracted several new members.
1997 saw us at The Links, Eastbourne for the first time for an AGM since 1955! Saturday morning Phil Davies gave the Wilf Harrison Lecture entitled “My Grandad’s Box Brownie and other Collectables”, it was fascinating to see and handle, among other items, an old Kodak Bullseye Camera. The AGM followed, after coffee, and took the rest of the morning, at one time we thought it might have to be adjourned to the afternoon as well. In view of the problems we had had in finding a General Secretary when Randal wished to stand down it was suggested, and agreed, that the General Secretary should be elected for 3 years minimum, 6 years maximum to avoid an open ended appointment which might discourage folk taking on the job in future.
The Saturday evening was made over to the live judging of the exhibition prints and slides by Vivian Croucher and Eric Sainsbury of the Western Counties Federation who had been booked by George Hall. We were taken to task in a quiet but forthright manner for the very ‘ordinary’ nature of our work which, in their opinion, lacked originality, careful selection of subject matter or dramatic use of lighting. The comments were fair and we learnt a lot,
In 1988 we were back at WiIlersley. Having served for 3 years, the minimum period ‘allowed’, I asked to be relieved of the Office in which I had really only been acting as caretaker ‑ though let us be truthful, I had enjoyed it. Lobbying behind the scenes by Kath Stevens had produced new candidates, Bob and Marjorie Winter, and they were elected by acclamation. They had been well briefed by Randal and myself as to what to expect and were happy to take on the job even though they thought they were rather new members, Bob had been in the Club for 5 years at this time. After 6 years in Office we can say how well they have served us in a very busy position.
I also decided it was time to hand over the reins of Colour ‘A’ of which I had been Folio Secretary for 22 years, with 6 years Folio Secretary of Mono “A” before that. I felt it was time someone else had a go! So after 28 years in Office sometimes combining Folio Sec. with President’s or General Secretary’s responsibilities I returned to the back benches. I was very proud when the Club honoured me by making me an Honorary Life Member.
In 1989 we mourned two stalwarts of the Club Fred Stevens and Harold Waite. Fred had been Folio Sec. of Mono “B” for 8 years (77‑85), was an Advanced worker in Colour “D” and was also in the Freelance Folio. It is not recorded when Harold joined but he was listed by John Morton in his history as being an Intermediate member in 1947/48 and he was a member of mono ‘A’ until 1983. He was a founder member of Colour “B” in 1965 and for a time acted as caretaker Secretary following the untimely death of Bob Edwards in 1978. He served as Chairman from 1960 to 1974 and when he stood down Hon.Life Membership was conferred upon his in recognition. He later served as President from 1976 to 1991 and was presented with the John Morton tray as further acknowledgement.
An innovation in 1989 by Bob Winter, our General Secretary, was the calling together of all the Officers, Folio Secretaries and Hon.Life Members as a Committee to discuss matters related to the running of the Club and to decide on recommendations to be made to members at the AGM. So now evolution was complete; from benevolent dictatorship 1904 to 1960; election of Officers in 1960; expansion of Folios 1965‑73 with an informal behind the scenes Committee; to formal recognition of a Committee meeting annually from 1989. The meetings soon proved their worth!
During 1989 we really came up to date and bought an Amstrad Word Processor and Printer. Previously the General Secretaries had used their own Typewriter/Gestetner (Randal and Beryl) or Computer/Works Xerox (Rodney) but the volume of work made sharing a Church Computer inconvenient for Bob. The investment has been well worthwhile and has made the job easier, though duplication is still tedious!
The Folio Secretary/General Secretary had also acted as Club Treasurer from 1904 to 1966 but that year, with increasing membership, we formally elected a Treasurer. John Bissett served for 7 years until his death and was able to place the Club on a sound financial footing. Muriel Muscott took over, we were very exalted to have a Treasurer who worked at the Bank of England’ Muriel served around 17 years and saw income rise from £140 in 1974 to almost £1000in 1989 when she gave notice that she wished to stand down.
At Abbot Hall in 1989 Bob Winter, a registered silversmith, presented the Club with our Presidential Regalia, a silver Methodist shell on a green ribbon with bars giving the names & dates of all our Presidents. This greatly adds to the dignity of the Office and is worn with pride. We are greatly indebted to Bob for his generosity.
During 1989 Glenys and I were in the Woodhall Spa area and called in on Annie Hebden in the LPMA Home. Annie, you will remember, had been a member since the 1930’s and had been a Nell known professional photographer in the Police and Medical fields. She had remained active in the Club, more latterly in Colour “B”, until a stroke made it difficult for her to write. Still proudly displayed on the walls of her room were her Certificate of Religious Studies, her Long Service Certificate for Local Preaching, her Hon.Life Membership of the P&CC and the last print to win her an award in the Club’s Exhibition. It was with great sadness we heard of her death in April 1991.
1990 and we were once again at Willersley and there were more changes. Randal stood down as President after 5 years and Frank Lawton was elected in his place. Frank stood down as Folio Secretary of Colour “C” after 20 years and Alex Buchanan took over. Len Jackson stood down as Folio Secretary, Freelance after 14 years and was replaced by Eric Hyde. Muriel Muscott stood down after 17 years as Treasurer and as a mark of our appreciation had Hon.Life Membership conferred on her and was presented with an inscribed copy of the New International Translation of the Bible. Marjorie Cansick took over.
This year (1990) another innovation, an exhibition catalogue listing all the prints and slides with an insert issued later giving the various winners. This certainly added to the enjoyment of the exhibition, saved lifting the prints off the screens to discover the author’s name and saved bent corners when the print got dropped putting it back. More work for the General Secretary but greatly appreciated by the members. The exhibition is a very important part of our reunion weekend, giving members a chance to see each others’ work and to get new ideas. Over the years we have been very fortunate that a succession of members have been prepared to share the load by arranging judges, receiving parcels, sorting and listing entries, taking the prints and slides to the judges, bringing the whole lot packing to the reunion and then posting back the entries to those who were not there. Frank Lawton has coordinated this for us for many years and we owe him a debt of gratitude.
Other unsung heroes were those like Jim Thomas and Fred Davies who organised the Inter‑Circle Competitions since 1966. At one time entry was for 10 slides or prints, but comparatively recently the rule was changed to require a slide or print from each member of the Folio. The competitions are always keenly fought and a matter of pride to win.
In 1991 after many years of valuable and faithful service, Marion King gave notice of her decision to stand down as ‘Minute Secretary’. Her work in this position had been very valuable over the years as in addition to taking copious and accurate notes she always typed up a neat copy ready for copying or duplicating. In addition for many years she was the source of our voting cards which she printed at home on her equipment. Her work as Minute Secretary since 1968 and her help to John in running Mono ‘A” since his accident, were recognised by Hon.Life Membership being conferred. Bob Winter also presented her with a silver Methodist Shell broach, the central portion of our Club badge, which he had made. We were very pleased when Thelma Woolf took on the job.
At the 1991 reunion and AGM at Sidholme our President, Frank Lawton, presented the John Morton Tray to George Hall. In the citation he mentioned that ‘George was introduced to the Club by W.A.Bramwell an event lost in the mists of time (probably around 1950). Although George had not held any Office in the Club he was well respected for the quality of his work. His pictures had not only been hung in our exhibitions but in International Salons all over the Country and at the RPS”. George was already a member when I joined Mono “A” in 1954 and we soon struck up a friendship which lasted over the years. He could always be relied upon to help with a lecture or slide show at a Reunion , if asked, and was highly respected in the Western Counties Federation. When I was setting up my projectors for the 1979 Wilf Harrison Lecture “Is Tape/Slide Worthwhile?” one broke down. George immediately phoned round his contacts in the area and located one in Exeter which his friend was prepared to lend me. I dashed across to collect it and when I asked if he wanted any security he said “No, if George Hall says you’re OK, you’re OK”. It was with sadness we heard of his death on 19th.Oct.91. Frank, Glenys and I were able to attend the Funeral Service and Cremation at Taunton , the Chapel was packed to the doors with his many friends from all walks of life. Another of those present was Alan Garnham from Durham , a former member of the Club.
That year Jim Stevens stood down as Chairman after serving 10 years. In Eric Hyde’s words of appreciation “We all admired his friendly, unassuming , soft‑line Chairmanship where all who wished were given the opportunity to speak and where decisions were made when discussion had reached a concensus”. Eric Hyde was elected as Chairman with Shirley Markham as Vice‑Chairman (a new Office).
At Willersley in 1992 it was agreed that colour prints submitted for the John Bissett Trophy should be of any size on a mount 20″xI6″ max.
After many years membership of the Central Association, they suggested we were founder members, during which time we were unable to attend any of their General Meetings ‑ though we did enter their exhibitions ‑ it was decided to resign and apply to join the Northern Counties Federation. This would enable Bob to attend meetings on our behalf, it also resulted in a reduction of subscription and maintained our membership of the Photographic Alliance.
After the Wilf Harrison Lecture given by Arthur Hauxwell entitled “I am not a Tramp’ recalling his Charity Walk from Lands End to John‑o‑Groats, Frank Lawton presented the John Morton Tray to Dennis Skelton. Dennis had been recorded by John Morton as a member in 1947/48 and is now the member with the longest continuous service. Frank cited his long membership, technical ability, penchant for experimentation and contributions to the fellowship of the Folio and Club. It was with great sadness we heard of the death of Vera, his wife, in Oct.92 after a fall.
In Jan.93 we mourned Fred Davies, Irene’s husband, a member of Mona “B” for many years, he also organised the Inter‑Circle Competitions. The funeral was conducted by Rev. Ian Mason (Colour “C”) the Minister at Kendal and attended by several of our members During the year we also mourned the deaths of Tom Booth, Mary Barker and Mary Lawton.
At Abbot Hall in 1993 John King announced his retirement as Folio Secretary Mono ‘A’ after 28 years continuous service. Tributes were paid to his loyalty over the years, particularly latterly after his accident. Members voted to confer Hon.Life Membership upon him and Frank Lawton, President, presented his signed and framed certificate.
Colin Pickles was the 1993 recipient of the John Morton Tray. From 1971 to 1976 he was Folio Secretary Mono “B”, a highly competent photographer he is rarely out of the awards and since 1976 he has often taken and invariably printed the reunion group photograph a service valued by all members.
Over the years our members have been active in their local Clubs in addition to the folios and have been/are members of The Royal Photographic Society. Many have gained the distinctions of that Society, firstly the Associateship when that was the initial distinction available and then upon its introduction the Licentiateship and then the Associateship. At the 1993 reunion exhibition Kath Stevens showed the panel of prints with which she had obtained her ARPS. These were hand tinted photographs of scenes in Venice and were enthusiastically received by the RPS assessment panel, in fact they encouraged her to add to the panel and resubmit the set for her Fellowship. We were all delighted to hear that her application had been approved, particularly as Kath is the first of our members in the history of the Club to become a Fellow of the RPS.
So with 1994 approaching fast we are virtually up to date with our history. In April we celebrate 90 years of the P&CC and 40 years of our annual reunions and AGMs. In trying to delve into our past it was tempting to rely only on the Newsletters which are our way of chronicling our activities and to forget smaller incidents. How Eric Smith fell into a waterfall at Ingleton in 1957 on his way home from Abbot Hall; how JohnMorton’s luggage fell off the roof‑rack on the way to Whitby in 1970; Bob Edwards impersonating Liberace on a slab of wood the shape of a grand piano; how Marie Johnson got locked out of her car at Llandudno and had to call the Police; how Irene Davies took us through about a mile of bog on a gentle afternoon stroll; how Jim Puckering took Bob & Marjorie for a walk to Cartmel Priory and arrived back at least an hour late for supper, it was further than he thought; and more! Many of you will have other memories, forgive me if I have placed my emphasis on different events and personalities. It has only been possible to mention a few of the many valuable personal friends made in the Club over the past 40 years and to concentrate perhaps on those who have served in Office and thereby influenced events. But like John before me I have enjoyed delving into the past, it has brought back so many incidents almost forgotten. We are more than a Camera Club, we enjoy a wonderful Christian Fellowship, but don’t let us forget that our other objective is the furtherance of the Art of Photography.
Let us ensure that in 10 years time we will be able to celebrate the Centenary of a Club as successful then as it is now and has been since 1904.