Alton Camera Club
Established 1957: celebrating 60 years
Alton Camera Club
Club History
Alton Assembly Rooms 100 Normandy St
The inaugural meeting of Alton Camera Club at the Assembly Rooms on Friday the 25th October 1957 was attended by 30 enthusiasts. On that evening the committee was formed to draw up rules and a programme of activities.
Soon after its formation the Club became affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain through membership of the Southern Photographic Federation, now known as the Southern Counties Photographic Federation. In 1960 the Club was a founder member of the Surrey Photographic Association. Membership of these organisations has given the Club access to a wide range of judges and speakers in addition to contacts with like-minded photographers through inter-club competitions and events.
Meetings were held in several different places until the use of 100 Normandy Street was agreed and the club met there on Friday evenings for over half a century.
In the very early years of the Club's history the print competitions were all Monochrome and it was not until 1975 that a Colour print competition became part of the programme. Initially this was an open competition with the prints being home-processed. More recently commercially produced prints have been accepted and now digitally produced prints can be entered provided the original image was produced photographically by the member. There have been many competition and trophy winners since the early sixties.
The Club was pleased to receive Lottery funding in 2006 which enabled the purchase of digital projection equipment. With the huge uptake in digital photography, monthly beginners' workshops began in 2008 held on Mondays, many of the attendees subsequently joining.
The club has been at the forefront of Audio-Visual sequence production since its inception, initially using slides and audio tapes with mechanical apparatus and has now gone from strength to strength with digital production.
The club has competed for many years in the Southern Counties Photographic Federation leagues, achieving promotion in the 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. Members' work is often selected for Inter-Federation championships.
Service to club and Federation has been recognised to four members with the awarding of the Southern Fed's Roll of Honour award to the late Jennie Pearson in 2009 and her partner Eric Bennett in 2011. Anne Streeter received the award in 2015 and Steve Kirkby in 2017. Eric was subsequently awarded the PAGB's prestigious APAGB distinction in 2013.
A major change in 2012 was a change of evening to Wednesday and the move to larger and more modern premises. This has also coincided with a large increase in membership.
In the 2017/18 60th anniversary season the club moved to Holybourne Village Hall.