It is a special year for the club because it is 90 years old this year. Letchworth & District Camera Club was formed on Thursday 13th October 1921 from the demise of the K&L (Kryn & Lahy) Photographic & Microscopic Society. After a year the “& District” was dropped.
The Subscription could be paid by instalments owing to the very difficult times prevailing. Meetings were held in Letchworth Museum. However, the Club fairly soon received a letter from the Letchworth Naturalists Society requesting that smoking should be discontinued at meetings, so the Camera Club moved to the Church Institute in Pixmore Way. Relations were not harmed too much, because the two clubs agreed on joint outings, and the Camera Club agreed to provide photographs for the Naturalists survey work. Outings were organised by bus, train and bicycle. Early meetings involved the development of plates, making lantern slides and gaslight printing.
In 1924 the Club moved their meetings back to the Museum. However, some meetings were held at Donald Brunt’s studio in Leys Avenue, and Discerna in Station Road, Gernon Lodge Preparatory School, and the Library Lecture Hall. The Club moved to Letchworth Settlement in 1950, and meetings have been held there ever since. In 2003, the Club was renamed Letchworth Garden City Camera Club, following Letchworth’s own official name change.
The 90th anniversary will be celebrated during the club season from September 2011 to May 2012 during which the club will be holding a number of special events. The highlight of these will be an illustrated presentation by one of Britain’s top professional landscape photographers, Joe Cornish Hon. FRPS, on 23rd March 2012 at the Plinston Hall, Letchworth. Earlier in the year on 26th January 2012 John Gravett will make a welcome return to our club to give a talk entitled ‘A Lake District Perspective’. John, originally a Letchworth resident and former club member, is now owner of Lakeland Photographic Holidays based near Keswick in Cumbria.
We are actively trying to encourage new members across all age ranges to join our friendly and enthusiastic club, where we share a common interest in photography, exchange ideas and enjoy lectures by visiting photographers.
There has been renewed interest in photography with the introduction of digital cameras and computer printing, which has resulted in increased membership.
We take part in competitions with other clubs in the surrounding area, including Biggleswade, Hertford, Royston, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City. The Club also takes part in the Melbourn Cup and Bedfordshire Invitation Inter-Club Competitions. In addition to these competitions, a number of internal competitions are run during the year covering Digital Images, Colour and Monochrome Prints. Members have also been successful in having work accepted for the East Anglian Federation Annual Exhibition. As well as the competitions, the club programme includes talks by experienced photographers, demonstrations and tuition by members to improve techniques and outings to venues of common interest.
The club still meets regularly on Thursday nights at 7.45pm from September to May the following year in the Brunt Room at The Settlement. Visitors and potential new members are always welcome – please come and see us for a few meetings before committing to join.