(All the Way to the Sea by Mike Parmee, ARPS, CPAGB)
Dunchurch Photographic Society was founded in 1976, the inspiration behind the formation being an accomplished local photographer called Karl Hughes. This followed an exhibition of Karl’s own photographic work at the Dunchurch fete of that year. Support for the new society was initially canvassed via posters in local shop windows and the response was found to be encouraging – the project therefore went ahead.
Karl Hughes himself became the first chairman of the new Society. A varied programme of meetings was organised and the Society was officially opened by the Mayor and Mayoress of Rugby on 21 Oct 1976.
Meetings were held at the W.I. Hall in Dunchurch, a venue which remains our home to this day. Sufficient interest was shown in the Society that within a year of its foundation the membership numbered over 50.
Right from the early days a nucleus of members have been successful in entering external competitions with, for example, five members having work accepted for the prestigious Midlands Counties Photographic Federation Photofolio exhibition of 1978. More recently members have been successful in the Clay Cross National Exhibition of Colour Transparencies, the Rugby Open Art Exhibition, Mid Phot. Dingwall and Coventry Photographic Exhibitions
Since those early days the Society has continued to thrive, with several of our early members still active and successful photographers.
We do not, however, concentrate solely on the competitive side and social events of varying types have provided an enjoyable diversion (and a way of augmenting Society funds!) over the years.
It was recognised that mounting exhibitions was a good means of publicising the Society and an early venture was a display at Southam High School in 1981. This was followed in 1982 by a joint exhibition with Rugby Photographic Society (sadly now disbanded) at St.Andrew’s parish church. A similar joint venture in 1983 was held in the gallery at Rugby Library. In 2003 the Society returned to the new Rugby Library building for an exhibition in the Floor One Gallery. A second exhibition was held in 2004 and it is now establish as an annual event. 2007’s exhibition saw over 600 visitors during the two week show.
A typical programme of events for our season now comprises talks by visiting speakers on a range of subjects, viewing of high quality travelling exhibitions, internal members competitions for slides and prints, “battles” with other photographic clubs in the area, practical demonstrations and social events.
The Society always welcomes new members of any ability or experience. Our main season starts in September and runs through to the end of April.
Weekly meetings are held on Wednesdays at 7.45pm normally in the W.I. Hall on Southam Rd, Dunchurch.