Letting Off Steam by John W Harding
The club was founded in 1963 by Joe Scrivener ARPS (Associate of the Royal Photographic Society) together with a group of members from Amersham Photographic Club, including Stan Flello, Les Slatter, Len Bristow, Matt Chapel & Eddie Brown. The first meeting was held on a Tuesday in September 1963 at the Progress Hall in Essex Road, above where Chesham Tool Hire is now, but unfortunately the TGWU (Transport & General Workers Union) sometimes met on a Tuesday in the same room. When the TGWU had an emergency meeting, the Camera Club had to make alternative arrangements at very short notice but luckily, founder member Eddie Brown taught at Thomas Harding School in Germain Street, and members were quickly redirected there.
In 1964 the club moved to the Town Council’s Band Room, behind present-day Oxfam, and staged its first annual exhibition in the old Council Chamber above. Although the Town Hall has moved to several different locations over the years, the club’s exhibition moved with it and continues to be held at there every October.
In the mid 1970s the Council decided to redevelop the area around the Band Room, so the club had to find a new meeting place and moved to the Spiritualists Hall in Higham Road. Unfortunately some of the members didn’t like the ‘atmosphere’ there, so the club relocated to the White Hill Centre the following year and has been meeting there ever since.
In 2009 the club changed its name to Chesham Photographic Club to more accurately reflect the aims of the club, but continues to provide friendly and informative meetings for anyone interested in photography. With approximately 40 members, their programme includes talks, competitions, workshops, and audio-visual presentations. Members meet weekly from September to April at the White Hill Centre on Tuesdays at 7.45pm
Historical information supplied by Albert Braithwaite