Photography Society takes a trip down memory lane

The first members from 1950
The first members from 1950

Members of Fraserburgh Photographic Society enjoyed a trip down memory lane at their recent meeting September 27.

In a change to the programme, Andrew West showed slides which gave an insight into the club’s history from 1950 to 2000.

Andrew West received the prize for the best image in a Scottish National Trust competition in 1994

Andrew West received the prize for the best image in a Scottish National Trust competition in 1994

The club was founded in 1949 or 1950- the exact date being unknown as the first minute book was lost.

So if anyone knows when Fraserburgh Photographic Society actually started members will know whether to have their 70th anniversary celebrations next year or the year after!

Andrew explained: “We do know that the first meeting place was Anderson House on the corner of Frithside Street and Broad Street.

“They met in the basement of what was then a bank where a darkroom was established that could be hired for one shilling - or 10p in today’s money - an hour, a charge that included all the equipment and chemicals.”

A picture from the summit of Cairn o Mount in 1963

A picture from the summit of Cairn o Mount in 1963

Andrew said in his presentation that the society moved to premises above the corner shop on Mid Street.

Here they had set up a studio the back drop was painted by members of the Fraserburgh Junior Arts Society.

“There was also a darkroom here as well,” he said.

“One of the drawbacks of these rooms was that it has a wooden floor and when someone was taking a photograph everyone else had to stand still to prevent the floor from shaking and ruining the exposure.”

Many of the society’s traditions that are maintained today including the annual dinner and presentation evening. Some familiar names crop up on the roll of honour, including Peter Clarke, Graeme Buchan of Elite Photography fame and of course Andrew West himself.

The society organised photography bus trips, but when that became too expensive members went in their own cars - often taking their families with them.

Fraserburgh Photographic Society was a successful club on a regional level with members getting best photograph awards. This tradition has remained and in 2015 Billy Watson’s image was the best photo in the Grampian Eye competition.

Andrew West also received the prize for the best image in a Scottish National Trust competition in 1994.