We will meet around 6.30 pm in the free car parks in The Pippin opposite Sainsburys.
From there there is a path with a bridge over the River Marden onto the start of Church Street. There is also a bridge further down the road at a place known locally as Doctors Pond, named after Dr Joseph Priestly who discovered oxygen whilst staying at Bowood House in 1774. This path leads into Mill Street which has some quite old cottages and the Proclamation Steps, where results of elections were announced. The old water mill is visible on the left
Further on is a recreation ground where there is a plaque for a Calne man who ran the fastest time for a mile but was not recorded as he was a professional athlete. Kingsbury Street has a row of tiny almshouses and opens out on to The Green which is where wealthy owners from cloth making lived.
On the Strand is the Lansdowne Arms hotel with a steep hill running up to its left called Castle Hill and the Grade 2 listed Town Hall building opened in 1886
Despite some confusion over availability of parking in the village, a small group assembled and went on a circular walk as recommended by our President, using his local knowledge of the area. The circular walk took us past the church, over the meadows and eventually back into the charming village centre.
The scenery was attractive, the roads traffic-free and we were bathed in evening sunshine. Not a single sarsen stone was photographed but that was what made this evening trip to Avebury so different and enjoyable.
At relatively short notice, our first photo-shoot of the summer is a visit to Avebury to look for different opportunities to photograph the stone circles…..and possibly sheep if they are grazing near them!
We will meet from 6.30 pm onwards and after some fresh air, exercise and hopefully some novel images of the stones, seek refreshment in the only pub in the world inside a stone circle.
As daylight hours were reducing, our final summer photoshoot activity was to go to Uffington white horse for some astro-photography and two nights were nominated to provide a contingency against unfavourable weather conditions. Unfortunately cloud cover rolled in on both evenings so it remains to be seen what images were obtained, if any.
Our new season starts on September 10th with the Awards Presentation evening followed by a viewing of the WCPF Travelling Print Exhibition, which always features some splendid images to admire and puzzle how they were obtained.
Conflicting arrangements for many Club members, coupled with the poor weather forecast for the evening, led to the photoshoot being cancelled. So, we will have the delights of Castle Combe to look forward to on another occasion.
Our third summer photoshoot featured a revisit to the Lotmead Farm Machinery collection in Wanborough. Unlike last year, the exhibits and workshops were on open display with the friendly owners keen to demonstrate the salient features. A fully fired up miniature steam tractor chugged its way around the site provided interesting photographic material but the star attractions clearly were the Scimitar tank and Saracen armoured troop carrier, both driven up and down the farm track for some action shots.
Thanks to Barry Davies for arranging this shoot. He turned up in his 1954 restored split screen Morris Minor which arguably could have provided material for a photoshoot in its own right!
A healthy turn out of members made it to the Church of St John the Baptist, at Inglesham for our second photoshoot. The church is located out in the countryside above the surrounding water meadows next to the confluence of the River Thames, River Coln and the Thames and Severn canal.
Although disused, the church portrays a rich historic past with carvings on one wall, medieval paintings on another and passages from the bible etched elsewhere. So there were several interesting images to capture both inside and outside, although once again we were treated to a very dull grey sky and no hope whatsoever of a sunset……but at least it remained dry.
Tripods were the order of the day and especially inside where the light levels were very subdued. Care had to be taken wandering around the graveyard as some plots had fallen into disrepair with grave coverings broken but we lost no-one during the evening.
Afterwards we adjourned to The Trout Inn for some riverside refreshments.
A hardy quartet of Club members made the trip to Wilton windmill, near Marlborough, for our first shoot of the summer season. Since our last visit a couple of years ago, a Granary had been transferred from Lacock College Museum and erected on site.
The gray and featureless sky provided an uninspiring backdrop but, undeterred, the attendees took the opportunity to experiment with camera settings and summon their collective imagination in an attempt to create different and attractive images of the static windmill.
With no prospect whatsoever of a sunset to photograph, refreshments were taken at The Swan public house nearby and we were left to rue nature’s cruel fate in providing such flat and insipid light, when the previous evening a stunning sunset had been delivered.
“Four legs good; two legs bad” is a quote from Orwell’s Animal Farm and so we did something different and visited a local riding school and stables for our third photo-shoot evening to record images of our equine friends.
The weather was glorious and after some briefing instructions from the owner, we were able to wander around the paddocks and arena to photograph riders and their mounts, as riding lessons and some jumping took place. In addition we visited the adjacent paddocks where horses were grazing and showed great curiosity as telephoto lenses were pointed at them and came to investigate further.
Being in the school holidays and towards the end of the day, there was limited activity but the invitation was received to visit again at weekends when jumping competitions and cross country events are held which attract a lot more participation. Thanks to the owner for his helpfulness in arranging and managing the visit
Club members were granted access to Lotmead Farm workshops where a large collection of traction engines are housed and renovated. In addition to the wide range of vehicles present, most of which were under protective covers, a number of renovation enthusiasts were using the extensive workshop facilities to carry out various engineering activities. The smell of lubricants and machining fluids was evident as was the impressive array of engineering equipment that could be used including presses, lathes, welding and metal processing tools. A number of steam boilers units were under repair showing both the complexity and ingenuity of their designs.
Thanks to Barry for arranging the visit.