“Street Photography” Workshop – October 23rd 2019

Some Club members along with guests from other local Camera Clubs met up in Swindon town centre with Damien Demolder for a practical workshop. The day started with a coffee and the chance for attendees to share their expectations from the workshop and to outline their general photographic activities. A range of Panasonic cameras were available to choose from along with a brief introduction. The first location chosen was an underpass which offered varying intensity and direction of light and was used to show the wide ranging effect this had on the image.  Exposure compensation was explored to ensure correct exposure of the subject against various backgrounds.

After lunch we practised photographing people in a discrete way which made both the subject and the photographer feel comfortable with the approach. Seemingly ordinary locations provided exciting photo-opportunities combining leading lines, patterns, interesting shadows and reflections. We concluded the day with a review session and shared our learnings. In summary, an excellent workshop that was informative, confidence building and great fun. Thanks to Damien for sharing his expertise and Panasonic for providing the camera equipment.

Summer Outing – July 7th 2019

This year’s annual Summer Outing was to the Black Country Living Museum at Dudley.  Armed with cameras, suntan lotion and a phrase book ” How to speak Black Country” the intrepid travellers reached their destination on time despite a delayed start. The first stop for many of the group was a tour of a mine, which graphically conveyed the miserable conditions and extreme dangers that men and children endured underground to extract the black stuff. Dudley had the thickest coal seam in the country which reached 10 metres in places.

With a multitude of rebuilt historic buildings to visit along with shops and plenty of refreshment opportunities, there was lots to interest the visitor and get the shutter finger working overtime.  In the afternoon, the group took a 45 minute canal boat trip into the network of abandoned limestone mines and tunnels. Sound and light shows along the way helped bring the environment to life and there was even a chance for a couple of people to have a go at “legging” the boat through a tunnel. Needless to say, they won’t be giving up their day jobs or seeking a new career.

After the canal tour there was time to visit any previously missed attractions and hop onto the trolley bus or old double decker bus back to the main entrance. Thev weather gods were once again kind to us and folks had an enjoyable and informative day.

street Scene Sheer luxury Seeking directions Claustrophobic. BCLM



Summer Outing – July 8th 2018

The Club’s annual summer outing attracted over 30 participants, who enjoyed the foray into Somerset and spent the morning at Dunster before going to Minehead to take a steam train ride to Bishops Lydeard.

An early start was the order of the day and despite traffic flowing freely, it took over two hours to reach Dunster, where the coach driver treated us to an impromptu tour of the town whilst searching out the coach park. Most people headed off to the National Trust owned Dunster Castle, a  former motte and bailey castle which is now a country house. The castle sits on the top of a steep hill called the Tor and commands views over the surrounding countryside. Over the years it had been fortified and at the end of the 14th century the castle was sold to the Luttrell family, who continued to occupy the property until the late 20th century.

The medieval castle walls were mostly destroyed following the siege of Dunster Castle at the end of the English Civil War and the architect Anthony Salvin was employed to remodel the castle. In 1976 Dunster Castle and most of its contents passed to the National Trust.

The self- tour of the house took over a couple of hours and included some unusual leather hangings of Anthony and Cleopatra and ornately decorated living and bedrooms. This left little time to explore the extensive gardens and their many features including an 18th century working water mill. Then it was time to grab some lunch before taking the bus to Minehead to catch the West Somerset Railway steam service to Bishops Lydeard.  After rushing around, the 1415 train was delayed for an hour due to a line fire and this provided the opportunity to seek some shade by the seafront and enjoy a locally made ice cream.

We boarded the 1515 steam train and took in the sights, as well as the smell of coal and steam, as the train wound its ways through ten stations along its twenty mile journey through the Somerset countryside and coastline. Even with the air conditioning set to maximum (windows opened as far as they permitted) the summer heat couldn’t be escaped and thoughts turned to the poor engine driver and fireman working in such hot conditions.

On boarding the bus for the return journey the thermometer showed 38 degrees centigrade and this didn’t fall much below 30 C by the time we had reached Bristol, an hour later.  Understandably people felt rather subdued and soporific but had enjoyed a memorable day out.


Club Summer Outing 2014

Sunday 20th July, was the date of this years summer outing. The trip this year was a nice leisurely coach trip to Corfe Castle, and then on to Swanage for a trip on the steam railway.

The day started bright and early with the coach, a nice 49 seater instead of the 36 seater that we booked. Having done the trip a few times, I was at first a bit taken aback when the coach driver turned right in Tidworth to go the Bulford – Amesbury way. But what a lovely route, I saw things that I have not seen before and will be going back on my own.

With a slight mishap from the driver, in that he missed the Coach parking in Corfe Castle, by the time he could turn back, we were only 2 1/2 miles from Swanage. However, it gave Geoff the opportunity to relive old times by directing traffic.

A great stopover in Corfe Castle for lunch was well timed, and again, I have never walked from the coach/car park to the castle entrance, a very nice route, and it brings you out at the tea rooms, very handy.

Then of to Swanage, for a quick walk along the sea front before being at the station for 3pm so that we were ready for our steam train ride.

Well were were all treated to seeing Tornado going up and down the track while we were in Corfe Castle, but when we were on the station platform, it arrived in time for some photo opportunities.

A bit later than usual, we all got on our steam train, and as were experiencing the days of bygone past with the steam train, and British Rail if it did not arrive late, not that we minded taking photographs of Tornado.

After the trip we had some time in Swanage, and some even managed to have a paddle in the sea, while others, it was a British tradition of Fish and Chips by the sea.

Back on the coach for the trip back to Royal Wootton Bassett.

So a huge thank to Geoff for organising the trip, as it was a huge success and every one is looking forward to next years trip.

Club trip to RHS Wisley – 7th July 2013

On Sunday 7th July 2013, the WBCC organized a day out to the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens at Wisley.

They day started of with beautiful blue skies and nice warm weather. We all met in the car park near Sainsbury’s in Royal Wootton Bassett, where we waited for our coach. It duly arrived and we all got on for the 1½ hour trip to Wisley.

Upon arriving, we waited for Dave to collect our tickets, then it was of, all camera’s at the ready. But for me, straight to the cafe for the first cup of tea. A quick walk around taking very serious photo’s here and there (All competition winners I am sure). I was just amazed at the size of the place, although there was 30 of us, including our wives I didn’t bump into that many of our members whilst on my walks.

Lunch came and went, and a bit of a rest sitting down just admiring the vast array of colours, and scents from all the different flowers and shrubs.

As we had to be back at the coach by 5:30 time was flying by, it seemed that there was not enough time to really enjoy all that Wisley had to offer.

The trip home was very uneventful, oh yeah, that Scottish bloke won Wimbledon, well done Andy.

But all in all, I had a fab time, and I am sure that everyone else did, so well done to Dave for organizing the trip.