Annual Exhibition 2005 - Report

Sandra Brown said it all as we washed up the cups “Its much more impressive than I had imagined it would be”. This echoed my own feelings on first getting involved with the Exhibition. I recall turning up at 10.00am one Wednesday to help, and finding a room of activity – more than a dozen helpers all getting on with the many jobs – seemingly without any directions – but all knowing what to do. It was both impressive and a little bewildering. Where did I fit into the scheme. Well, on that occasion I mostly watched – helping whenever someone asked for help – but seemingly superfluous to the action. Stands appeared by magic from beneath the stage. They were assembled and the light fittings added. Gordon had produced plans of where each print would be displayed; Rodney had produced the yellow cards describing each print, and once the stands were assembled willing helpers attached the prints and the cards to the stands. A giant white screen was assembled before my eyes on the stage in readiness for the inter-club competitions.

On this Wednesday morning Feb 9th I made sure I was there by 9:30am but the activity had already begun. Not only were there normal exhibition tasks to be completed, but also nowadays, (the Digital print competition being hi-tech), Tony and Peter Redford were setting up the system which would allow prints to be photographed on the night, as they were booked in. These images would be loaded and arranged on the lap-top computer ready to be projected alongside the particular print when it was displayed for the judge on the illuminated print box. An impressive addition to this basic system was to show thumbnails of the accumulated marked prints for each club beside the marks, plus the sub-total to date.

L&CPU President Keith Suddaby welcomed everyone, congratulated NCPS on another fine show, and declared the Annual Exhibition open. To give judge Mike McNamee adequate time to peruse the prints, the L&CPU president was invited to present the many cups and trophies to this year’s winners. Some members are so keen to win again that they were abroad gathering images for next year’s competition and unable to collect this year’s trophies; some arrived with large bags to carry off their multiple cup winnings. Jon Allanson was on hand to digitally record the hand-shakes of those cup-winners present. Southport were clear winners of the Digital Print competition with three 20’s and an 18. The accolade of best print went to Marco Pozzi ARPS for his image “Dance Devotees”.

Sandra and Bill had volunteered to serve the teas. However by the time Bill had reached the kitchen helpers Sheila and Jill were hard at it arranging the crockery. Sheila felt an event with such prestige as the Inter-club Digital Print Competition (were we not the first L&CPU club to initiate such an event!) demanded that we use proper crockery, rather than the electrostatic plastic tumblers (on first separating these cups they insist on falling over!). Crock cups are certainly more pleasant to drink from.. During the interval the first disadvantage became clear – they have all to be collected up prior to washing! There is little time to wash up before the 2nd half begins, and since washing makes quite a noise it is necessary to wait until the end to do most washing. Then, Sandra showed her skill in making one drying-up cloth last for nearly 100 cups!

So it was that on the Thursday, the evening of the Inter-club Slide competition, we reverted to the polythene cups with Gerald and Geoff as our helpers. And we didn't miss any of judge Malcolm Kuss's scintillating remarks, as, over five rounds, he narrowed the entry down from 105 to 5. Sitting near the “control centre” it was fascinating to watch events unfold. Peter had programmed the computer. The list of entries with title, club, author scrolled down the screen turning Green if they survived to the next round, or Red if they were knocked out. An automatic tally of results for each round was recorded including how many out and how many left in. Frank read out the titles for each slide exhibited; Brian Bower (who had loaned us his Leica Projector) removed the slides as they were eliminated, and Dave Akers stored them in their appropriate club boxes. Disaster almost struck when a loose sticky label from one of the slides stuck in the projector. Fortunately, Brian was able to remove most of this label to allow the show to continue. When the results were announced Leek CC and Wigan 10 were equal first with 20 points each, way ahead of third place Southport who had 16 points. Frank announced that, in the event of such a tie, the rules were that the most consistent club won. Wigan 10 had not lost a slide til the 3rd round, whereas Leek had lost one in the 2nd round. Thus Wigan 10 triumphed again. But Leek CC had the consolation of providing the best slide in the competition "Misty Morning, Rudyard Lake" by Dave White.

Friday was the night of the great Titanic disaster. For Alan and Jackie it was a night of general disaster. A lane of the A6 was coned off for pipe-laying. A car ran into a bus on the opposite side of the road and the police were handling the slow traffic flow. It took nearly 20 minutes to travel 100 yards on the Torkington road. Every time the traffic Lights went Green the Police stopped their line of traffic, so nothing moved. But they didn't give up – they crept into the Hall just in time for the Speaker to begin.

Andrew Lound's presentation was "Titanic, the Return of a Dream.. " and a most enthralling presentation it turned out to be. Andrew described the origins of the ship and the great rivalry between the White Star Line and the Cunard Line. He showed the many great boilers and enormous piston built for the ship and illustrated the many facets of life aboard, both for the 1st class passengers, and for the 3rd class passengers. He explained the mechanics of the three driving Screws; why turning the ship was a slow job; and why it took time to change into reverse. He went into great detail on the question of insufficient life boats (they spoilt the view for the passengers - and anyway the ship was unsinkable!).

The presentation concluded with under-water views of the remains of the ship beneath the ocean - including the great boiler, the great water screw, and a pair of shoes - the remains of a person.

Andrew was given a well-deserved acclamation.

So too was Gordon Robson, who had announced more than a year ago that this was to be his last year as Exhibition Secretary. Gordon had been secretary for the last five Exhibitions during which time they have gone from strength to strength. This success was due, in no small part, to Gordon's attention to detail. Although the greatest effort is concentrated into the last couple of month's, planning begins as soon as the last exhibition has finished. The judges for the inter-club competitions must be secured and a suitable speaker for the Friday Presentation booked. The exhibition itself has to be planned, judged, and the display arranged so that the helpers on the day know what to do. Finally the display has to be taken down and suitable stickers put on the prints indicating that they were participants in the exhibition. Gordon is now looking forward to a well-earned rest!