The Annual Exhibition 2002

After meticulous planning and hard work by Gordon, the Annual Exhibition was set up on the morning of Wednesday 6th February. Due to traffic hold-ups on the way, the President was 15 minutes later in arriving than the prescribed 9.30am start. He was amazed to find all of the stands already assembled and positioned, the large screen being erected by Tony and Frank and the prints all laid out ready to be fixed to the stands. The setting-up process works like a well-oiled machine (Grecian 2000?) which is great for the club but can be a bit daunting to new-comers (like the present President). According to the grapevine John Ade was the first on the scene and sorting out the electrics. A large contingent of members helped to ensure that by 12 noon the prints were in place; Alan Bromage had assembled the screen box for the continous slide show, Peter Redford had set up the computer screen and associated automatic prompter and also a video camera which, in conjunction with a video projector, gave a larger version (x3) of the print on the screen behind.

The doors opened at 7.00pm and by 8.00pm a large audience had gathered. John Dougherty, current L&CPU President, officially opened the exhibition and presented the exhibition awards to club members.

In welcoming Barrie Thomas to judge the inter-club Digital Print Competition the NCPS president was reminded of the joke about being on holiday with his wife in Rome, and going to see the Pope in Vatican city, addressing the crowds in the square. He was amazed to see Barrie Thomas emerge on the balcony next to the Pope. Excited, he turned to his wife to explain that that was Barrie Thomas, the great exponent of digital photography and of Adobe Photoshop; the same Barrie Thomas FRPS etc who gave lectures, and produced teaching CD's and Tapes on the subject. But he was interrupted in his flow by a man tugging at his sleeve; a Pole, or Hungarian, he thought. " " Pleese, who ees that man?" asked the stranger pointing at the balcony. That's my friend, Barrie Thomas, the well-known…. "Yes, we all know who Barrie Thomas is" responded the man, "But who is the old man in the robes beside him?"

17 clubs had entered the digital competition, each allowed 5 prints from at least two workers. As we had expected, Barrie did a masterly job in commenting on each print, explaining why he marked as he did, and if the mark was low, explaining how, in his opinion, the author could improve his image. The full results are given below. We were thrilled to discover that North Cheshire had won the competition by a clear margin, and that Tony Redford was awarded (by John Dougherty) the prize (donated by Jessops) for the best image in the competition (Contrasts - Place de Gaulle). Results of the Digital Print Competition.

Twenty Clubs entered the interclub slide knockout competition on the Thursday. Peter Gennard from the Midlands ( Stourbridge) had agreed to judge the competition and caused general merriment by referring to all birds as Ducks and animals as Zebras. His alliteration "Dump the Pump" had a disappointing response the first time round, so he repeated it and received round of applause. Peter noted that all judging has an element of personal preference in it and that this is particularly evident when one gets to the final rounds, in this case with four slides from three clubs (Leek, Wigan 10, and Crewe) remaining. After much heart-searching he awarded the accolade of Best Slide to Mr D White of Leek Camera Club for "Kingfisher entering nest burrow".

After thanking Peter for his hard work in the usual Poynton fashion ("Thank you, Ducks!") the President announced that Leek CC had won the North Cheshire Challenge Cup. A good-natured evening ended on a high note when the President won a raffle prize for the 2 nd night running. The individual Club performances are here.

Despite heavy rain all afternoon and early evening an audience of 200 or so gathered to hear Geoff Simpson give his presentation "Wild Britain" on Friday 8 th. Every one of his 160 odd slides was a winner, and it was particularly pleasing to the audience that many of the slides were taken locally. Lyme Park and Etherow Country Park featured as often as the Cairngorms. As Geoff re-iterated that "good pictures are all around you waiting to be taken." "If you don't press the shutter release you won't get a picture". Geoff noted that he only took up serious photography seven years ago. His presentation was an inspiration to all budding photographers.

Geoff also drew the raffle for us helping Dorothy to achieve the record of a prize every evening. Altogether, a most satisfactory evening.

Volunteers were requested to attend the Saturday morning at 9.30am to help dismantle the exhibition. The President arrived at 9.45 to find that it had already been mostly dismantled; all the pictures were down, and most of the stands; the big screen was being dismantled by Tony and Peter, Gerald and Ted were sweeping the floor; Gordon, with Gerald Davey's help, was sorting and labelling the prints. John Ade and Frank Hutchinson gave the (late) President a smile; the Treasurer was smiling; and all was well with the world. By 10.30 am the Hall was bare and we departed well satisfied.

Bill Chadband