Affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain through the East Anglian Federation
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This history of the club was written by Roy Barnes in 2008 to commemorate our 25th Anniversary.


1983 – 2008 

Back in 1981, three young men with an interest in photography attended a small club run by members of Tooks Bakery in Ipswich. They met on a regular basis at a local hall for a couple of years until eventually the membership of the club dropped to such a level it was decided that the club would have to close. In 1983 those same three photographers decided to form another club on their ‘own patch’ on the east side of Ipswich and from those humble beginnings the East Ipswich Camera Club was formed 25 years ago.

The first meeting of the East Ipswich Camera Club was held at the Haven Hotel public house on the 9th August 1983 when 36 prospective members attended. By the end of its first year the club had a total of 55 fully paid up members. Only two members from that first year remain to this day, Roy Barnes and Alan Giles.

The programme in those early days was rather hit and miss, rather more miss to be truthful, and we did struggle a bit. One or two of our members would help by giving impromptu lectures, but by the end of 1984 these members had left and several other members were becoming disillusioned. We were forced to give greater thought to the way that the club was being run and to put more effort into the make up of the programme. In 1986 the club made its first attempt at competing in the big outside world by entering the Amateur Photographer/Konica National club competition. This occasion was the turning point for the club as far as competitions were concerned, in as much as it created greater interest in participating in our own club competitions and members began to realise the benefits of enlarging and mounting their work for judging. In May of that year we received notification from the organisers of the AP/Konica competition that we had been unsuccessful in our attempt. Were we down hearted? – of course we were – but we had tasted outside competition against clubs far superior to ourselves at the time, and knowing the quality of work our members produce now, our efforts at that time were not that good by comparison, but what matters is that we made an effort to compete and this was the turning point in the rise of the fortunes of the East Ipswich Camera club. It was about this time that the tri-club battles between Felixstowe, Wickham Market and ourselves came into being. These meetings were later known as the Suffolk Rose Bowl and continue to this day. It seems rather fitting that we won the trophy this year. Later on other inter-club battles were organised with Stowmarket, Harwich and Dovercourt, Framlingham and Halesworth to name a few, with various degrees of success.

Over the years we have changed venues several times, mostly local public houses. While this was great for a pint of beer during the break, it did nothing to encourage ladies to join the club, which is something we always tried to do. A couple of years ago we moved to a brand new community centre, although being more expensive, it encouraged an influx of lady members and they now represent at least one third of the membership. Membership as a whole has increased across the board and it would seem we have the digital age to thank for this. Everyone at the East Ipswich Camera Club hopes that this increase in the interest in photography continues and our members are looking to the next 25 years with renewed enthusiasm.

Roy Barnes