Back in 1986, John L Davies and John Preston were part of a walking group and both had cameras around their necks and bemoaned the fact that many of the other members were intent on covering the maximum ground without stopping and admiring the scenery. This led them to discuss forming a camera club. John P had previously been a member of Saltburn Camera Club and said he would look into it. He booked a room in the back of The Golden Lion (later Chapters), placed an advert in the paper inviting like minded souls to come along and arranged for a couple of members of the Saltburn club to come along and talk. The upshot was that Stokesley Photographic Society was born and John P organised the first year’s programme. 35 years later we are still going strong – with a few of the original members (including the two Johns) still taking part.
The club runs a number of competitions every year, with trophies being presented to the overall winners in different classes.
After foundation of the club John Preston purchased the first trophy, and it was named the Preston Trophy in recognition of his part in forming the society. This is now presented to the winner of the Advanced Digital Image competition. John approached other local businesses for support, hence the Armstrong Richardson Trophy which is presented to the winner of the Advanced Prints competition. One of the early members was Peter Denham. He had retired and come to live in the area and he was an inspirational B&W worker. When he died we obtained a trophy in his memory. The Peter Denham Trophy is awarded to the winner of a mono prints competition that is open to all members of the club. Under the exceptional circumstances of the 2020/21 season this was awarded for digital images rather than prints.
The winner of the Intermediate Projected Images competition is awarded the David French Trophy. David French was another keen B&W worker who sadly died relatively young of cancer and his wife wished to purchase a trophy as a memorial. The Intermediate Prints winner gets the Ian Tindall Trophy. Ian ran the hardware shop in Stokesley that still bears his name.
The Wainstones Trophy, awarded to the Advanced Photographer of the Year, was a shield, which John L Davies had been awarded in a photographic competition for GPs, sponsored by a Pharmaceutical Company. After he had won it the competition was abandoned so he was allowed to keep it. He obtained some new winners’ plaques to replace those from the original competition, renamed it The Wainstones Trophy and presented it to the club.
Our most recent trophy is the David Smith Memorial Trophy, purchased by the club in memory of a much-loved member of the club, David Smith. This is presented to the best image in one of the annual competitions, chosen to have a set subject typifying one of the broad interests of David, who was an inspirational botanical photographer