A Brief History of Falkirk Camera Club
In the Beginning :
On March 22nd 1889 a meeting was held with the purpose of forming an Amateur Photographic Association. “The objects of the association (reported the Falkirk Herald) are the advancement of photographic art and science in the district, and the mutual improvement of the members.” A committee was formed, with Mr William Graham as the President, and thus was born Falkirk Amateur Photographic Association (FAPA). The first meeting of the club took place on April 5, 1889, and the club already had between 20 and 30 members.
The images below show FAPA members on an outing to Callendar House c1890 and a restored group portrait of the FAPA Committee of 1898.
Documented reports show that FAPA ran at least until 1907 but it probably continued until the outbreak of WWI.
And then :
The club has been through many incarnations since, reforming after WW I as Falkirk & District Photographic Society (1922-33); becoming part of Falkirk School of Art Club and Photographic Circle (1934-38); continuing after WW II as Falkirk Art & Photographic Club (1946-57) – although, from 1949, this was generally referred to as the Falkirk Art Club (FAC). In 1953 the East Stirlingshire Camera Club (ESCC) was formed and existed in parallel with FAC until 1958 when, at its AGM of April 17th 1958, it decided – not without some debate – to re-name itself Falkirk Camera Club (FCC). So this then is the official ‘birthday’ of FCC. After this time there are no reports of photography as a section of FAC so, it would appear, FCC had united the photographers of FAC and ESCC into a single club.
The images below are both from the 1950s. Autumn Sunshine by James Harper was exhibited in 1951 but, curiously, was re-submitted into an FCC competition in 1980 and Angelus by ESCC President Malcolm Logie was accepted into the 1955 Scottish Salon, a sign of the club’s outward-looking ambitions.
Recent Times :
Over the past few years Geof Longstaff has researched the history of all of these local camera clubs and produced a 90 minute Audio-Visual presentation of his findings which was shown to the club members in March 2012 and a copy of which is now held in the Falkirk Archives in Callendar House.
The A-V contains details and images of the club’s founders; its many office bearers; trophy winners; successful images from the past; awards and successes in external and national competitions; club venues; FCC’s place in the community; portraits of all of FCC’s Past Presidents and more besides.
Shown below are portraits of Leslie Smith, FCC’s first ever President (1958) and Mary Fotheringham the club’s first lady President (1973). More detail on all of the Past Presidents can be found in the Past Presidents Gallery
Historical Winning Images :
In addition to its regular monthly league-format competitions, FCC has also had, from 1958, annual awards for the (Monochrome) Print of the Year (MPoY) and Slide of the Year (SoY). In 1969 the club added an award for Colour Print of the Year (CPoY). In 2010, slides ceased to be a competitive format within FCC and were replaced by Projected Digital Images (PDIs). Accordingly the annual award was given for this new format utilising the SoY trophy.
Whilst some of these images are lost forever, many have recently been recovered and galleries for each award can be found via the Galleries page or, directly, using the following link :
The Future :
Whilst much has been researched there much still to do. If anyone has any information or images relating to the club – for example pre-1975 syllabuses; pre-1980 club outings; any club Knockout Competition winners; any of the missing images from the ‘Print/Slide of the Year’ winners galleries (elsewhere on this website); those missing 1907-1918 years; ESCC committee members; ESCC images; etc etc – then please contact Geof Longstaff via this website’s Contact Us page or at a club meeting.
Some Additional Historical Information :
The attached document shows all of the office bearers of Falkirk Camera Club since its formation in 1958.
and, similarly, a list of all the trophy winners (PDF) over the same period can be found via this link.