Percy Williams started the Club on 14 March 1978 at Branksome Liberal Club hall, Salisbury Road, Parkstone, Poole following his retirement in 1974.
Percy had previously said he knew nothing about photography but, in 1972, two years before he was due to retire, his wife said he should have a hobby and gave him a Zenith camera; he learned a lot and enjoyed it so much that he started the Club - the rest is history!
After a couple of years at the Liberal Hall, the Club moved to the Oddfellows Hall in Chapel Road, Parkstone, Poole, where we stayed until 2007, when we discovered the Oddfellows Hall was to be redeveloped - we had to find another suitable venue at short notice. This was to be the hall of the Church of the Holy Angels, Lilliput Road, Poole which offered a bigger venue, better facilities and more parking. Of course, we have remained at this venue until this day.
Percy was Chairman of the club for many years. After handing over the reins of Chairman, he became lifelong President, still being actively involved in the running of the club and keeping a watchful eye on proceedings until he sadly passed away.
The club has seen a few different Chairmen since then. Sheila Brown became our first female Chairman and also our first female President.
The club is an affiliated and active member of the Stour and Avon Photographic Association (SAPA). Sheila was the first female SAPA Chairman. Club members have been involved over the years in running SAPA, taking on positions of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Competition Secretary.
Club activities include speakers, demonstrations, tuition, competitions, outings; all run and organised by an active and enthusiastic committee group. The club is renowned for being friendly and sharing our passion and enthusiasm for photography with like-minded people and learning from each other.
The Club has organised some very special events, open to the general public, including Sir Chris Bonington at Poole Arts Centre (The Lighthouse) in 1999, Andy Rouse at Parkstone Grammar School in 2002, Charlie Waite at Parkstone Grammar School in 2007, Nick Jenkins at Kinson Community Hall in 2015.
The Club continues to thrive thanks to the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of its committee and members.