Chapel Camera Club marks 30 years

Cressbrook Dale Orchid by Derrick HolmesCompetition is one of the foundations of the 30-year-old Chapel Camera Club.

Taking part and gaining knowledge is what gives photographers the confidence to take better pictures and that is the ethos behind the existence of the group.

It is no surprise then that to celebrate their 30th anniversary members are staging two contests in the community – The Buxton Photo Challenge 2 is being held at the Museum and Art Gallery on September 20 and to prove that they can embrace the new digital age local schools are being invited to take part in the first ever Mobileography competition.

Club member Karl Wood is running the photo challenge in which photographers of all abilities will be expected to take pictures around the town on a series of themes. The winning work will be exhibited at the gallery during the autumn.

The work of schoolchildren on their phones and tablets will also be exhibited and the themes will be animals and nature, action and Derbyshire.

The thriving camera club has about 80 members and meets from September to April with a packed programme of lectures, workshops, competitions and field trips.

They are about to embark on the 2014/15 season and for the special anniversary year Programme Secretary Lynne McPeake says they are inviting the public to two events – a substantial exhibition of 100 photographs at the Museum and Art Gallery and a talk by the celebrated wildlife photographer and founder of the charity Animals on the Edge, Chris Weston, at Buxton Pavilion Arts Centre on September 26.

“We asked members to submit their favourite photographs for the anniversary exhibition and we had a great response with a diverse selection of pictures,” she said.

The major exhibition, which runs until November, is being opened by Buxton’s Town Crier and London Olympics torch bearer Bill Weston on September 13 at 2pm.

There will also be digital display screens showing another 80 plus images.

The beautiful pictures range from one of zebras in the Serengeti to a kingfisher at Ogston Reservoir as well as those you can see on these pages.

While the current members no longer exclusively use nature as their subject the founding members did just that and were originally known as the Buxton Field Club.

The man behind the first meeting was Derek Alsop, who still plays an active role in the club and has a particular interest in natural history.

Over the years he has produced an important photographic archive documenting local people and places. One of those was Peggy Bellhouse, of Combs, an archaeologist, botanist and writer who he photographed in her kitchen in the 1980s (below, right).

He says that he can hardly believe what the club has achieved since his chance discussion about photography with the receptionist at the dentist’s surgery in Chapel.

“I jokingly said if you will be the secretary I will be the chairman and she agreed. I placed an advert for anyone interested in the Buxton Advertiser and to our amazement nearly 60 people turned up.”

Over the years the club has had many homes but currently meets at Chapel Golf Club on Wednesday evenings.

The full programme and other information about the club and the special events can be found at To book tickets for the Chris Weston talk go to