The Ingatestone & District Camera Club was founded in 1953 , under the guidance of Mr. Pollard, an Ingatestone chemist. In forming the Club he was assisted by Bernie Back, Ken Rodgers and Ron Goose. The first set of Club rules were formulated by Mr. Pollard
The Club first met in the old Constitutional Club building, and the facilities provided included a darkroom. When this building was dismantled to make way for the new one in the early 1970s, the Club moved to its next meeting place in the Parish Rooms in Stock Lane. At about this time, the club in Billericay disbanded and most of its members joined the Ingatestone Club.
Bernie Back, a railwayman all his working life, was a well known Ingatestone resident and remained an active member of the Club until his death in 1989 just before his 90th birthday. He introduced the wildlife enthusiast Rosemary Upton to the Club and her natural history slide lectures were very popular.
Both are remembered in the Club today by the Natural History photographic competitions for the Bernie Back Trophy, first presented in 1979, and the Rosemary Upton Cup, presented in 1964. The oldest active member was Bernard “Pop” Moore from Shenfield, who joined the Club in 1959 at the age of 63. He remained a member until his death in 1992 aged 96.
The Club’s first Annual Exhibition was held in November 1960, and the early exhibitions also invited panels from other local clubs. A large boost to the Club’s ego came in 1966 when they were sent photographs to be hung at the Annual Exhibition by a photographic club in South Australia. This came about through an arrangement by the then Club secretary, Fred Bissell, who commuted regularly to Australia in connection with his government job.
The club has always followed emerging trends in photographic development through the years moving from Black and White to Colour prints then to the use of film transparencies. However the move to Digital photography has brought about a significant change in the quality and quantity of images produced. The clubs first Digital image competition was in 2006/7 and the quality of images produced has continued to improve.
In September 2021, we made the move to our new meeting place at the Seymour Pavilion, which offers a car park, free wifi and a built-in projector. This has allowed us to have talks remotely via Zoom (when necessary), as well as streaming of informative Youtube videos.