Bentham Photographic Society was founded at a public meeting in Bentham Town Hall on 5th April 1960. The society hung onto this name until 1980 when it became known as Bentham Camera Club. The founder members were Dr T.L. Dowell, Mr Wildman, Mr Adamson and Mr Mallaband. The first committee was composed of Mr Mallaband (Chairman), Mr Murphy (secretary) and Mr Adamson (Treasurer). The committee members were Dr Dowell, Miss Crompton, Mr Wildman, Mr Houghton, Dr Russell, and Mr Cockshott. Unfortunately the minutes are very formal and do not include the Christian names of the members and so often one is still left guessing exactly who was involved.
The venues changed as the years passed. They were:
The Brown Cow (Coach House) 1960-1967;
The Black Bull 1967-1975;
The Royal Oak (Turners Offices) 1975-1983;
Bentham Youth Centre 1983- 1993
The Victoria Institute Low Bentham 1993-2001.
The club flourished for many years until the onset of digital photography. There were 27 members in 1961 rising to a peak of 53 members in 1973. Membership had fallen to 15 in 1999 and closure in 2001 became inevitable. The club met fortnightly and the two pictures of the annual programme for 1985-86 show a variety of competitions, talks and social events all designed to encourage member participation. This sort of format was maintained over the years. Sadly many of those appearing in the pictures are now long-since dead but not all….some still like us daguerreotypes still survive!