Club History

From Cine Unit to Camera Club…

Shaftesbury Camera Club was formed in 2010 to fulfil the need for a club open to everyone that fully embraced the digital age as well as traditional media. However, before that, Shaftesbury had been home to several different clubs and groups. We can trace this history (with thanks to former member Ken Howe) back to its beginnings in 1964, some fifty years ago.

A club meeting in 2012

It was around 1964 that Ron Parker, a keen cine amateur, put an advert in the Shaftesbury Contact asking fellow interested persons to form a unit/club. So was born Shaftesbury Cine Unit, which in a few years’ time (around 1970) was joined by still photographers and became Shaftesbury Cine and Slide Unit, a club meeting in Christy’s school (now Linden Park).

Individual and joint films were made, and competitions run internally and with other clubs. Due possibly to a change in the Education Authority’s policy, new premises were sought to meet, and an approach was made, and welcomed, in 1974 to Shaftesbury Arts Centre with a meeting room and use of the theatre for public shows, etc. The group became established as the Shaftesbury Arts Centre Camera Group.

Notable ‘projects’ of these groups were:

  • 1973 – Covering Shaftesbury’s twinning with Brionne, both on film and slide and with commentary in English and French. These were taken over to Brionne and shown there.
  • 1977 – Events around the Queen’s Silver Jubilee were recorded mainly on slide, with music recordings of Shaftesbury Town Band.
  • 1978 – A programme, ‘Caring for your Health’, was made in slide and sound.


From Slides to Print and Digital…

Eventually cine dropped out and prints and slides were the principal media. In 2010, most members moved and subsequently formed a new and fully independent club, meeting in The Royal British Legion Hall – the present-day Shaftesbury Camera Club. At this time, it was decided to concentrate on prints and projected digital images (PDIs).

Kelvin Shuffell LRPS (right) in 2011

Our annual ‘Photographer of the Year’ competition forms the basis of our Shuffell Trophy. This trophy was created during 2013 in recognition of the encouragement Kelvin Shuffell gave during the formation of the Shaftesbury Camera Club in 2010 and his generosity in the purchase of equipment for our new club. Kelvin sadly passed away in October 2014, but we were pleased that he was able to follow the establishment of our club for several years and able to occasionally participate.

In 2014 we set up our first international ‘friendly battle’ with a similar photographic club in New Zealand, namely Waikato Photographic Society, about 70 miles south of Auckland. Since then we have also joined with Aspley Camera Club in Brisbane Australia

Also, in 2014, we became a member of the Western Counties Photographic Federation and thus affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain. Membership of the WCPF allows both the club and individual members to extend their photographic interests and activities to wider competitions, exhibitions and salons as well as eligibility for photographic distinctions.

Shaftesbury Camera Club featured in a full page article in September 2014’s issue of Dorset Life which you can read here.

You can view all the programmes from previous years since we formed in the autumn of 2010 here.