Todmorden Photographic SocietyMeetings in the Town HallWednesdays 7.15 for 7.30 start
Centre Vale Park
St Mary’s Parish Church
Stoodley in Autumn
Stoodly from Mankinholes
The Founding of Todmorden Photographic SocietyFollowingthefellingofamillchimneyatLobMill,whena GoldMedalwasoffered,bythesteeplejack,tothe photographerproducingthebestpictureofthechimney whilstitwasfalling,ameetingwasheldatSunderland's OldMarketCaféonThursdayNovember29th1906.The meetingwaswellattendedandMrW.E.Shackleton presided.Thedecisiontoformasocietywastakenanda committeeofsevenwasappointedwithMrJ.S.Atherton as secretary.ApublicmeetingwascalledonMondayDecember10th whenRulesandObjectiveswereconsidered.Theobjects of the society were reported by the local press as follows:-a)Topromoteafriendlyandhelpfulintercourseamongst all classes of photographers in the Town and District, andb)Toextendtheknowledgeandpracticeofphotographic processesbymeansoflectures,meetings,exhibitionsand suchothermethodsasmaybeprovedtoledtothe culture of the art-science.ThesocietyacquiredaroomatRoomfieldBuildings, HalifaxRoadwhereonJanuary17th1907aformal openingwasperformedbythemayorAldermanA. CrossleyJ.P.,AldermanWm.Ormerodwaselectedthefirst President of the society.Thenexthomewasa'Studio'atDoghouseuntil,we believeduringthe1920's,WellingtonRoadCo-opReading Roomwasacquiredwhere,for£1perweekthesociety hadsoletenancy.Ithadagoodsizedlectureroom,asmall kitchenandaseparateroomwhichwaseasilyconverted intotwodarkrooms.Itwassaidtobesheerluxury,when comparedtothepreviousvenues,andwas'”greatly admiredandenviedbyneighbouringsocieties”.Thiswas to be the headquarters of the society for over fifty years.Footnote–Thewinningphotographerofthemillchimney was a Mr Frank Stenhouse of Carr Terrace, Walsden.
Douglas Simpson writes:I have many memories of going on Society trips and attending lectures at Wellington Road and social events there. A lecture by a war photographer with pictures of Mussolini hanging from a lamp post and of a concentration camp (Belsen I think), sticks in my mind. Dad had a darkroom in the attic when we lived at Hollins Villas, Henshaw Road, Walsden, and I spent much time in there with him. Our children Helen and Jonathan have one of his cameras each, but they are late 35mm from when he had gone on to transparencies. The ones that mattered to him have long since gone; a twin lens Rolli and a big mahogany and brass plate camera, converted to half plate film, which he use for still life.HewasahaulagecontractorwhowithhisbrothersArthur and Fred operated their business from New Barn, Laneside.