Tributes paid to history expert – Alan Sargeant

Long-time Banbury historian Alan Sargeant has died

BY MATT ELOFSON mattelofson©jpimedia.co.uk

Note: this article appeared in Banbury Guardian 25th March 21

Alan Sargeant, aged 86, passed away on Friday March 12. Mr Sargeant was a long-time member of the Banbury Historical Society, Banbury Camera Club, and most recently “Times Past” group at Banbury Museum. He developed a slide show called ‘A Walk Round Banbury’ which he took on tour around local care homes and senior clubs, inspiring hours of happy reminiscing. He was also involved in computerising the records of the village of Cropredy. Alan’s daughter, Linda Chatterjee, said: “Nobody knew more about the history of Banburyshire than Alan.” The funeral will be on April 12 at 11am, at Banbury crematorium, Southam Road. Due to current Covid restrictions attendance will be by family invitation only.

The Sargeant family moved to Banbury from Middlesborough in 1939 when Alan’s dad, Alfred went to work at the aluminium works, known locally as “the Alley”. They lived next to St John’s Church, and Alan attended school at St Mary’s and then Dashwood Road School (now Dashwood Academy.) Linda added: “He was part of St Mary’s moth anniversary celebration in 2018, regaling current pupils with his memories of World War II. He chuckled when a young boy asked him if he had survived.” Alan left school at the age of 15 and went to work at Stock-ton Sons and Fortescue, a firm of solicitors in the High Street. The story of this first job, “The Office Boy” was published in Ottaker’s Local History Series book after Alan won a writing competition in 2001. Mr Sargeant also served in the RAF for three years, which included time as an air plane mechanic in Egypt. He also earned the Suez Canal service military service medals for his service time in Egypt.

Alan with glass

Mr Sargeant had a life-long love of learning. His daughter Linda recalled how her father would joke that he was “educated at Rugby and Oxford” because he attended technical college in both towns studying engineering. She added: “I am the first in my line to get a bachelors, and Jane got hers a couple of years later. Both of us got our love of learning from our parents, especially dad.” Mr Sargeant also had a passion for languages. His nephew, Mr Green, added: “He was fluent in at least two languages (German and French) and a skilled and qualified translator.” He became a draftsman for General Electric in Rugby, and later for many years at Demag (cranes) in Banbury. While at Demag, he learned advanced German, earning the initials AIL (Associate of the Institute of Linguists) and when computers replaced draftsmen, he continued translating German technical drawings for Demag on a freelance basis. He donated a large collection of German books to Oxford University.

In 1962, Alan Sargeant married Beryl Knowles whose parents owned a shop in Easington. Beryl is remembered as a leader of local Girl Guides in the 1970s and 80s and as the Matron at Drayton School. She died in 2000. The couple leave two daughters – Jane Sargeant who lives in Yorkshire, and Linda Chatterjee, who lives in the USA. Jane remembered fondly how her father passed his love for gardening down to her. She said: “In the early years of bringing up a young family dad would grow all our vegetables, potatoes, cabbage etc, with just a few flowers for colour.

When we moved from Rugby to Banbury he continued growing vegetables in my nan’s house in Cromwell road. “Our small garden in Morris Drive was taken over by swings and our pet rabbits. Later on as we grew up and left home, dad was able to take up his passion for growing flowers. He swapped the potatoes and cabbage for fuchsias and pelargoniums. “He would spend hours in the greenhouse taking cuttings and potting them on. He loved to share this passion with family and the close neighbours he had and there was usually a plant exchange or two going on in the street.”

The family got together with the Knowles clan to celebrate Mr Sargeant with a “This is your Life” party for his 85th birthday in 2019. Mr Green described his uncle as ‘a tower of strength to the entire family.’ He said: “Throughout his life he gave of his best to family and friends, encouraging and supporting us all. There was never anything he wouldn’t do for you, and if he knew you had a specific interest he would go out of his way to research and provide further information. His was a life lived to the full.”

Alan shows his medals

Annual PDI competition 22nd March 2021

On Monday 22nd March, Banbury Camera Club held its annual Projected Digital Images (PDI) photography competition. Members had submitted images in advance. The event was held via Zoom all images submitted in advance.

Joining us on-line, the guest judge was Terry Pollard.

Placings were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd plus highly commended for Monochrome and Colour. The judge also selected the overall winner from the two 1st placed entries.

Annual PDI competition – 2021-03-22 : PDI Colour Open

PlacingNameTitle
1Chris BaldwinMr Grumpy
2Derek LaneAnyone Seen My Stick
3Michael GreenwayBlack Star Riders
3Roy TholeCluster Of Tulips
HCLynne HooperFrozen In Time
HCJane JarvisIced Iris
HCJamie Bodley-ScottGormley Meets Art

Annual PDI competition – 2021-03-22 : PDI Mono Open

PlacingNameTitle
1Miles CrisellA Misty Morning In Spiceball Park
2Dave DugganFag Break
3Jeff YoungmanWinging It
HCJane JarvisFlight Time
HCBarry LaneCoastal Haze

The overall winner was Mr Grumpy by Chris Baldwin.

On Sunday 21st March The Chilterns Association Of Camera Clubs held their annual Championship Day

Banbury Camera Club took part in The Projected Championship competition. Details can be seen in this video. https://youtube.com/watch?v=hV98VRkXylg

The next meeting on Banbury Camera Club on April 12, 2021 will be an open digital images competition with guest judge: Peter Cox .

Full details of how to participate in our Zoom Meetings are sent out to members by email. 

Walford and Round Photography Competition 2021

Joining the Flow

On Monday 8th February, Banbury Camera Club held its annual Walford and Round photography competition. Members had submitted images in advance. There were 2 set subjects “Water” and “Square”. This competition is normally a print competition, however as the event was held via Zoom all images had to be submitted as digital images.

Joining us on-line, the guest judge was Kathy Chantler.

For each set subject placings were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd plus commended at the judge’s discretion. The judge also selected the overall winner from the two 1st placed entries.

Walford and Round – 2021-02-08 : PDI Open Water

PlacingNameTitle
1Chris BaldwinJoining the Flow
2Miles CrisellI Want to Break Free
3Barry BoswellWater on a Surfacing Kingfisher
`CJamie Bodley-ScottWater 3 Ways
`CBarry LaneAutumn Reflections

Walford and Round – 2021-02-08 : PDI Open Square

PlacingNameTitle
1Lynne HooperJust the Middle
2Chris BaldwinAs Bruxas (The Hags)
3Jamie Bodley-ScottNot so Square
`CGareth MorganThe Grid

The overall winner was Joining the Flow by Chris Baldwin. He will receive the Walford & Round Trophy, once we can return to face to face meetings.


The next meeting on Banbury Camera Club on 22nd February will be “Shetland to Scilly Islands – Birds of the British Isles” with guest speaker: Ashley Grove.

Full details of how to participate in our Zoom Meetings are sent out to members by email. 

Digital Photography Competition No.3

On Monday 11th January, Banbury Camera Club held a Digital photography competition. Members had submitted images: either Colour and Monochrome in advance. This is the third competition of the 2020-2021 season and took place on-line over Zoom.

Joining us on-line, the guest judge was Graham Walton. The results were as follows. This year in the absence of print competitions, points are awarded for digital images and will lead to the award of trophies later in the season.

PDI – 2021-01-11 : PDI Colour Open

PlacingNameTitlePoints
1Miles CrisellMY FISHING DAYS ARE OVER4
2Chris BaldwinALMOST GOT IT3
3Tony ChiversTOMATO AT REST2
HCJohn ButtressSMALL FROZEN LANDSCAPE1
HCDerek LaneLUCKY ENCOUNTER1
`CChris BaldwinSMALUNGEREN, BERGEN1
`CBarry BoswellNESTING ON THE EDGE1
`CJamie Bodley-ScottCOLOURFUL EXIT1

PDI – 2021-01-11 : PDI Mono Open

PlacingNameTitlePoints
1Jeff YoungmanQUIRE, WORCESTER CATHEDRAL4
2John CredlandBULLRUSH3
3Gareth MorganSTORM FORCE2
HCCharles BinnsGLACIER REST BREAK1
`CJamie Bodley-ScottFOREVER (ALMOST)1

The next meeting on 25 January will be a Members’ evening. A presentation by members of images that they have taken during 2020. Members who would like to talk through a few of their photographs should contact Barry Boswell, or better send him digital images of the photographs you wish to show on the night.

Full details of how to participate in our Zoom Meetings are sent out to members by email.  

Digital Photography Competition No.2

On Monday 30th November, Banbury Camera Club held a Digital photography competition. Members had submitted images: either Colour and Monochrome in advance. This is the second competition of the 2020-2021 season and took place on-line over Zoom.

Joining us on-line, the guest judge was Alan Edwards. The results were as follows. This year in the absence of print competitions, points are awarded for digital images and will lead to the award of trophies later in the season.

PDI – 2020-11-30 : PDI Colour Open

PlacingNameTitlePoints
1Lynne HooperTulip On The Move4
2Gareth MorganTowanroath Mine3
3John HallUp and Away2
HCDerek LaneLend Me an Ear1
HCBarry BoswellLunch for a Kestral1
HCMichael GreenwayAutumn Colour1
`CKeeran BrabazonSolitary Confinement1
`CJeff YoungmanThe Chase is On1
`CChris BaldwinFlower Lady1
`CJohn ButtressFloral Paintbox1

PDI – 2020-11-30 : PDI Mono Open

PlacingNameTitlePoints
1Gareth MorganHere Comes the Rain Again4
2Jamie Bodley-ScottGoing Up3
3John TaylorRainy Day in Paris2
HCJohn ButtressDell Boy1
HCMike KirbyLockdown Stroll1
`CCharles BinnsFlyover1
`CCharles BinnsYewTree Pinhole1

The next meeting will be held on Monday December 14 when guest speaker – Jerry Webb will present a talk entitled “Mono photography with an edge”. Full details of how to participate in our Zoom Meetings are sent out to members by email.

This video of the competition has been published for your enjoyment.

On-line Digital Competition No. 1

On Monday 5th October Banbury Camera Club held an On-line Digital photography competition. Members had submitted 50 images in 2 categories Colour and Monochrome in advance This is the first competition of the new season (starting in September).

Joining us on-line, the guest judge was Colin Mill from New City Photographic Society in Milton Keynes. The results were as follows with links to the images.

As we’re unable to hold any print competitions this year, it has been decided to award points for winning images in on-line competitions. These are shown in the results below.

On-line 1 – 2020-10-05 : PDI Colour Open

PlacingNameTitlePoints
1Lynne HooperView from the back4
2Jane JarvisChateau Impney Hill Climb3
3Jamie Bodley-ScottPromenade du Paillon - Nice2
HCChris BaldwinBuried In Berries1
HCBarry BoswellFeeding Gulls1
HCAndrew SpackmanOne way only, Oxford1
`CMiles CrisellWatlington Hill Red Kite1
`CDerek LaneA good hare day1
`CTony ChiversTranslucent Alstroemeria1

On-line 1 – 2020-10-05 : PDI Mono Open

PlacingNameTitlePoints
2Gareth MorganBefore the tide3
3Mike KirbyPathos2
HCGraham OsgoodCastlerigg Stones, evening1
`CTony ChiversMono Abstract1
`CJeff YoungmanInterior, Worcester Cathedral1
1Charles BinnsGlacier Bay0
HCCharles BinnsRe-Tyred0

Two images by Charles Binns – Glacier Bay and Re-Tyred – were duo toned. This “Officially” places them into the colour section. They were however judged as mono images in the competition. It has therefore been decided (at Charles’ suggestion) that points are not awarded for them on this occasion.

The next meeting will be Your questions answered – 19th October. This is an opportunity for members to ask questions on any aspect of photography and have it answered and explained in depth with practical demonstration where appropriate. Although questions may be taken on the night, to avoid disappointment please will members submit their questions to Barry Boswell asap.

On-Line Competition 13 July

Set Subject Life Under Lockdown

On Monday 13th July, Banbury Camera Club held an on-line digital image competition . This is the 3rd photo competition held via Zoom.

The Judge was John Credland who had received 28 entries in advance of the meeting. After the judging John gave a very interesting talk about what he’s been doing in lockdown with a special reference to photography. He described some of the special projects he’s been doing. He referred to 3 websites which had provided him with some ideas and inspiration. These are Colossal, Cooperative of Photography and Computational Photography.

The results were as follows

On-line No.3 – 2020-07-13 : PDI Open Photography Under Lockdown

PlacingNameTitle
1Mike KirbyLockdown blues
2Andrew SpackmanLOCKDOWN ZOOM MEETING #73
3Paul RaynorSELF ISOLATING
HCBarry BoswellSTILL LIFE UNDER LOCKDOWN
HCJohn ButtressLOCKDOWN ESSENTIALS
HCChris BaldwinUnder Permanent Lockdown
HCJamie Bodley-ScottPot by the Window
HCGraham OsgoodCOMMA BUTTERFLY
HCRoy Tholethe last passenger
HCTony ChiversLockdown Locks
HCMiles CrisellYOU TAKE THE HIGH ROAD AND I'LL TAKE THE LOW ROAD
HCMichael ButterworthAND THEN IT RAINED

The next Zoom Meeting will be held on Monday 27th July and will commence with an EGM in an attempt to catch up from the much delayed AGM from May

Monochrome DI on-line competition

Banbury Camera Club Zoom Meeting No.4

On Monday 18th May Banbury Camera Club held its fourth on-line meeting. This was a Monochrome Digital Image Competition judged by Chris Baldwin. There were 24 entries. Members could enter one image each.

42 members signed in to the meeting. The competition results were as follows.

Monochrome Zoom DI – 2020-05-18 : PDI Mono Open

PlacingNameTitle
1Lynne HooperGrandson
2Dave DugganWater Drop
3Mike KirbyHaruko at the Piano
HCBarry LaneElegant Grey
HCBarry BoswellYoung Magpie
HCAndrew HaleCrossing the bridge
`CMark HarrisThe Philosopher
`CJohn CredlandWonderland
`CBarrie WoodBefore the storm

The next Zoom meeting will be on June 1st. It will be an illustrated talk called Our Great USA Solar Eclipse Adventure by Mary MacIntyre an Oxfordshire based Astronomy Photographer. Details and meeting-joining instructions are sent to members by email.

If you are a lapsed member and want to join us, we request that you re-join the club using this link https://form.jotformeu.com/92397009629366 with payment via bank transfer. Those joining now at £25 waged/£20 unwaged will have membership through the 20/21 season, expiring May 2021.

Where Have You Been

Monday’s Camera Club meeting was “Where Have You Been”.

It took members to Switzerland, Luxembourg, France, Portugal, Cost Rica, Scotland, Ireland, England, Oxford, Back Gardens, and Memory Lane. 42 members joined the meeting, the third virtual meeting run via Zoom software.

Where Have You Been is an event which has been running in the Club’s Programme once a year for many years. It lets members share their photos (from holidays or otherwise). In normal times it is used to try out AV (Audio Visual) software and presentations. Online most presentations were presented as a sequence of around 12 images – 20 seconds each – allowing the author to give commentary live to the group on Zoom. Even with these constraints on presentations, the meeting lasted 1 hour and 50 minutes.

The next Zoom meeting will be on May 18th. It will be an open monochrome competition. Chris Baldwin will be sharing details of how to enter. Details and meeting-joining instructions are sent to members by email.

If you are a lapsed member and want to join us, we request that you re-join the club using this link https://form.jotformeu.com/92397009629366 with payment via bank transfer. Those joining now at £25 waged/£20 unwaged will have membership through the 20/21 season, expiring May 2021.