Badby Challenge 2021

Tomato at Rest

On Wednesday 10th November 2021, Banbury Camera Club took part in the Badby Challenge at Dunchurch Village Hall between 7 Photographic Clubs. This is down from the 9 clubs which took part last time in 2019.

Banbury came in the middle spot against a strong competition from some excellent photographs.

Each PDI ( projected image) was allocated a score by judge John Haines. At the end there was a tie between Dustan and Dunchurch. Clubs had each provided a tie-break image in advance and these were called in for these two clubs. After a difficult decision for the judge, Dunchurch was declared to take first place.,

The scores were as follows

Final Result

  1. Dunchurch Photographic Society 123
  2. Duston Camera Club 123
  3. Northamptonshire Natural History Society 118
  4. Banbury Camera Club 116
  5. Badby and District Photographic Club 113
  6. Daventry Photographic Society 111
  7. Northampton Camera Club 109
MY FISHING DAYS ARE OVER by Miles Crisell was one of two highest scoring images for Banbury.

Jem Hayward

Jem joined Banbury Camera Club in November 1995. He had been a camera club member in the Midlands for most of his adult life. He joined Banbury at what we can now see was the beginning of a revolution in photographic practice.

Oddly enough, a couple of years earlier someone in the Banbury club had spotted what might be coming and spoke out. It was a shocking thought for many members that “photographs” produced by a computer might find their way into the club’s competitions. It wouldn’t be fair to members who couldn’t afford a computer and, anyway, there was no merit when the computer did all the work. So, in a farsighted move, the club voted to ban such photos from competitions.

In November 1997, most members were forced to review this position when local photographer Colin Robinson gave a demonstration of Photoshop. While digital cameras were hardly competitive with film at this stage, the scanning of negatives and slides did provide a route into digital imaging. And Jem then led the way, giving his own demonstrations, producing superb photographs and getting Walford and Round, the Banbury opticians where he practised, to sponsor a competition for creative use of Photoshop and similar software. It was this leadership which saved the club from a steep decline and probable extinction.

Jem with Gavin Preüss and Steve Gold Alan Sargeant looking on

During his spell as Chair, the club organised its first exhibition in The Heseltine Gallery. He co-ordinated a submission of members’ photographs to Amateur Photographer, resulting in an impressive three page spread and a boost for club funds. As a proud father, Jem didn’t forget that the AP staff in their selection had passed over his own photos but had chosen one from his son James.

Members were often Jem’s patients, and when he was ill last year I wrote: “You have helped both of us so much to improve our vision in different ways – Rosemary through Walford and Round and me through all the years in Banbury Camera Club.”

Andrew Spackman

Old man of Fez by Jem Hayward

Alan Sargeant – Member No.1

Banbury Camera Club are saddened by the recent death of member Alan Sargeant. As treasurer he issued Camera Club membership cards and as he always paid his dues first, he had “Member No.1” on his card.

Tribute to Alan Sargeant
Click This Page. It is linked to a text file for easy reading
Alan Sargeant’s Video recalling his first job.

Tribute to Alan Sargeant by Andrew Spackman

On 2 August 2001, as Secretary of Banbury Camera Club, I received an email.

“Dear Mr. Spackman, I picked up a leaflet in Jessops the other day and I would like to join the club. I notice that the next meeting is at Great Bourton village hall. Are the numbers limited or can I turn up, attend the lecture and ask you for a membership form? Yours sincerely, Alan Sargeant.”

I am sure I appreciated the rather old fashioned courtesy in this email and my reply finished “I look forward to meeting you on Monday” Little did I know then just how delighted I would be to make Alan’s acquaintance and what an amazing contribution he would make to the club over the next twenty years.

Two things sum Alan up. When help was needed he was the first to volunteer. And when there was a problem he would say with justified confidence, “We can fix that!” – meaning that he would fix that. And so it was Alan who volunteered to be Treasurer and did a superb job. Every Tuesday morning he would count up all the cash from the Monday meeting, then take the coins down to the local butcher to exchange for bank notes. When John Childs offered the club the use of The Heseltine Gallery, it was Alan who designed the layout which we use to this day, still following his instructions and using some of the kit he assembled for the task.

Another of Alan’s big contributions was the club’s Images of Banbury project. From a former member we were offered the colour slides from an earlier club project to record the changing face of Banbury in the 1960s. Who might take this on? Alan, of course. And he scanned all the slides, obtained further collections of historic photos and encouraged members to update the visual record of Banbury. Alan assembled these into a series of presentations which he took to numerous venues.

Alan’s love of the countryside around Banbury and the history of the town is reflected in the
three of his photos displayed on panels at the 2021 exhibition.

Andrew Spackman

Tony Grice

Tony was a member of the club in the 1970s and 1980s and, when other commitments allowed, he rejoined in 1999. He brought to the club his unrivalled knowledge of photographic equipment and techniques, a willingness to share this with everyone and a limitless capacity to support and encourage individual members.

A camera club meeting in October 1979. Tony Grice is fifth from the left on the back row. Other members include Jack Keen (second left in the back row) and Isabel Smith (fourth from the left in the front row.)

Tony Grice demonstrates his Leica M3 camera from the 1950s at a club meeting in the Art Rooms at Chenderit School on 6th February 2006.

We now have a competition for the Tony Grice Trophy each year for the member scoring the most points for monochrome prints.

Valentina Kulagina (Member 2006 – 2018)

On 9 April 2021, Keith Long received an email from his friend Elena in Moscow: “Valya (Valentina) left us tonight. She was unable to cope with the disease. This was the brightest person I have ever known. The light went out …” She was a victim of Covid. I can’t think of better words than Elena’s to sum up the Valentina we knew in Banbury Camera Club.

She joined the club in 2006, shortly after taking a college photography course, and made an immediate impression with her superb photographs, already demonstrating a wonderfully artistic talent. But on top of that was her personality – genial, ever willing to help another member, sharing her expertise in practical sessions and presentations and supporting the club’s activities. The photo above shows her hanging the first print in the 2014 exhibition.

Keith Long writes:

“Valentina grew up in Soviet Russia and was a chemist for a government agency before later becoming a University teacher of Chemistry. She had a doctorate and several industrial patents to her name.

“When she came to live in England she had no English, could not drive and didn’t take pictures. Joining a photographic course was a way of meeting people and, she said, did not involve much conversation at first. Progress was quick on all counts for Valentina; not only did she learn English, she became a proficient photographer and soon got her driving licence and a UK passport.

“The impact of her photography on the local camera clubs is something legendary. She soon became a speaker of some repute and, although she was hesitant of presenting in her adopted tongue, the pictures spoke for themselves. Her exhibition successes were both numerous and varied with many medals, other awards and the odd FIAP blue badge. An ARPS and MPAGB were amongst her other achievements.

“Her willingness to share her photographic skill was an example to all, and many friends, club members and admirers remain grateful for her inspiration and patient encouragement. I recall a phone call from her soon after we first met. ‘I invite you to my house, you will bring your portfolio, next Tuesday.’ Who was I to argue? Her seemingly authoritative style was also a feature of the Banbury Camera Club exhibition hanging day. We all just obeyed! She was a true friend to so many of us and our lives are richer for having known her.”

Andrew Spackman and Keith Long

A few of Valentina’s Photographs

Isabel Smith (Member 1948 – 2006)

Isabel Smith joined the Banbury Camera Club in 1948, just one year after the club’s formation. In 1997 she was the first and only person to be awarded honorary life membership of the club.

Isabel died on 25 June, 2006, aged 88 years, after a long illness. A section of the annual exhibition is in memory of her. Nobody did more to keep the club going in the first fifty years of its existence; indeed, without Isabel’s dedication through difficult patches it is doubtful if the club would still be in existence today. But we also remember a very fine photographer, whose enthusiasm was an example to us all. Her daughter Parinita has kindly lent a few of Isabel’s photos for this exhibition, and we have included in this leaflet the comments which Isabel attached to the back of the prints.

Harold Robinson (Member 1999 – 2008)

Harold Robinson

Harold Robinson at 80
Harold Robinson at 80

Harold joined Banbury Camera Club in 1999 and very quickly made his mark with his wonderful photographs. The picture shown here of the Lancashire workers in a trench scored 20/20 in a competition with another club. It is typical of the superb black and white photographs he took in his native Lancashire in the 1950s and 60s.

Lancashire Workers – Northern Legacy

As his daughter Clare writes in her account of her father’s life, Harold had just taken up photography again when he joined us. His wife Annie had died in 1997, only four years after their move to their retirement home in Brackley, and it was a long time before he could take any pleasure in photography again. It was then he met Margaret at church and in 2000 they married. Harold resumed his photographic interests, and I well remember his expression of delight as he loaded his car with the darkroom equipment he had bought at a Buckingham photo day. One result of this purchase was the successful submission to Amateur Photographer.


Harold Robinson The Trench Diggers
The Trench Diggers a photograph by Harold Robinson

He remained an enthusiast for film, and with his newly purchased Leica M7, and his other cameras, he showed his great ability as a colour photographer.

When Harold became ill in 2006 he found it difficult to take a full part in club activities, but his flower studies, some of which are on show here, were a highlight of the club’s exhibitions in this gallery. Harold died in May 2008, surrounded by his family and having received devoted care by the staff at Katharine House. All of us in the club who knew him will remember with the greatest affection a fine photographer and a good man.

Note from Andrew Spackman

The exhibition of the Northern Legacy photos has been shown in Burnley, Bolton, the Michael Heseltine Gallery and in Qatar. A book of Horold’s photographs by his son Mark Robinson can be seen on Blurb  at

CACC Rosebowl Competition – League Match


The Chilterns Association Of Camera Clubs Rosebowl Competition is a projected image competition consisting of a series of fixtures run from November to February, followed by a Final. Banbury Camera Club has entered this competition this year for the first time for many years.

The competition is organised as a league to find the highest scoring 12 clubs who go on to meet at Rosebowl Day (taking place this season on 10th April 2022). There is also the Rosebowl Stars Competition on the same day where images starred in league matches can be entered.

The first battle, hosted by Park Street, was between Banbury, Kidlington and Park Street clubs and took place online on Thursday 4th November. (Park Street is near St. Albans). Gareth Morgan’s image Wet Race Day scored 20 points. The score sheets are as follows:

Rosebowl league competition Page 1 or 2
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Rosebowl league competition Page 2 or 2
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Exhibition 2021

Exhibition Gallery

Banbury Camera Club’s Annual Exhibition opened on Tuesday 2nd November and runs until Thursday 11th November 2021. The venue is The Heseltine Gallery, Chenderit School, Archery Road, Middleton Cheney, OX 17 2QR.
The exhibition will be open during school hours weekdays 10am—4pm and at the weekend 6 & 7th November 11am—4pm .

BCC Exhibition 2021
Exhibition 2021 Flyer

You can see more about our previous exhibitions here.

Projected Digital Images Competition 18 October 2021

Noses Featured

On Monday October 18th Banbury Camera Club held its first Projected Digital Images Competition (PDI) of the new season. The Judge was Cathy Chantley ARPS. The results were as follows.

PDI Competition Colour – 2021-10-18 : PDI Colour Open

1Chris BaldwinThree Noses
2Miles CrisellSwaledale Waterfall
3Andrew SpackmanWestgate Oxford
HCTony ChiversIn The Spotlight
HCDiana GambleAttack
`CMichael GreenwayBig Festival and Zara Larsson
`CTony ChiversClematis Heart

PDI Competition Mono – 2021-10-18 : PDI Mono Open

1Charles BinnsFalcutt Millpond
2Jeff YoungmanGentle Giants Pulling The Plough
3Gareth MorganTea Break
HCChris BaldwinSurveying The Approaches
HCJeff YoungmanSt. Mary`s Church, Bloxham
`CDiana GambleI`m Faster
`CCharles BinnsOld MG Racer
`CJohn CredlandCommunication