Barking camera club opens photo album dating back to the Forties

13:40 16 March 2012

Motion: John David took this striking view of the Thames and the London Eye in November last year

Motion: John David took this striking view of the Thames and the London Eye in November last year


Photographers working in the dark room and out in the open for decades have hosted Fleet Street journalists, famous artists like David Bailey and beautiful models for generations.

John Phillips opens an iconic photo album which has captured the spirit of Barking Photographic Society since the Forties.

From humble beginnings at Barking Library in 1948, dedicated photographers have joined forces to become a leading club finding inspiration from high-profile professionals.

Appealing to the novice and the advanced, the Barking Photographic Society has provided a focus point to develop skills in black and white, colour, print photography and digital slide shows.

After the war, the club comprised a group of experimental snappers, almost “mad scientists” who tried their hand at flash photography by building their own flash guns.

Club vice chairman John David, 57, said: “Photography in the Forties was like a science. They experimented and came up with different types of flashes – then they became commercialised.

“They made their own flash guns and their own flash bulbs.

“They were mad scientists, they were all playing with flash guns.”

The photographers continued to thrive and in the Sixties moved from the old library in Ripple Road into their permanent home at Eastbury Manor House, Eastbury Square, Barking.

Like many camera clubs, the artists have staged “model nights” for decades, helping to launch the careers of young women vying to break into the fashion industry.

Mr David said: “We do work with a few of them. These nights are all very respectable.

“We have them two or three times a year. We do their portfolios. We take a few pictures and then they use them.”

Among the shots reproduced by the Post is a picture of the Thames with the London Eye taken by John David at Westminster Bridge in November 2011.

The collection also includes striking snaps taken by one of the club’s photographers, David Hall, who captured Canary Wharf while it was being built, went to Taos in New Mexico in the Nineties and photographed football star Trevor Brooking in 1979.

In the Seventies, the club invited celebrity snappers to give talks in Barking including children’s TV presenter Rolf Harris and David Bailey, who photographed the Krays and has been hailed for helping to capture the “Swinging Sixties”.

A collection of Fleet Street photographers including Monty Fresco of the Daily Mail and Eamonn McCabe of The Observer have also shared their expertise with the dedicated members in Barking.

The editor of Amateur Photographer magazine, Damien Demolder, addressed the group last month.

Mr David, of Hatfield Road, Dagenham, said: “A lot of these photographers came from camera clubs.

“They developed an interest. It was a learning process. A lot of technicians also come from camera clubs.”

Meanwhile, Julian Smith, an expert on street photography, will meet them on March 15 and Harry Tabeart, who has taken photos illustrating the BBC show Wainwright Walks: Coast to Coast, will be at Eastbury on March 22.

The club still uses prints but has fully embraced digital photography, with some members equipped with state-of-the-art 18 megapixel cameras.

The photographers submit shots for internal contests and competitions with other clubs affiliated to the East Anglian Federation of Photographic Societies, covering a vast swathe of England from Norwich to Essex.

The club currently has around 40 members who meet at Eastbury Manor House on Thursdays at 7.30pm.

Annual membership costs £32.50 and the first two visits are free.

n For more information, call the club’s entertainment officer Bryan Tester on 020 8591 1986 or email info@barkingphotographic


Latest Entertainment Stories

Tue, 11:00
Artist Biniam Ghide painting one of his pieces of artwork for his Through the tunnel exhibition at the Boathouse

A young Eritrean artist is staging his first UK art exhibition at the Barking Boathouse.

Friday, November 20, 2015
A young dancer shows off his moves

The brightest and best young dance talent will take to the stage in a dynamic battle tonight.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Mark Anthony

A singer is hoping to bring an 80s vibe to the charts with his new single next month – just in time for Christmas.

Friday, November 13, 2015
The Boyz

A tribute band will be coming to shine at Mecca Dagenham on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
(left to right) GT solo (Rapper) Risky Javan (Rapper) Flyboy Kenkz (poet) Nathan Hector (Actor) DJ Col J (Radio DJ) and Jordan King (singer)

It might not be the Grammys but the UK Entertainment Awards will bring plenty of glitz and glamour to the Broadway Theatre on Sunday night.

Friday, November 6, 2015
Barbra Streisand

Worldwide icon Barbra Streisand will be celebrated at the Broadway theatre on Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
The cast during rehersal at the Galeon centre

Get down to some hip-hop when a new show comes to the Broadway Theatre.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
The Broadway Theatre in Barking will host a muder mystery night

Can you stop a killer before he strikes again?

Most read entertainment


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Barking and Dagenham Post e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder