When and where do we meet?
The society meets each week at 7.30pm, from the first Monday in September to the first Monday in May (except for Bank Holidays), at St Mary's Centre, Church Street, Pilsley, Derbyshire, S45 8EX. We cater for a full range of photographers, from absolute beginners to professionals and for those who simply come to see the shows.
There are regular competition evenings for both prints and digital images, as well as a varied programme of talks, presentations and shows, held on a weekly basis. The intention is to explore, develop and encourage members' and the wider community's understanding of digital photography alongside existing film and prints. New members are particularly welcome. The separate Digital Evenings, held monthly, are especially for those who wish to explore the potential of digital photography at every level of knowledge from beginner to expert.
The club has also held an exhibition in August of members' prints at the Hardwick Centre, near Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, for the fourth successive year. Over 400 people visited the week-long exhibition in 2012. The exhibition is an opportunity to view a wide range of prints submitted by members of the society during the year.
Subscriptions for 2013-14 remain unchanged from last year and the year before:
Single £20 (Couple £32.50)
Unwaged, Senior Citizens & under 18 £16; add your partner for a total of £25
Junior (under 16) £6.50 (Must be accompanied by parent or guardian)
In addition to the subscription fee an evening fee is charged for entry to the meetings. For members, the fee is £2.50. Visitors & prospective members are welcome for an evening fee of £3.50 (£1 refundable on joining)
A brief history of the Society
It all started back in 1962 when a group of Clay Cross businessmen appealed in the local press for anyone interested in photography to join them in forming a society. People from all sections of the community answered the call. At first the enthusiasts needed advice on how to operate within the accepted terms of a federated society and it was gladly given by senior members of a neighbouring Photographic Society.
In 1964 more help came, when the Clay Cross Company offered their recreational facilities for free. It was not only welcome, but was officially acknowledged by a change of name to 'The Clay Cross and Clay Cross Company Photographic Society' (or Clay Cross and CXC PS for short!). This was a milestone in the club's short history. It allowed the members to concentrate their energies in photographic creativity without being hampered by financial headaches.
Weekly meetings were held in the 'Rainbow Cafe' in Clay Cross but which in earlier times had been a weekend cafe at the end of the Clay Cross Company's Light Railway in Ashover.
Initially the society members specialised in colour transparencies and were very successful for many years in inter-club competitions with their creative interpretations of everyday subjects regularly winning the local league table to qualify for the PAGB National Club Championship finals.
An unusual relationship between a club from the far north of Scotland and one from the heart of the Midlands began with a meeting at the headquarters of RPS for the finals of the PAGB First National Club Slide Championship in 1978, when Roy Millett, one of Dingwall's leading members, moved down to work in Matlock in 1979. He joined Clay Cross while still continuing his association with Dingwall. and so cemented the relationship. Prior to leaving Dingwall Camera Club Roy had set up the Dingwall National Slide Exhibition which for every year since then has been presented at Clay Cross PS.
On joining Clay Cross he was asked to set up a similar exhibition and this was eventually started in 1983 as the Clay Cross National Exhibition which subsequently became one of the best of its kind in the country.
The Clay Cross Company became Biwater and so the club name had to be altered to Clay Cross & Biwater PS until it was bought out some years later by a French company causing 900 employees to be made redundant two weeks before Christmas. The club was still allowed the use of its Rainbow Cafe but as there were no employees left it fell in disrepair.
The club then moved to its present meeting place in nearby Pilsley in 2003. In 2013 we celebrated our 50th anniversary. In that year we also successfully re-started the Clay Cross National Exhibition (this time with digital projected images) after a break of five years, and continued it in 2014.
Chairman: David Thompson
Secretary: Chris Lowe
Treasurer: Les Unwin
You can download a copy of the club's constitution here.