A Short Historyof Focus Ryde Imaging Group

Back in the 1980’s, when film was the only popular recording media, the Ryde Photographic Club was formed. A group of three or four would meet at the local photographic shop when the idea was born to start a photographic club.

For want of another premises the first meeting was held at the Partlands Avenue orthopaedic centre, one of the founder members was the manager of the clinic there and meetings were held with members sitting on the various benches and equipment bits that were used to treat patients.

Not the best of environments, but that did not deter the enthusiasm for photographic knowledge and the use of cameras.  The membership reached a steady 45.

One of the early annual photographic exhibitions was held at Ryde library from members work, and such was the interest in producing good pictures that more than 145 prints were displayed.

Meetings were held twice a month with competitions and talks being the bread and butter of the club.

In time the venue was changed to use one of the large craft rooms in the Adelaide premises and this continued for a few years until the club moved to The Catholic Church premises in Ryde High Street. This was a very good venue with a small room and large hall for model photoshoots, and demonstrations. The programme of demonstrations, talks and competitions continued.

Sadly the rent went up!

And we were on the move again, this time to the Town Club in Ryde, here we had the availability of alcohol to lubricate the speakers and judges.

Sadly membership tailed off and as is the case of many clubs meetings were attended mostly by committee stalwarts.

We had a brush with the Town Club management who thought we could hold our meetings simultaneously with the cribbage club in the same room. Not really!

What to do ? A plan was formulated to find new premises, hold an open day and change the name of the club, otherwise we were doomed!

At this time the Binstead Community Centre back room became available and we packed our bags, and by this time digital cameras too,  and moved in. What a difference, we had good parking, plenty of room, and affordable rent.

We changed the name to Focus Ryde Imaging Group. This had the effect of moving us away from the film image and into a more modern genre.

Then came the open day which was a great success and boosted our membership to about 30 members. We have been there ever since.