Bromsgrove Photographic Society is sad to record the passing of one of its past Presidents in July 2016, Bill Chambers, following a long illness.
Bill Chambers was a member of a couple of photographic societies before joining BPS. They were the BSA and Small Heath. He joined BPS in 1950/51 when the club had its premises in Worcester Road. He rapidly became active on the Committee and had many stories to tell of the activities there. There used to be a competition to identify the fastest of teams of two who could start with a cassette of 35mm film, load, expose, unload, develop and print. Quality was never an issue – it was invariably bad.
When the time came for the Society to move away from Worcester Road, Bill was instrumental in negotiating a deal with Avoncroft Arts Society in the middle ‘70’s and our residence at the Avoncroft Arts Centre has been unbroken since then. At first we had to be members of the Avoncroft Arts Society in order to able to rent the hall. In recent years we have become room hirers rather members of AAS.
He was also involved with the Executive Committee that runs the AAS. Through him the Photographic Society had a big input into the organisation of The Arts Society. He became Chairman of the Arts Society and was made one of the Vice Presidents .When he stood down from being Chairman he was presented with a portrait of himself painted by one of the artists. There is also a room named after him at the Arts Society.
His service on the BPS Committee in various positions was also unbroken. He became our President in 1993 and remained in that position until he decided to retire in 2001. The word retire is a bit of an overstatement. He was as active and as competitive as ever and we should recall his liking for pub signs.
Peter Young recalls nominating Bill for the PAGB’s Meritorious Service Award (APAGB) back in 1993. Bill was the first member of BPS to receive that accolade.
Bill looked forward to helping wherever necessary to run Bromsgrove’s Open Exhibition and had been its Chairman in some of the earlier years. He and his wife Margaret did a tremendous amount of work in organising these exhibitions
Bill was also an active member of the Photographic Group of the Camping & Caravanning Club and often arranged their meets in the field adjacent to the Arts Centre. This would usually involve some sort of competitive activity with BPS, including, sometimes, an enormously funny Match-a-Slide competition.
There are some photographic clubs which are identified by a particular member. It was often said, “Ah, Bromsgrove PS; that’s Bill Chambers’s club, isn’t it?”
Bill is survived by his wife Margaret.