The A1 Camera Club was formed at the beginning of the 1980’s by a group of photographers who had just completed a photographic course at the Weston College. They named the club after one of the most popular cameras of that time the Canon A1.
They began meeting twice a month in pubs but when the possibility of meeting at the Westland’s Sports and Social Club became available, the club grew in size and weekly meetings were started.
The club became members of the Weston Counties Photographic Federation giving access to a wealth of speakers and judges for competitions. Shows were staged at the Passey and Porter car showrooms and support from local professional photographers gave great variety to the club’s year.
During the 90s, members of the RAF Locking Camera Club joined and meetings were moved to their facilities where studio and darkrooms were available. When the RAF left The A1 Camera Club moved to the Worle Community Centre, then in 2004, when the St Georges Community Centre was built, the members of the club decided to relocate to these facilities.
Membership has fluctuated over the years with some members leaving to form other groups or to take up photography as a profession. New members have always been attracted by the help provided by the club to improve their photographic knowledge and confidence. In 2011 a successful exhibition was presented in the Weston-super-Mare Town Museum and this was repeated in 2012 and 2013. This lead to the club being asked to become involved with recording the inventory and refurbishment of the museum and in providing images for several of the displays in the new museum.
Club members have supported several charities and projects over the years including North Somerset Council Millennium Holiday Guide for Weston-super-Mare, The RNLI, The RNIB, St Georges Community Centre Charity, Charity book covers and many members are now registered as volunteers with the Weston-super-Mare Town Council Museum.
The increased popularity of digital photography has seen an influx of new members. Combine this with the established organisation of the club and the members’ knowledge of traditional photography, the A1 Camera Club provides a unique combination to improve your photography in a social atmosphere.