Our 6th Whatever the Weather (27-7-19) and the induction of Denis Thorpe as our Honorary Life member

Denis, showing off his new Honorary Life Membership Certificate, flanked by our 2019 Chair (Ian S) and Club President Ray

C&HVPS’s ”Whatever the Weather’ social event has, according to tradition, always been held at Orlecar Cottage. Six years ago my wife Chris(tine) named the event ‘Whatever the Weather’ to take account of the unpredictability of Hope Valley weather. Over the past five years every WtW morning in our garden has dawned bright and sunny. But we knew our sixth annual social event on Saturday 27th July was likely to defy the fair-weather odds; as that morning it started to rain, with the rain increasing in intensity by the hour. So Chris & I decided to alter plans and set the fallback ‘wet weather’ indoors routine in place.

This year’s event was graced by a special guests: Denis Thorpe and his daughter Lucy. Denis, a renowned, respected and now retired award-winning Guardian photojournalist, has covered assignments across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, China, India, the Soviet Union, etc. Over the years Denis has given three presentations to members and guests of our photo society, filling the hall to bursting point each time. Recently Ray (our Club President) came up with the idea of inviting Denis to become an Honorary Life Member of our Club. We were delighted that Denis accepted this invitation.

Chris had worked hard, baking cupcakes and scones – ladling on clotted cream and her home-made redcurrant jelly onto these scrumptious scones. Other guests brought cakes and edibles, as shown in some of the photographs. Chris had also prepared her traditional quiz – this year requiring the eagle eye of competitors as they searched for clues indoors – instead of being scattered around our garden. The friendship and fellowship of our members and their partners counteracted the grey day and heavy rain.

There were two special events during our WtW afternoon. The first being President Ray’s presentation to Denis, of his Honorary Life membership. Ray Had thoughtfully purchased (at his own cost) a silver frame, enclosing the membership certificate. The second was the presentation by Denis, of his Denis Thorpe Trophy to this year’s winner – Keith Brown. Given good luck and a fair wind (and hopefully sunnier weather) next year Denis will present his trophy to the 2020 winner of the Denis Thorpe Trophy – possibly in sunshine in our garden at next year’s Whatever the Weather.

The man himself, presenting Club Vice President Keith, with his Denis Thorpe Trophy for the best monochrome image entered into our 2019 annual competition

Synopsis of 11th July’s meeting – Erica Oram presents

We welcomed Erica Oram CPAGP, AFIAP, BPE2 as our speaker for the evening giving her print presentation titled ‘Making the most of any opportunity’.  Erica is a well respected photographer from Sheffield PS and was our judge during the previous year’s competition so well known to our members.  She planned on splitting the evening into two subjects, street photography and landscapes.  Being the enthusiastic talker she is, we only managed to get through her prints showing her ventures into street photography, leaving us with an opportunity to invite Erica back to talk about her landscape images at a future meeting.

It seems that Erica is able to take her full size DSLR into any situation and somehow not be noticed.  Some of the images she showed would have been difficult to take with a discreet compact yet alone the larger DSLR.  What really pleased the audience was the handing around of prints after first showing them on the front stand.  It gave us a real opportunity to see the photographs close up and to see exactly the detail that Erica was talking about.  Perhaps this is a format we could adopt with our own images at members presentations, it certainly went down well and sparked fruitful dialogue between Erica and our members.