Barry Camera Club is one of the oldest camera clubs in Wales. It was officially formed in 1901 but prior to that it was part of the Barry YMCA. The photographic club, as part of the YMCA, met in the YMCA building at 19 Holton Road where the concept of Barry Camera Club was first discussed. The YMCA and Camera Club later moved to Newlands Street.
Some of the early founders of the club are recorded as F.H. Brown, H. Van Wadendyen, G. Jenkins, G. Morgan, A. Harrison. Brown and Van Wadendyen were world renown in photographic circles. Hugo van Wadenoyen was a British photographer of Dutch origin. Hugo van Wadenoyen was a Dutch born British photographer from between 1910 to 1959. He studied at Cardiff School of Art before joining his father’s ‘Rembrandt Studio’ in Cardiff in 1910. He lived in Cheltenham, England, and was an influential figure in the protracted Genesis of the British art of photography, especially in the period 1945-1965. Van Wadenoyen Led the “combined societies”, a progressive group of local photographic societies, which in 1945 broke away from the moribund Royal photographic society.
Not much detail is actually know about the club throughout the years, what information we have has been gleaned from old committee meeting minutes, newspaper articles and some longstanding members.
During the early years the club had very strong links with Barry Town Council and local businesses including the Dow Chemical Company. In fact the Dow Chemical Company were awarded one of a set of Silver and Bronze medallions, produced in limited numbers, in recognition of its support and friendship of the club. Only two of these highly treasured medallions are held by the club. One has been inset into the Club Chairman’s Chain of Office, and the remaining one was presented to the Dow Chemical Company. The medallion was received by Mike Hadfield on behalf of Dow Corning and presented by John Donkin of Barry Camera Club.
Barry Camera Club is affiliated to the Welsh Photographic Federation (WPF) and hosted international photographic competitions at Barry Memorial Hall in 1956 and 1981. Over the years it has also been instrumental in hosting some world class photographic exhibitions on a regular basis with the support of the town council and the WPF.
In 1967 a contingent of 150 representatives from the local community, of which about nine were members of the club, were invited to FECAMP in the German town of Rheinfelden for the opening of a new sports stadium. Working with local photographers they set up a photographic exhibition of their work. This was hailed as a great success and the quality of work was recorded as outstanding.
Over the years there have been a number of stalwarts of the club, many of which have competition cups or trophies named after them.
The club has been housed in several locations in Barry and we are still gather information on these. The history will be updated as and when we have more details.
We have produced a short presentation of the history of the club which is still under development as our research uncovers the details.