The South Liverpool Photographic Society Including LAPA.

A Brief History 1952 – 2012

In 1952 a photographic section was started as a sectional interest under the Wavertree Community Association, meeting at Cadby Hall. Two years later in 1954 the photographic section adopted the name of The South Liverpool Photographic Society and so the SLPS was born. Meagre finances plagued the society’s early years but the spirit of common goals being pursued and of the warm friendliness of members ensured a rapid increase in our membership. The society mounted exhibitions for many years at the annual Liverpool Show at the Wavertree Mystery.

The society’s standard of print and slide work was improving all the time until the “South” was pre-eminent in exhibitions not only in the North West but nationally. Individual members within the society have achieved numerous distinctions with the Royal Photographic Society and also the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain.

From 1972 we have held our Annual Exhibition in a range of venues, which have included the University of Liverpool Senate House, Cavern Walks, Mercury Court and now the prestigious Royal Liver Buildings. We have also been privileged and honoured for many years to have the Lord Mayor of Liverpool to officially open our annual exhibitions.

One past highlight was the initiative to arrange for Lord Litchfield to give a lecture for us in Liverpool’s Royal Philharmonic Hall; this lecture was open to the public and proved to be a great success and raised much-needed funds for the society.

In 1991 we incorporated The Liverpool Amateur Photographic Association into the society. They were founded in 1853 and are part of photographic history. In 2003 we celebrated their 150th anniversary, and last year 2004 The South Liverpool Photographic Society celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

The society has had numerous venues over the years we now reside in CADWA Hall, Bowland Avenue, Childwall, Liverpool 16. This is an excellent venue where we meet every Thursday at 8 pm throughout the year.

Finally, in 2000 the society was very proud to make links with Shang Hai and as a consequence a major exhibition of photographs from the society members and photographers in Shang Hai were exhibited in St George’s Hall Liverpool and then in Shang Hai.

Many of our members enter competitions both nationally and internationally and with reasonable success. The high standard of photographic work is reflected by the calibre of its members and we are very proud to have 4 Fellows of The Royal Photographic Society as well as numerous members with other distinctions.

In 2003 we were successful in obtaining lottery funding towards a project which will enable the club to become more efficient in promoting the art of photography to its members and also to the members of the local community. The lottery grant has enabled the society to purchase a digital projector, computer and hi fi speakers. This has resulted in many new initiatives and as a consequence we are now able to make our club nights a more enjoyable experience for our members and guests.

In these changing times we have embraced the computer age and now have our own web site at This enables the society to communicate with the world. The society prides it self in being a friendly club and we are always looking for new members that are always made most welcome. Membership is 70+ and rising.

In 2012 South Liverpool won the Prestigious ‘Martin Avery Competition’, a competition aimed specifically at creativeness in photography. We did a clean sweep of the prizes, winning both club and individual honours.

Also in 2012 the club was involved heavily in  a BBC TV Production called ‘Britain’s First Photo Album’, hosted by John Sergeant, with an airing dte of 12th March 2012. This is about the ‘inventor of the postcard, Francis Frith. Francis Frith was a member of LAPA, the club we incorporated in 1991.
written by Martin Reece MBE. ARPS.


1954 Tom Patterson
1955 Frank McNamara
1956 Frank McNamara
1957 Doug Owen
1958 Doug Owen
1959 Doug Owen
1960 Doug Owen
1961 Doug Owen
1962 Alex Bingham
1963 Alex Bingham
1964 Bill Hulme
1965 Bill Hulme
1966 Bill Hulme
1967 Bill Hulme
1968 Walter Free ARPS
1969 Walter Free ARPS
1970 Walter Free ARPS
1971 Walter Free ARPS
1972 Doug Owen
1973 Walter Free ARPS
1974 Walter Free ARPS
1975 Walter Free ARPS
1976 Walter Free ARPS
1977 Ted Baker
1978 Ted Baker
1979 John Riley ARPS
1980 John Riley ARPS
1981 Graham Pickthall
1982 Graham Pickthall
1983 Mike Dunn FRPS
1984 Mike Dunn FRPS
1985 Mike Dunn FRPS
1986 Bill Good
1987 Bill Good
1988 John Riley ARPS
1989 John Riley ARPS
1990 Ann Farrar
1991 Ted Baker
1992 Ted Baker
1993 Walter Free ARPS
1994 Walter Free ARPS
1995 Walter Free ARPS
1996 Keith Caulkin
1997 Keith Caulkin
1998 Anne Gilmore
1999 Anne Gilmore
2000 Graham Pickthall
2001 Martin Reece MBE ARPS
2002 Martin Reece MBE ARPS
2003 Mike McDonnell CPAGB
2004 Ted Baker FRPS
2005 Martin Reece MBE ARPS
2006 Martin Reece MBE ARPS
2007 Tony Myers FRPS
2008 Tony Myers FRPS
2009 Mike Lawson
2010 Alf Munnerly
2010 Martin Reece MBE ARPS
2011 Martin Reece MBE ARPS
2012 Paul Matthews
2013 Paul Matthews
2014 Paul Matthews
2015 Martin Reece MBE ARPS

Life Members

Reg Coleman FRPS
Graham Pickthall
John Turner LRPS
Ted Baker FRPS
Joe Allerston
Mike Dunn FRPS
John Riley ARPS

Honorary Members

Freda Cairns
Tom Gilmore
Steve Hale
Dave Worthington
Eamonn McCabe
Eric Garnett ARPS CPAGB

The History of The SLPS Digital Group


In 1998 Mr Barrie Thomas made a visit to the Society to give a lecture on digital imaging. The lecture was received very favourably by a small group of the members, however many of the members thought that this was not true photography. The benefits of being able to merge many separate images together on separate layers, as well as being able to adjust the Contrast, Colour tones and even sharpen images on a computer, was simply too good to be true.

Shortly afterwards a small group of members who wanted to know more, took the opportunity to visit Barrie’s home for a full days tuition in the benefits of Photoshop and digital photography. We were totally bewildered by the degree of manipulation and control that could be carried out on an image and then printed in complete daylight. No more sweltering hours in a darkroom. This small group of merry men had seen the light and the direction that future photography / imaging was to take.

As members started to move into digital photography there were many debates about how digital images could be used in club competitions. Many were against this new way of producing images and as a consequence there were restrictions imposed on how images could be used. There was a fear that pictures would be manufactured from many different images, however we should not forget that some of the expert darkroom workers had been combining or adding to images for a very long time. The main difference was that digital images can be made very quickly relative to a darkroom worker and also in the comfort of your own armchair.

There was now a demand to embrace digital imaging and as a consequence The SLPS Digital Group was formed by a small sub committee. This was the very first digital group in the area; it was approved with a little reluctance by the SLPS committee who stipulated that the Group must be self-financing. In addition to the normal club syllabus, monthly digital meetings were organised and photographers from all over Merseyside were invited. The Group quickly became very popular because members were able to learn and gain knowledge about all the many aspects of digital photography.

The success of the group enabled us to run digital workshops held at weekends with expert lecturers such as Barrie Colquon, the late John West, Dr Eddie Sethna, the late Martin Avery and of course Barrie Thomas, FRPS, FBIPP. These workshops were very well attended and many of the skills that we are using today have been learnt from these masters of digital imaging who were at the forefront of the digital revolution.

The first one million pixel camera soon appeared on club nights which caused a great deal of interest to members, and as they say the rest is now history whereby we see members with the latest digital equipment, and the talking is about the benefits of this and that. What does the future hold? Where will photography be in ten years time? From those nervous early days digital imaging has now progressed to become a constituent part of mainstream photography.

The SLPS was recently successful in its bid for a substantial Lottery Grant, this enabled the society to purchase various items of digital equipment such as a laptop computer and digital projector. This equipment has provided many benefits for all our members whereby they can see instant demonstrations, images and AV’s projected on to the large screen. As a consequence we are now able to deliver presentations to a standard we could not visualise before, this has helped to make club nights an even more enjoyable experience for members.

In the last few years the digital revolution has attracted many new members who are now enjoying the companionship of club photography. They are the future and will help take the SLPS forward into the ever-developing world of photography. Our membership at present is 70+ and rising all the time.


If you are keen to find out more about the


Or any of its distinctions, your local contact is
Tony Myers FRPS
He can give you any help that you need.


Ted Baker FRPS
Martin Reece MBE ARPS
Reg Coleman FRPS
Patsy Prentice ARPS
Tony Myers FRPS
Frank Cohen LRPS
Eric Garnett ARPS
John Turner LRPS
Anne Gilmore LRPS
Lynn Hilditch LRPS
Eric Garnett FRPS CPAGB
Dawn O’Dowd LRPS
Stuart Kerr LRPS
Kevin Kelly LRPS
Brian Glassman LRPS

Members with PAGB Distinctions

Maldwyn Jones DPAGB