The Club appreciates

The Club appreciates

It takes many special people to energise an organisation and to make sure it meets the needs of its members and thrives in changing times. When those with long associations with the Club stand down, making room for a new generation of ideas and initiatives, their contributions need to be recognised and celebrated. Those who appear in this section are such individuals without whom there would be no organisation in its current form.
Margot Witcombe
Long standing Chairperson stood down after 23 years at the AGM March 7th 2019

Much appreciated Margot Witcombe relinquished the position as Chair at the AGM due to the fact that she is currently unable to attend meetings as she awaits an operation on her leg to improve her mobility.

Margot’s father, Albie Seymour, was the Society’s first elected Chairperson, taking office in 1974 and continuing in the role until the mid-90s. Margot became Vice Chair in 1994, assuming more responsibilities as Albie’s increasing age necessitated. She was elected as Chair in 1996-23 years ago and has remained in post ever since!

Working with husband Mike throughout the years, Margot has always proudly supported and promoted the NRPS. She loves the opportunities to meet with other clubs socially and in competitions, and her local knowledge of judges, speakers and the WCPF is second to none. This will continue to be invaluable in the coming months and years as we plan our programme and try and attract new members. For Margot, the club’s Annual Exhibition in Midsomer Norton has always been a highlight of the year, and her home the hub around which meetings were planned, equipment stored, and from where all things travelled to local fetes and festivals.

A keen photographer herself, Margot has taken a variety of images over the years and been successful in her efforts. She won the Seymour Millenium Cup in 2016 with her “Barn Owl”, and notable for her sense of fun, she has had more than a few successes with a well captured image featuring a sharp reflection in the sunglasses (worn by a fellow club member at the time) on an outing to Clevedon! She was also apparently equally enthusiastic as a model dressed in fur and adorned with hats and gloves, posing atop a classic car on another summer jaunt to Ammerdown. Now that would have been worth seeing!

Both Mike and Margot have given freely of their time over the years, steering the Society through lean times to be the increasingly popular centre for local enthusiasts it now is. Margot’s thanks to all for their support and help over the years was communicated at the meeting, but members were generous in their appreciation of her, and keen to mark her dedication appropriately. They voted unanimously to offer her the opportunity to continue to serve in the role of Honorary President. If she accepts, we know that her invaluable knowledge and wisdom will still be available to those taking the Society forward, but that she will be able to relax the reins and hand over confidently the responsibilities she has admirably carried for so long.

Club Secretary Mike Witcombe stands down after forty years!

As AGMs go, that of the NRPS, held on 29th March 2018, might only have been remarkable in that it had been postponed because of heavy snow some two weeks previously, and as such it might have passed unnoticed. However, this AGM stood out as a particularly memorable occasion because Mike Witcombe stood down as the very long standing Club Secretary.

Husband to our current Chair, Margot, Mike has had a long association with the club, and given over forty years of “behind the scenes” service to an organisation that continues to thrive, and to serve the local community of enthusiasts well. We need to remember that in the past, when membership dwindled and the future of the organisation was in doubt, it was Mike who stepped up and invested the necessary time and effort to turn its fortunes around. There are many people locally who have benefited from the Photographic Society whilst Mike has been Secretary. He has worked tirelessly to secure speakers, generate enthusiasm for Club Competitions and to whip up motivation for Inter Club Competitions as well as championing his own particular interest in portrait and glamour photography.

It has long been a problem to get busy members with other family and professional commitments to take on more responsibility. Happily in the past three years Mike’s efforts to devolve the leadership have born fruit, and the committee is now highly active and enthusiastic, the club is buzzing with new ideas, and membership is increasing.

Taking over as Secretary, committee member Jill Toman joked that whilst she was unable to guarantee that she too would be in post in forty years, she would do her best to fill Mike’s shoes. Mike was warmly thanked by assembled members for his continuing support for the Society, and we all hope his considerable knowledge and insight will continue to influence its direction for many years to come.

Jenny Short April 2018

Mike was awarded Honorary life membership of NRPS at the March 2020 AGM and it was with great sadness that we heard of Mike's death shortly thereafter on April 2nd. A short tribute to Mike, a long standing and much loved member, appears in the section created for that purpose.

Jenny Short April 2020