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We know that two camera clubs existed in Whitley Bay before the present one. The Whitley Seaside Chronicle of 19th February 1907 reported the formation of a Photographic Association and we have a small plaque inscribed 'Whitley Camera Club 1913 - Thomas Gay'. This club was disbanded in 1933.

In March 1936, J.L.Gore-Sellon resurrected the club but it closed soon after the outbreak of war. Again we have a memento of that club, a cartoon drawn by Dudley Hallwood depicting the final trophy award being made to a modest photographer who is saying "Honestly - it was pure luck!". Not one of a breed I recognise.

On 21st October 1951, the same J.L.Gore-Sellon chaired a meeting of fellow enthusiasts with a view to "The formation of a group, society or association for the advancement of amateur photography in the district".

At that stage, no home existed but soon some premises at 3 Waverley Avenue were rented, and we still meet there. December 11th 1951 was our opening night, and the headline in the local newspaper was "THIRD TIME LUCKY?". Well, in 2001 we celebrated our 50th Birthday.

One month after the opening night, we decided to join the Northern Counties Photographic Federation. Funds were short, so the Secretary wrote requesting honorary membership. It is not on record how the Federation replied, but by April, the Treasurer paid the sum of £3.3.0 to affiliate. At our first AGM on 1st April (!!!) 1952, the club subscription was set at 25 shillings (£1.25). By September, membership had risen to 50.

We remain a thriving society not only photographically, but also on the social side. The Society is a firm supporter of the Federation, having provided many of its hard working voluntary officers, including the Centennial President.

Ron Clements