On Friday June 11th, 12 intrepid
ePHOTOziners descended on the West End Centre, near Blubberhouses in Yorkshire,
for the second annual North West Members Meet. Once again, members had come
from all over the country, and 7 members from last years meet were joined by
5 new faces.
It was an early start for me as
I headed up to Harrogate to collect Suzanne, then shopped for essentials (curry
ingredients and alcohol) in the morning. We met up with Alan far too early at
the West End Centre, where (of course) it was raining. Deciding on the sensible
course of action, we decamped to The Woolly Sheep in Skipton, where Matt, Steve,
Anthony and Colin joined us and the landlords lamb made a bolt for door(highly
skilled, these Yorkshire sheep are!)
After lunch, a short drive
back to the centre (or in Anthonys case, a large tour of Yorkshire well,
what I did was, I turned left too soon.) and we were able to move in. Everyone
found a room to dump their bags, then we headed off for the first outing for
most of the cameras. The weather had brightened, and we strolled off down to
the reservoir where the old village of West End once stood.
Stepping Stones (loweskid)
Taking plenty of photos
during the gentle walk along the bank, we were joined by Edward, who had
found the centre deserted and guessed where we were to be found (probably
by using some sort of radar or something).
Back at the centre,
Ian, Robbie, Vince and Graham arrived later in the afternoon. Once everyone
had found a bed, the second outing was planned and the 12 set off in convoy
to the pub, where Anthony managed to build on his reputation for eating
very large puddings.
Saturday was our main day for
photography, and we drove in convoy again to Bolton Abbey in the morning
where we met the first of the day-trippers, Alan (alansnap). Edward immediately
wandered off, since he had such a long lens, he needed to be in the next
county to fit the Abbey in the shot, which Graham opted for a lie down on
the river bank. The rest of us wandered around engrossed in our own photography,
stopping for a chat and an ice cream every so often.
Bolton Abbey (Anthony)
Matt gets up close and personal with some stones (Big Bri)
Alben, Big Bri and Swag at the Strid (Anthony)
Lunchtime soon came
around, but Edward was nowhere to be found, so we all had to wait while
Suzanne (the resident scout) tracked him down. Everyone then drove the
short distance to the Pavilion, where after a small snack, we met the
other two day-trippers, Magda and Paul Indigo.
The rest of the afternoon
was then taken up with a meandering walk by the river Wharfe to the Strid,
where we stayed for quite a while as everyone took turns shooting the
water (and each other) from the few good positions.
A number of group shots
were taken, although I was not allowed to do the honours after last years self
(Left to right, on seat) Graham (ganstey),
Vince (loweskid), Alan (alansnap), Colin (lightweaver), Anthony (anthony), Steve
(swag), Brian (Big Bri), Matt (mattwaggie), Ian (digicammad), Robbie, Suzanne
(SuziBlue), Alan (alben) (Left to right, on ground) Edward (kit-monster), Paul
(paul_indigo), Magda (magda_indigo)
A great day ended
with the departure of the day-trippers and Colin, and everyone else settling
down to the Famous Birthday Bash. A homemade curry and plenty of beer
and wine (and the odd tequila) were followed by cake scoffing and dancing
to the wicked tunes from Anthonys camera. (OK, so I made up the bit about
dancing). A short dolly mixture battle ended peacefully as we chatted
about those things that are most important to us: beer, fast cars and
missing friends. One member in particular was greatly missed, but I cant
say who in case we embarrass him. Or her. Finally, unable to look at Edwards
Rupert Bear trousers any longer, we turned in, just before Alan was getting
up to shoot the sunrise.
On Sunday morning, with many members
having long trips ahead of them, we packed our bags, hoovered up the dolly
mixtures and treated the odd hangover. After saying our goodbyes, everyone
made their way home. We all agreed the weekend had been a great success
plenty of socialising and a bit of photography too and agreed to do
it again next year.
Anthony resting (Lightweaver)
Article by Big Bri