Recently the Society gathered to celebrate the many years of service of Ruth Piearce and Syd Cumbus. To make the occasion Vic Crumley penned the following column for the Lancaster Guardian.
This evening’s event was designed as an occasion to mark the long association with the Society of its two most senior members, Mr Syd Cumbus and Mrs Ruth Piearce, who have been members for more than 50 years. To mark the occasion, Syd Cumbus provided a talk on his experiences of the changes in photography during these years. After reflecting briefly on the many different venues in which the Society has met, he gave a review of the cameras he had used, many of which were on display. These ranged from a simple box camera, through a number of rangefinder and SLR film cameras such as Leica and Minolta, to the current digital models. He also commented on his experience of a wide range of film, confessed a long-standing preference for Agfa products, and showed slides to demonstrate the variable keeping properties of different films.
The main part of Syd’s talk comprised a slide presentation focusing on his home city of Lancaster. After showing a number of images of old Lancaster, Syd demonstrated his enthusiasm for his home city with an illustrated tour of Lancaster, concentrating on the many changes that he has seen and photographed over the years, commenting particularly on the loss during the early 1970s of St Nicholas Street, which he believed t be of great character.
Thanking Syd for his talk, vice-president Sally Anderson commented that his pictures would serve as an inspiration to other members in their search for worthy subjects for photography. At the end of the evening president Christian Cable presented Life Membership awards to Syd and to Ruth, both former presidents of the Society, to mark their contribution to its work over 50 years.