It was indeed a pleasant surprise to be invited to contribute this foreword on the occasion of the Birkenhead Photographic Association’s (BPA) Centenary. From the BPA’s beginnings in 1884 their first introduction to the public, in 1885, was the taking of a portrait of the Mayor then projecting the transparency the same evening – marvellous! And how many societies could do that to-day, one hundred years on? In organising their first International Exhibition in 1900 one can imagine the tremendous enthusiasm and interest in Birkenhead at the time in staging such a prestigious event. It continues today with the ever growing International Colour Salon.
In 1962 Tom Grenfell FRPS was a most energetic president bringing many new ideas into amateur photography from his business connections. Two other presidents from the BPA were Mr and Mrs. JC Marsden, both long serving members of the executive committee. Sylvia served office in 1965, husband Jack in 1972. Yet another `first’ for the BPA was the introduction of the “Knock-out Colour Slide Contest” instituted in 1970. A similar idea was adopted by the L&CPU in 1982 and the first contest was, naturally enough, held in Birkenhead.
With the first hundred years of history covered by this booklet, shortly to be completed, it seems fitting that the occasion should be marked by the BPA Centenary President being in the same year President Elect of the L&CPU. Desmond Cooper is to be congratulated on this dual honour, and may it mark the inauguration of yet another hundred successful years for the BPA. With all the foreseeable changes, such as audio visual, video and other electronic advances, I am sure the BPA will cope and, indeed, will be leader in any new technology in amateur photography which may arise. May I wish the BPA “continuing good photography” as a flourishing society for the future.
Arthur H. Downes, F.R.P.S. (Member of Executive Committee and Past President, Lancashire & Cheshire Photographic Union). August, 1982.