Friday, 30 January 2015

Banging the drum for the group!

(Photos:- Civil War re-enactment Battle in Nantwich in 1643, Saturday January 24th)



Cheer on the WINNERS

Considered it most important to let the whole group know that we have achieved  more than 100 group members, in LESS than 10 months of the group being formed.

I now feel that I can approach Cheshire East Council to say a big thank you for their help and funding in being able to get to this number so quickly, and see if they can help the group to hold an Open Day, to show others just what we have achieved, and hopefully, get even more new group members.

Middlewich Town Council have also played their part as they were the first to provide group funding, and have also with the Town Mayor Paul Edwards and his wife Sonya visited the group to view progress.

We are getting  new members each month so it is also important that members have offered their help so we are best able to keep up this initial momentum, so for our new members are the names of group members who are willing to take on particular group tasks in order to shed the load, and move even more ahead.

Therefore, at meetings and group photo outings the below people will also provide help and assistance.

Melody Smith....................Group Webmaster....Designing and Creating the Group Web Page.
Brian Roberts....................Committee Member....Brian has a many tasks and is normally on the door.
Les Oakley.......................Meet & Greet at the main entrance door, and during meetings / outings.
Mal Wetton.......................Meet & Greet at the main entrance door, and during meetings / outings.
Mal Wetton.......................Is the first contact for technical and camera setting information / guidance & help.
Peter Cross........................Peter will help to organise the group meeting room before and after meetings.
Barbara Astles...................Committee Member, main entrance registration of members / refreshments.
Ken Rane..........................Ken is reviewing the photo software needed on the Training Laptop.
Antony West.....................Antony has offered to create all future marketing Flyers with Cliff Astles.

By spreading the administration and group organisation we believe this is the best way to help the group develop, and more of this type of spreading the load will happen as the group develops. 

Members with time and energy available to give to the group can make contact with myself via the group mail so I can offer "jobs" to members as they occur.e-mail is

I hope that all members can continue to attend our monthly group meetings at the Willowmere-Middlewich as this is the ONLY ( apart from Grants) WAY in which the group can be sustained in the future.

The TRAINING LAPTOP will be purchased during the next few weeks and will be a high specification Laptop and will have installed on it as much of the latest photo post processing software we can afford to buy, plus a number of other photo related software packages. A person will be needed to be responsible for the use of this expensive group facility. Exact use to be finally decided by group discussion.

Cliff Astles
Group Chairman & Organiser.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Member Help at Willowmere & Technology and Digital Questions / Answers-Jan 2015

Member "Instructional Photo Outing" photo from Pennington Flash Album.

Our group has recently grown very quickly, so that at last months meeting we had some some 33 persons in total at the monthly meeting, with an unusually large number of new members attending for the first time.

This is very encouraging to see and no doubt hope this is a continuing theme for the future success of the group. However, it has indicated that we need more member resource to properly "meet and greet" new members. We need to make sure they know where to go, who people are at the meetings, and perhaps what will be happening on the night and sequence of the meeting schedule, toilets, fire escapes and the fact that we are meeting at an older peoples residence, and need to be quieter than normal.

Both Mal Wetton and Les Oakley have previously offered to help out whenever something was needed, and now is the right time to get changes made to ensure a better flow as people register and come to the group meetings at Willowmere, and to also make sure of other things as above, and more.

Therefore, at future meetings we plan to have as normal on the door at Willowmere Brian Roberts, who will allow for people to enter the premises (they are locked at 5.30 pm), with Mrs Barbara Astles who will ensure that all members and visitors all sign the visitors / security book at the Willowmere Reception Desk.

In addition to myself at the door (most of the time) will be Les Oakley and Mal Wetton. We will try and ensure that all new members / visitors / guests are properly met, shown where to go for the meeting etc etc. They will also make people aware of the H & S issues in place at Willowmere for the safety of visitors and residents alike, and where ever possible point people in the direction of the Meeting room. (Restaurant).

Furthermore, Mal Wetton has agreed to help with any technical questions regarding technology, digital cameras, settings, and other similar items. Mal should be contacted first at meetings or on the group Facebook Page, and he will try and answer your questions, as well as pointing you in the direction of the member who can perhaps help more with answers, probably a bit of both.

In the fullness of time, we believe as the Group Web Page matures members will make more use of the Group Forum to ask any similar questions and will get answers from many members on the Forum Page.

Finally, should members find other items that require attention in making the group run better, let me have your comments via the group e-mail ( to myself. This may also include topics which you feel you would like added to the future group EVENTS to make the future meetings as interesting and informative as possible.

Cliff Astles
28th Jan 2015.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Topic Inspiration for members.

Photo from last Saturday's Holly Holy Day-Nantwich-more on my Facebook Site.
Let's see if we can get our group members as "fired up" as this Parliamentarian Army Canon Gun was this last weekend, by members looking at interesting topics for our monthly photo presentation, and places to go out together as a group on our FREE "Instructional Photo Outings".

Plus, what do our members wish to have more information on with respect to digital camera photo techniques and technical equipment, in order to continue to make the group presentations by members and outside professionals as interesting as we have been able to do, thus far.

YES, the committee do have many photo topics, outings, and group presentation subjects lined up to help members to become more proficient photographers, learn about the technology of the digital camera, photo post processing software, and other wider and interesting photo related subjects.

However, we also wish to have feedback from members on how they are enjoying being a member, what they think of the varying presentations, and more importantly, what would they like to see from the group in the future. This we can use for group marketing so that others can be stimulated by what we are achieving in our community, and get others to join the group.

We are now over 100 members, with 89 on Facebook, and other members not wishing to be using Facebook, hence one of the reasons for the  recently announced Group Web Page. 

The Web Page will progressively take over from using Social Media as the main group information provider of group information, but will continue to use social media facilities as and when this is the best way ahead.

The group FORUM, when made available to members will be used to ask for member advice on  digital cameras, technology, futures, camera photo settings etc and members will be able to discuss all of these topics, without UK and International adverts being imposed upon the group. 

It will be JUST for GROUP Members, with professional input from members and external local professional individuals and bodies.

Therefore, as I have asked members before, the group is for members and we ask for input from members to make sure we have a future timetable of "goodies" to satisfy all members, young, old, male and female.

ANY input / suggestions / feedback / suggested changes should be e-mailed to myself using the group       e-mail of

ALL, suggestions will be considered for future use by the group, as long as these would be of interest to the majority of the group members.

Thank you all for your continued interest and attendance at outings and group meetings.

Kindest Regards


Monday, 26 January 2015

Haunting Photos!

Photo by Mal Wetton, who today shows the way with his exhausting walk around Chester to get some of the Chester GHOST Photos for the groups Photo TOPIC for the FEB Group Meeting.

Have had some of the requested member photos to be collated and included into the FEB Member Photo MS Presentation, but thought I would place this on the Web Page and Facebook to show just what ghost photos are all about. 

Mal's example above is an excellent one and should be a good pointer for other members to get out and about to get more.

For our many new members, who may not quite understand what I am on about ...

We have a group topic for photos to be taken by members and submitted to myself, via our group e-mail at

Members use the topic and provide up to 5 photos via the group e-mail to myself, of no more than 500K in size (ish). This allows for all members to be taking the same kind of photo and when shown in the MS PowerPoint presentation, you can then compare how you have got on and compare yourself with others, if you so wish. 

Members are also encouraged to contact other members, via Facebook messaging, if they particularly like someones photo / setting / composure etc and ask questions from members as to the photo settings, if they so wish. This works !!! 

Your photography skill set will considerably increase if you follow this simple technique of sharing interests and knowledge with members.

I know, it has worked for me :)


PS The cut-off date for photos to myself this month will be SATURDAY 14th February, to give myself time to pull all of the photos together in the PS Presentation.

Member reminder for Sunday 7th February 2015 - FREE "Instructional Photo Outing"

This next Sunday is a photo outing with a difference. Check out the full group information on the Group EVENTS page on Facebook and make sure you do not miss this opportunity to get some FREE shots of Birds of Prey as they fly around the inner keep of Peckforton Castle. 

Pay just £5.00 on the day to be part of the spectator group for the opportunity to get close up shots of these birds flying free and landing on Barbara Astles (arm I hope) as she helps the bird handler with the flying and feeding of these beautiful birds.

Also, make sure you place your name on the next group meeting date of Wednesday 18th Feb with another fantastic few hours with Owen Lloyd, of Owen Lloyd Photography. Detail can be found again on the group Facebook Page, under group EVENTS.


Friday, 23 January 2015

Outlook for Saturday 24th Jan 2015 - rough!

The weather for Saturday looks to be a bright and sunny day (little close to zero for me and my more mature 21st Group friends, but who cares about the weather, when there is such a FEAST of photo opportunities, with much to eat and drink.

Nantwich Holly Holy Day-TOMORROW Sat 24th Jan 2015

There is activity in and around Nantwich for residents and visitors from about mid-morning, with the main activity being the march by the troops from their camps to the Town Centre, at about lunch time. 

See the official Brochure On-Line to get the official times.

This is a NOT to be MISSED opportunity for all budding photographers (and video) creators and with the good weather forecast there should be a GREAT DAY for ALL the family.

The Church in the main town square will also be open to visitors and is well worth a trip to see the very many items of interest. Particularly the carvings in the church which were done at about 1340 AD.

Get there EARLY as the many CAR PARKS quickly fill up, on such an important day for Nantwich

Photo by Ruth Myers 
Nantwich Church was used to hold captured ROYALIST troops after the battles.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Report on Monthly Group Meeting - January 2015

Mark Williamson presents his Tatton Hall photos at Willowmere, Middlewich

WOW!-WOW!-WOW! -What a FANTASTIC member turnout last night at our January Group Meeting :).

We had 33, YES 33 people in total at the meeting, with input and discussions from many members we had one of the most encouraging member meetings since we started to group, in only MARCH 2014.

The meeting started prompt at 7.00 pm with the now normal member photo display which was on three topics this month. British Weather-Member "Studio" photos, and of course a host of shots from members of our recent Narrowboat Trip, with TWO boats and 20 people on boats hired from Middlewich Narrowboats.

A VERY cold day with 5 mm thick ice on the canal surface made for an interesting winter trip. However, members were still able to take many photos, and some of these were on display at the beginning of the meeting for all to see and to compare their own photos with other photos taken by the group.

This was followed by one of the best photography photo displays I have been lucky enough to see, with information on each photo by Mark and with answers to questions from the group. Mark, working from his studio in Knutsford does all manor of photography all over the UK, from his base and studio in Knutsford, Cheshire. The two person team are sought after all over the UK, both for Weddings and Commercial photography in particular.

See more of Mark's work @  and you will also see just how good Mark and wife Kirstin are, when working together at their chosen art.

Mark certainly knows his photography from top to bottom, and following his presentation was able to answer questions and provide advice to others with their photo composition and to answer other photography questions while taking a well earned coffee break.

Next month on Feb 18th again at the Willowmere-Middlewich, we will have another local photographer, Mr Own Lloyd of Owen Lloyd Photography, who will be giving more advice to the group of the many aspects of photography, for both beginners and those with more advanced skills. All GOOD stuff :)

See the Groups Facebook site for more detailed information on the night, and please make sure you place you name on the list to attend the event so we can plan better for numbers requiring tea coffee & biscuits, which is always included in the price of entry.

Note:- Carers come FREE!!

So make sure we are made aware of any of your own personal needs in this respect.

Willowmere, was chosen as the group HQ for meetings and presentations by the group, as it has been purpose built for people that may have special needs.

Thanks for a very good attendance, and look forward to seeing you all again soon.



Wednesday, 21 January 2015

21st Century Technology & Camera Group-Cheshire East Community Group Grant

Just to let members know that we have finally received the cheque for £500.00 from Cheshire East for the successful application for a community grant, to help the group grow, and to also help with paying group expanses and costs in the future.

It is currently proposed that the monies will be used to help the group pay expanses and to purchase items, currently loaned to the group by members for presentations etc, and to do more marketing for new group members etc.

We will now also be going ahead with the purchase of a NEW high technical specification Laptop. 

The laptop will be installed with software specifically designed to help with photo post processing.  
e.g. Lightroom 5, plus other FREE and special software packages that are used to enhance photos etc. 

Additionally, the Laptop will also be installed with Microsoft Office to help with general member training, for use at home and in business for all members, particularly for our younger members and those in our group that may wish to brush up their own skills on business application software.

We can also by using the Group Laptop meet with other potential member groups to show them what we are doing in the community, and would they wish to join the group ? 

We will also be using the laptop (with a suitable PP presentation) to meet with potential SPONSORS and other public bodies to obtain funds for the group and business sponsorship and advertisements (if possible).

Further grant applications are currently in the process of being generated, and there are a few we await the results.

Cliff 21st January 2015.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

21st Century Technology & Camera Group-"Instructional Photo Outing" Feb 7th 2015

Pictures-in and around Peckforton Castle,  by Cliff Astles
Looking ahead to next months (FEB) photo outing it has now been scheduled to take place at Peckforton Castle, South West Cheshire. Full detail of the outing can be found by looking at the group Facebook site EVENTS, and members are requested to add their names to the EVENT if they plan to attend.

My wife Barbara has "volunteered" (she has always wanted to do this anyhow :) ) to act as "bait" for the variety of  RAPTOR birds they have available and this in itself is a fantastic opportunity to take photos of both static and FLYING birds while Barbara sits in the middle of the grassed area of the inner Castle, perhaps called the castle inner walled area. I am told this will take some 90 mins for the full show.

The birds will sit on Barbara outstretched arm ( with gauntlet ) and fly around the inner walls of the castle and sitting upon the inner walls which are some 30 feet high. The bird handler will then call the birds down for food who will then take the food whilst perched on Barbara's arm.

During all of this the group will have the opportunity of using their cameras to take photos, whilst being outside of the grassed inner castle, for NO COSTS. However, if group members wish to get in closer, they are then called "spectators" and this will cost £ 5.00 for each spectator. Paid when I pay for Barbara to do her bit for Queen and Country. The cost for anyone to do this like Barbara would be £ 50.00, and has to be booked well in advance of attending. This is my treat for Barbara, as she has wanted this for some time. 

Therefore, I decided that it would be nice to combine a group photo outing, with the raptor experience for Barbara, so that members can experience this for themselves and perhaps get some good photos for FREE.

Most of us do not get many opportunities to do this type of photography, so thought it a good idea. Please make sure you note this EVENT for Feb in your own diary and let's hope the weather is as good as it was when I was there taking the above photos.


Member Update-20th Jan 2015

Photo from last Saturdays "Voyage of Discovery" on the Shropshire Union Canal

Member Group Meeting-Wednesday 21st January 2015-Willowmere-Middlewich-Cheshire.

All being well, the attendance at this months group meeting could be the best attended we have had since we started the group back in March 2014, so we must be doing something right :)

Would all members planning to attend please add their names to the group EVENT for the 21st January.
We need this information in order to plan the night knowing how many are wishing to attend, and this now includes a growing number of non-Facebook members, with more junior members interested as well.

We are fast approaching the magic number of 100 members, not bad as we only started the group 
in March of 2015, with NO members at all.



Monday, 19 January 2015

British Civil War

How much do YOU know about the British Civil War in Cheshire, and in particular the Battle for Nantwich and MIDDLEWICH in 1643 (ish) ??????

Not very much if you are like me, so want to find out more ??

Well, this next weekend at Nantwich, with the March onto the Town and Battle, you can see something like 3 to 500 regular re-enactment people, all suitably dressed in period costumes, with all the paraphernalia of  war, all around the Town and Battle Field.

What an action packed day for all of our 21st Century Technology & Camera group to test out their camera "ACTION" shots for real. The photos will be with you forever, and help you to also remember what happen in Cheshire in the 1700, that shaped the British Island, to what it is today and for EVER.

I have been asked for the last 5 years or so to provide photos to the Nantwich Branch of the Sealed Knot Society, so they may have them for their own Marketing purposes. YES, I will be there from 9.00 am until something like 4.00 / 4.30 pm making sure they have photos to use from this years activities.

This year they have kindly invited myself and Barbara to their evening dinner at the CROWN HOTEL in Nantwich, where there will be even more for me to try and capture as they will also be performing ( after the meal) by showing dancing of the 1700, and they will again be all suitably dressed in period costume.

NO, NOT ME, I have got to get back from Nantwich to Middlewich, hot bath, hot shave, get dressed in my JAMES BOND evening attire, if it will fit :( and be there for something like 7.00 pm. To meet and greet and get photos of attending, in their formal and period dresses and stuff.).

All in a days work :) :) :) and I JUST LOVE DOING IT.

A GREAT day out for you keen group photographers, and a good day out for ALL the family. See u there.


21st Century Technology & Camera Group-Canal Boat Trip Pictures

Member Update-Monday 19th Jan 2015.

The deadline has now CLOSED for member photos to be submitted to myself for inclusion in the Member Group Photo Presentation for Wed 21st Jan Member Meeting at the Willowmere-Middlewich-7 till 9 pm.

We have had an excellent number submitted and are wonderful but differing photos from the trip, I for one are highly delighted the trip turned out to be such a resounding success. 

I plan to be doing another in the Spring when perhaps the BLUEBELLS are out again in the woods, so we can have a go at Woodland Bluebell photos, and perhaps a more relaxed time on the canal-side with a  break for a B B Q , and coverings for if it is wet. Ideas, and loan of kit, nearer to date of going.

Don't forget that this WEDNESDAY is the January Monthly member meeting and will again have Mr Mark Williamson, professional  photographer from Knutsford, who this time will be speaking and showing photos from his assignment for Tatton Hall, 365 days at Tatton. The photos are STUNNING, and his visit should NOT be missed.

Therefore, please add your name the the EVENT at the TOP of the 21st Group Web Page so we have some idea of numbers for staffing and catering needs.

Looking forward to Wednesday, and trust you all feel the same.


Sunday, 18 January 2015

Photos for January meeting, 21st Group Website and new policies.

Canal Boat Photos from Photo Outing-Saturday 17th Jan 2015.

You may, if you wish, add a small (10 to 15) photo album to the 21st group Facebook Page, plus you need to make sure you also let me have your own selection of 5 photos to place onto the Member Photo Presentation for Wed Night.  Why only 10 to 15 ? photos, to make sure I do not have to purchase another disk drive :) Members took many hundreds of photos on this trip :)


As most members now know, you can view the new website at
This has been designed and created by group member Melody Smith and is available for members to view / use NOW. More and more facilities will be released to enhance and complete the task to make it 100%,  progressively by Melody, over the next few weeks and months.

Members are requested to feed back to Melody any errors they may find or difficulties they have with using the website plus anything they see as being useful to include in the Website.

Proposed Policies

Both Facebook and the website will be used side by side. However we will need to work out the best way to contact members. Entries into this blog can be viewed on both the group Facebook page and website and this is why I am currently using this to announce member meeting details. It would be good to eventually have this blog for reports on events and subjects (camera and tech related) which may be of use to group members. It is hoped that members will also submit blog posts to me for inclusion. All members are welcome to comment on blog posts. Comments will be moderated.
It is proposed that we use Mailchimp to email club members with details of meetings and other information. This way we are not reliant on:
  • members being on fb (not all are);
  • members signing on to fb to receive important messages;
  • fb privacy settings preventing some members seeing 'shared' information;
  • members having Facebook posts sent to their phone.

Mailchimp is fully compliant with data protection laws and ensures that the group is handling member data correctly. To enable this to happen we need your email address. Please DO NOT send these by any means that would make them available publicly. A new 'contact details' sheet will be made available for you complete from the web page shortly. If you have any concerns about this proposed change in group policy please contact me (Cliff) in person or via. the group email. If time permits the subject will be discussed at the upcoming meeting.

We will also be looking for keen members to become committee members or sub-committee members. It is envisaged that committee members will represent the whole group and contribute to steering the club's direction; sub-committee members would help with one or two jobs within the club ie. monitoring comments on the blog or forum, updating the website etc.

Onward and Upward.


Group Meeting-Willowmere-Middlewich-Wed 18th Feb 2015

Photo by Cliff Astles-Dave Warren.
Dave lines up his "Destroyer" to make sure he gets through the canal bridge in one piece :)

We are lucky enough to have OWEN Lloyd with us again, this time making sure we understand and take full advantage of all the wonderful  features of your digital camera. 

Owen, will be providing us with more detail on digital camera basics / technical information on digital camera settings, focus, depth of field etc with member Q and A sessions.

This workshop is designed to get members to more fully understand their camera's, with basic info and more! Also to help you take better quality, creative photos. If you have any questions then start getting them ready now!

Please make sure you ADD your name to the 21st GROUP EVENT on Facebook if you are a member and intend or maybe planning to attend. You may bring friends and family if you wish. All attendees pay the same Fee. 

This is particularly important to NEW members as we wish to make sure you are properly introduced to current members and feel part of the group, right from the outset, at our Willomere Group Meetings.

Unsure, on ANYTHING................. just give Cliff a call on 07971 136360

Onward and Upward.



Saturday, 17 January 2015

View from canal, across the River Weaver Valley, towards Church Minchell

21st Century Technology & Camera Group-Canal Boat Trip-Saturday-Jan 17th 2015.


One thing I did not mention in my previous BLOG, on the Canal Boat Trip, was the fact that all that attended did in fact bring enough food to go around 3 or 4 times. 

A bit like the 5 fishes and 2 loaves of bread (well a bit like :) ). Thank you so very much. 

Over and above the call of duty, I would like to add, and no doubt as a result of  LADIES input :)

The SOUP provided by Mal (and Joan ) was very very nice, and there was enough to go around BOTH BOATS, and still leave some to go home for MAL'S TEA !!!

It will be great to do this again, when it is warmer, and we could stop and have a Bar B Q and stuff ??

We will also not have to get back before it goes to dark for me to negotiate the last lock :( :( :( As it will not get dark until much later :)



Instructional Photo Outing-Sat 17th Jan 2015

Member Update-Post Photo Outing Trip on Narrowboat, Sat 17 Jan 2015.

A quick post straw POLL of the trip says, EXCELLENT TRIP, need to do something like this again, Perhaps in the SPRING when it is a tad warmer.

However, with nearly 20 people attending this MUST be the best attended, and most expansive trip we have been able to get organised. :) :) :)

Therefore ALL GOOD.TWO BOATS, 1-75 feet, other 65 feet :( :( :(  ;)

If members wish to get some of their photos up for others to see quite soon, then add 10 (ish) to make a small album, and add then to the group, but no more than 1 megbyte per photo, please.

Furthermore, I NEED your BEST FIVE from the day to myself, via the GROUP e-Mail of 

They will then be placed in the photos to view on WEDNESDAY NIGHT at the Group Meeting at the Willowmerte-Middlewich. 7.00 pm start. See GROUP EVENT for more detailed info.

Don't delay make it soon, so I have time to do a good job with your photos :)

Will DAVE make it through the BRIDGE?...................................................

...OF Course he did :)

Will now be composing my normal Group Press Release to show just what a GREAT GROUP we have, and what we do for photo outings. Nothing NORMAL or mundane for the 21st Group :)

PLEASE, around with you friends and family, the more we do the better it gets, and the more members makes life easier for us all, and keeps the GROUP BANK BALANCE in the BLACK----YES!!!!


Friday, 16 January 2015

Member Update-Instructional Photo Outing-ON WATER

Ahoy, or Hello SAILOR for those lucky people who have been so brave enough to book with the Group to come on an "Instructional Photo Outing" adventure on the Shropshire Union Canal, tomorrow Saturday 17th Jan 2015.

Dave Warren and myself have just been out for a couple of hours, to complete the necessary training course for the steering, mooring, and general boat handling of a Narrow Boat, hired for the day from Middlewich Narrowboats.

A very FIRST for both myself and Dave and when we arrived we found the boats were a slight bit bigger than we both thought we were going to get. Dave's boat is 65 FEET LONG, and my boat is 70 FOOT.

Anyhow, no worries the instructors said we were both very good, so no worries for the rest of the crew.

Anyhow, a few things for those attending so that we all have a nice day.

A) The TWO boats are moored just up from the WARDLE LOCK Cottage, between the first and second bridges and both Dave and myself will be trying to get there for 8.30 am to get the boats started and the CENTRAL HEATING working, and warmed up, before our "guests" arrive. The boats are positioned between the junctions of SUTTON LANE and ST ANNES ROAD in Middlewich, and the Canal.

There are plenty of car parking space on the roads around there, but you can also be cheeky and park on the British Legion Car Park, which is just up SUTTON LANE ( 50 yards ) on the right. Don't think they will bother about people parking, particularly so early in the morning :(.

If in doubt, and after you have parked you cars) go to the Middlewich Narrow Boats, boat yard and they will give directions to where we have positioned the boats. PLEASE try not to be late as we need to get away quite quickly after 9.00 am.

IT will be COLD and ICY so please get well wrapped up, and watch for the ice on the Canal towpath, particularly when getting onto the boats. The boats FULLY equipped with running water, cups, pans and both have toilets on board. Instructions will be given by Dave and myself, when we are all on board both of the boats. So, we should be OK to make hot drinks and stuff :)

We will be going slowly, and will go about 2 / 3 hours out and back, and told there is much to photograph including KINGFISHERS, so we maybe lucky.

We may be able to stop at the VIADUCT MARINA for a coffee and snack, BUT, bring something yourself as we may not make it that far, depends upon our driving :( plus some coffee / tea, but Bab's will have with her the normal "BAG of GOODIES" with tea / coffee etc if you are stuck for anything.

We plan to be back at Middlewich Narrow Boats about 4.00 / 4.30 before it get dark.

IF IN me  07971 136360.

We will talk about cameras and settings of same, when we finish the BOAT info, but again, if in any doubt set the camera to auto for normal quick shots, and speak to me if you want to have your camera set to take birds in FLIGHT, as these settings are slightly different.

I want you to enjoy the day as much as possible, and if we enjoy the day we will do this again when the weather is a little kinder.

PLEASE, get some of your better shots ( NO MORE THAN FIVE EACH) back to myself as soon as possible, so they can be included in the member photo presentation for next WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

But remember no bigger than 500 k in size or they will not fit onto the MS PowerPoint Presentation :) :)

If you have any further questions, please give me a bell, as above.


Friday 16 Jan 2015.

Would Group Members please make sure they find time to look at and explore the New Group Web Page.
This can be found at

Melody would like to see members using it as soon as possible, provided feedback, so she can get to grips with any modifications / enhancements you may find when first viewing the site.


Photo added to check out it works. :) and itr does. This is a photo of the TRANSPORTER BRIDGE that was installed to get passengers from RUNCORN to WIDNES and back, in Victorian times.

I did actually see it working for real, with passengers. However, neither me or my younger sister Kay would take a trip on the contraption. This looks to be at a time when it was first opened in ??? With a TRAM and loads of men on bowler hats, note NO LADIES :)

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Welcome to our new website and blog by Mel Smith (Webmaster)

Please feel free to explore our website at and make any comments on how you feel it could be improved in the future or extra features that you would like to see. We may not be able to cater for everyone but we can try!
If any member of the group has a topic which you would like to 'blog' about then please submit it to a committee member.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Updated Group Description

Main purpose of the group is to engage with ALL members of our Cheshire Community in order that they make the best use of technology found in today’s modern homes.
Principally about using digital cameras and associated Internet technology, the group has both female and male members aged from 14 to some in their 80’s.
The group has monthly meetings, with presentations on all kinds of technology / photography combined with our very popular “Instructional Photo Outings” where members meet at local beauty spots and are taught how best to use their own cameras by skilled members, in order to improve their camera techniques and obtain quality photographs, rather than just photo snaps.
INTERESTED? Then sign up to the group using Facebook, or email Cliff Astles on CONTACT US page for more info.