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Age or experience doesn't matter if you want join a society or club in Loughton...
Club secretary Helen Robertson
The Loughton Mountaineering Club was formed more than 25 years ago and since then members have got together on a monthly basis and headed north on a Friday evening to the hills of North Wales, the Lake District and other regions. Helen Robertson joined the club in 2002 after moving to Loughton for a job. As a hill walker and climber she wanted to meet other people who lived locally and enjoyed the same outdoor pursuits.
I have climbed and walked in areas that I would never
have got to on my own
Helen explains: The expense of going away on a weekend on my own would have been prohibitive, but by joining the club I got to share the driving and costs. Since joining I have met many people and made many friends. I have also climbed and walked in areas that I would never have got to on my own and travelled to places I would not have had the opportunity to visit.
Helen has been the secretary of the club since 2005, planning and booking the weekends away and co-ordinating the membership. The next weekend away the club has planned is to Newlands Valley in the Lake District in September.
Helen adds: We dont just meet up to go away, we also meet each week at Mile End Climbing Wall and regularly enjoy a drink at the Victoria Tavern where we can plan the next weekend trip. With Epping Forest on our doorstep, we also take full advantage of the good weather and members can regularly be seen out in the forest on foot or on mountain bikes.
For more information about the club, visit www.loughtonmc.org
President John Banks
Loughton Camera Club was established in the spring of 1945 at the instigation of a local photographer, EW Perret. Since its foundation, the club has moved with the times and now nearly all its members use digital cameras.
President, John Banks, explains: Most of us started with film and there is still a fund of knowledge on film and darkroom techniques which members are always ready to pass on to anyone. We have regular competitions between members and also between other clubs, while visiting lecturers come and give talks on their photography and we have workshop evenings. As part of our workshop evenings the more experienced members are on hand to help beginners with questions, whether they are about camera, computer or darkroom manipulation, composition or technique.
The club has a laptop computer with photo editing software and a digital projector, which it uses for competitions, lectures and demonstrations. Members also go on one or two outings a year and this summer we will
be visiting Dedham, in search of inspiration from John Constables work.
John adds: Joining the club isnt like joining a photography course, its about like-minded people joining together to have fun with photography.
However, you can learn an awful lot about how to produce a good photograph from just seeing other members work and talking about it.
Loughton Camera Club meets every Wednesday (except during July and August) from 8pm to 10pm in Lopping Hall on Loughtons High Road.
For more information, visit www.loughtoncameraclub.org.uk or call 0208 508 4199. The clubs next meeting will be held on September 9.
Coach David Hobbs
Loughton Athletic Club is Britains oldest athletics club and has been in existence for more than 100 years. It has had various homes in the local area since its foundation in 1908, but it is now based at the Roding Valley Recreation Ground, at the end of Roding Road and Southview Drive.
David Hobbs, one of the clubs coaches, joined the club because of his love for running. He explains: Running is one of the most natural and enjoyable pursuits you can engage in. Exercising with a friendly group of people enables you to build up a surprisingly good level of physical fitness. If you want to be competitive, thats fine, the club can cater for that. But if you just want to participate in some social running and exercise, thats fine too, Loughton AC caters for everyone.
During the summer, the club uses the grass tracks on surrounding fields, which allows runners and walkers of all ages (from eight to 80 years old) and abilities to enjoy exercise or to keep up or improve their fitness levels.
David adds: Sometimes mums and dads bring their children to try out for athletics and find that they want to stay and join in with the sessions. It is a very friendly club.
Details of the clubs sessions can be found at www.loughtonac.org.uk