THE first ever Ilkley & District U3A Photographic competition got off to a flying start last weekend when it opened to the public at the Manor House, Ilkley. On show were the best images taken by members over the past year.

Ilkley U3A has three separate photography groups. They cater for both members who are just beginning to develop their photographic skills and the more experienced photographers who are interested in learning more advanced techniques. All three groups have been delighted with the opportunity to exhibit their work in a public exhibition. Members were invited to exhibit under one or more of six themes: Hill and Dale, Reflections, First & Last Light, Gates and Stiles, Red and Abstract. The results are stunning.

Twenty-four members submitted photographs for consideration by a small group of judges. The judges looked at over 100 images and chose 66 for the exhibition. One of the aims of the exhibition was to encourage newcomers to photography to join with others to improve their skills so everyone who submitted a photograph was guaranteed at least one image in the exhibition. Despite some of the participants being new to photography, the standard of images submitted is very high. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to vote for their favourite images and this should provide a fascinating comparison with the judges’ views.

Neil Stevens, a U3A member and one of the judges said: “The U3A was delighted with the opportunity to use the Manor House’s upstairs gallery which has provided a stunning background for the exhibition.”

If this exhibition proves to be a success then this could become an annual event to showcase the talents of U3A members.

The exhibition at the Manor House will be open to visitors again next weekend on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 from 11am to 4pm. Entry is free.

For further information about the U3A and how to join, look on the website at or come to a Drop-in at the Clarke Foley Centre, Ilkley, on the first and third Friday of the month from 10.30am to noon.