A PHOTOGRAPHIC competition has been launched by The Rotary Club of Westbury in a bid to capture a visual history of the town.

Twenty years ago Eli Mannaseh, then a resident and town councillor, published his book ‘Westbury in the Year 2000’, a project to mark and document Westbury at The Millennium. It incorporated a photograph for every day of the year depicting people and places.

At the time, the photos were of familiar scenes and faces, and perhaps their interest was initially limited in consequence. In the intervening years, as Westbury has changed, with buildings demolished and built, firms closed, people aged or left us, the value of Eli’s document has grown enormously.

Rotary Club spokesman Julian Sandoe said: "In 2021, Census Year, The Rotary Club of Westbury now consider that it is time once more to provide a visual record of Westbury and its people for posterity.

"With this in mind, we are intent on holding a photographic competition to document Westbury over the course of the next year, with a view to producing a book along similar lines to Eli’s which endeavours to capture Westbury in a series of photos.

"Large prints of the winning entries in the various categories will be produced and exhibited in the town, pending their permanent display on the walls of public buildings in Westbury.

"Depending upon the level of interest shown, Rotary will also consider producing signed limited addition prints and merchandise for sale."

The competition will run until March 31 2022 to enable a full year to be captured.

The club also intends to produce a DVD of watermarked images containing all of the entries to more fully capture Westbury at this time.

This DVD, the books and limited edition prints would be sold for charitable purposes with all proceeds going to Julia House, the local children’s hospice, and other Rotary supported charities.

Photos will be submitted on the basis that photographers consent to their images being used for these declared purposes, but otherwise the photographers will retain copyright to all submitted images.

The photos will be judged by a small panel of experienced judges and local lay people so that a balance of photographic skill and local interest is assessed.

The competition will be open to everyone. There will be a Locals Category for those living and working in Westbury and Westbury villages.

There will be an open category for non-locals, an Under 10 category, and categories for 10-13 and 14-18 to encourage youngsters to contribute to the project.

Themes will be people, landscapes, buildings, in the street, the seasons, flora and fauna, sports and leisure, at work, education, worship, military, and contemporary.

Westbury is clearly the underlying theme, and to avoid disappointment the relevant part of Westbury should be readily identifiable in all submitted images, with the exception that photos of Westbury people need not have somewhere in Westbury as an identifiable backdrop.

For example, a photo of daffodils in All Saints Churchyard with The Church identifiable in the background fits the theme, but photos of the same daffodils without a readily identifiable backdrop, would not.Similarly, photos of Westbury United playing should be identifiable as they’re playing at their Meadow Lane ground.

Digital (J-Peg) files (sizes to be confirmed) will be required, although assistance can be provided to scan film negatives.

Entrants will be required to submit a maximum of 10 images over five chosen categories.

Further details of the competition’ entry dates, and how to submit images will be issued soon. To register your interest, email sandoes@aol.com