The DCC in Sinalunga 14th - 16th July 2023

In September 2022, Moira and Andrew MacRae from the Dorking and District Town Twinning Association invited us to a meeting with representatives from our Italian twin, Sinalunga, who were over in Surrey with a choir to perform at Mickleham church.

Although Sinalunga does not have a camera club anymore (closed in 1996) they asked if we would be interested in showing an exhibition of our work at their annual Arts and Music Festival in July 2023.  On the basis we found enough members to go to Italy and represent the DCC, we agreed.  It was a long learning curve for us as we had never collated 100 images and taken them abroad.  However, we finally managed the logistics, and everything else we needed was supplied by our hosts in Sinalunga. 

Our venue was under a very old but beautiful theatre, which was ideal for showing our images.  Six members arrived early in the week and took time to visit some interesting towns and cities around Tuscany; Siena, Montepulciano, Cortona and of course Sinalunga, photographing and recording their history and wonderful landscapes.

The town’s annual festival gets underway around 6.0pm each evening, with dance troupes, choirs, magicians, bands, including our own Dorking Brass Band, plus street food, where many hundreds of locals enjoy the festival atmosphere.

Visitors to our venue, just off the main piazza, started to arrive slowly, but by the second and third evening we were pleased to receive many visitors genuinely interested in our club and the styles of photography we were exhibiting.  Sinalunga is proud of its twinning with Dorking – it even has a park named Dorking Park – so many of our images reflected Dorking and the Surrey Hills as well as many different ‘genres’ we could show representing around forty club member’s work.

The leader of Sinalunga’s own twin town association, and the Mayor, were most generous in providing all of the representatives from  the UK, as well as their twin in France, with lunch or dinner every day – a truly unexpected gesture which was greatly appreciated. 

Our thanks are extended to DCC members, Ron Smith, Gareth Balle, Alan Loryman, David Balaam, Bogdan Schiteanu and his wife Camie, for their enthusiasm and stamina (in the 38 degree heat) to make our visit an outstanding success.