Joseph Overton Green

12 June 1922 – 6 March 2013

Life Member, and President of Marlow Camera Club 2002-2013

Joe Green was born in Cheshire into a farming family. He decided against following family tradition, and went on to gain a BSc and MSc in Botany.

His first job was at Stratford-on-Avon where he shared digs with a camera enthusiast. And this is where Joe’s association with photography started.

In 1951, Joe married Chris, whom he met on a blind date. Shortly after, they moved to Kenya. Cameras and photography equipment went with them. However, it was impossible to get film commercially processed. He couldn’t wait until he returned to England so, ever resourceful, he turned the girls’ toilets in the local European School into his temporary darkroom.

Joe and Chris moved to Marlow in the 1950s, when he joined the Grassland Research Institute at Hurley. He became a familiar figure in town, never without his camera, nor flat cap.

He joined Marlow Camera Club when the meetings were held in Bovingdon Green Village Hall, where he became a cornerstone of the Club. He continued coming to meetings after the Club moved to its present premises in the Methodist Church Hall, Marlow. The last time was in May 2012 when he presented the prizes at the AGM.

Marlow Camera Club wasn’t the only organisation to benefit from Joe’s magic. His other associations were: the Marlow Society, Causeway Club, and Age Concern. He was official photographer for the Marlow Operatic Society, Marlow Players, and Marlow Entertainers.

Many Members have fond reminiscences of Joe:

‘I well remember a club practical on Christmas Common many years ago… Our progress was very slow – there was so much to see and photograph once Joe had pointed it out.’ Derek Buckingham

‘An eternally cheerful personality, always willing to listen and help… and a great sense of humour.’ John and Georgina Thornton

‘He [Joe] took me a short way down Claremont Road and showed me six different layouts of brick… and gave me the name of each style.’ David and Susan Buttle

‘His [Joe’s] quiet humour, extensive knowledge, and enthusiasm, inspired members. He was always ready to give advice… and had infinite patience with anyone, beginner or advanced. A sage in the background!’ Shirley Arnold

Joe’s favoured photographic medium was B&W. He commandeered a bathroom in his home as a darkroom. His daughter, Jacky, would often be heard tapping on the door, saying ‘Daddy, can I have my toothbrush please?’ Joe continued to use film, and never entered the digital arena.

Joe was an inspiration to us at the Club and, as the current Chairman, I will strongly encourage Members to continue Joe’s work photographing Marlow: its changing face; the bricks; the chimneys; the plant life, and B&W photography.

To Chris Green, Joe’s widow, his daughters Elaine, Jacky, and Claire, thank you very much for sharing your husband and father with us, and allowing us to enjoy Joe’s wonderful friendship, personality, and knowledge, for the past sixty years. He was an inspiration to us all. God bless you.

Mary Ellis, Chairman, Marlow Camera Club, 2012-2013

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