The life of a much-loved photographer who shared his passion with the community by setting up a popular camera club has been celebrated.

Past and present members of Bridport Camera Club gathered at the town hall for a special evening to pay tribute to the club’s former life president, David Barnikel, who died earlier this year.

The evening also marked the 25th anniversary of the club, of which David was founding member and which was close to his heart.

David started the club in 1994, together with professional wildlife photographer Colin Varndell, at the Burton Cliff Hotel, Burton Bradstock (now the Seaside Boarding House), which he owned and where they been running workshops.

After two years with Colin as chairman, David took over before eventually being awarded the role of life president.

Last week’s event highlighted David’s enormous contribution to the club with numerous heartfelt tributes paid.

It began with a video of Colin’s funeral eulogy put together with photographs reflecting the club membership and its work over the years.

This was followed by presentations picking up on David’s love of travel, interest in people and passion for photography.

Member Andy White and Colin both paid tribute with stories from photography trips they made together, and Garry Hayball, a member from day one, gave the final summing up.

David was described as a ‘perfect gentleman, a kind and genuine man who never had a bad word to say about anyone.

“He was generous with his time and took the trouble to listen and, as various stories revealed, he also had a wicked sense of humour.

“The affection in which he is held by those who knew him was very clear.

“David’s dedication to the camera club was made clear, as was the influence he had as the club evolved over 25 years.”

Colin said he always thought of David as ‘the godfather’ of the club and his presence will be missed by all as it moves forward into the future.