Having moved to this beautiful town nearly 20 years ago, we were delighted and excited to learn that there was a thriving Film Society.

We’d been involved in a small film society in Somerset before moving here, so to discover Dartmouth Film Society was just the icing on the cake.

We quickly joined as members – even before we registered at the doctors’ surgery and it wasn’t very long before we became more involved and joined the small but happy band of volunteers on the committee.

It’s hard to explain, really, just how much enjoyment and fulfilment helping to run the DFShas given us over the last two decades.

Yes, it was a commitment to be on duty every fortnight come rain or shine, and yes it took up a lot of time in other ways; from dealing with the finances and admin, preparing and distributing the programme, technical and equipment issues, stocking the bar and more.

Not to mention the film choosing sessions, when we would meet before each season, our heads excitedly full of ideas and suggestions to discuss and research.

The rewards of running the Society more than made up for any of it.

Apart from the obvious benefit of seeing some great films that may not normally have been shown in cinemas, it was heart-warming to look around at our happy and loyal members and guests, sitting around the candle-strewn tables (safety battery tealights, of course), meeting up with their friends before the lights went down.

And the buzz continued after the film, when people lingered to chat about it and left their comments on the feedback forms.

Not that we always got the film choices quite right, of course. However, the last few years have not been without their problems.

Covid and the lockdown obviously had a huge effect on us when we – quite understandably - lost many members, and we have struggled to keep things going since then.

The ever-increasing costs of film licences, venue fees, bar stocks, DVD purchase, insurances and so on have been a steady drain on our limited resources, but we’ve also been affected by the huge increase in streaming, leading to the very real difficulty of finding suitable films on offer.

We have also had to face the fact that the ageing equipment is getting worn out and can’t go on for ever – and unfortunately, nor can we. Which is why, at our last committee meeting, we all had to take the sad and extremely difficult decision that we will no longer be able to run the society after the end of this season and will all therefore be resigning.

We had hoped there might be someone or perhaps an organisation which might be able to take over, but in the meantime have agreed to carry on until our last film in December, when we will have a party to say thank you to all our brilliant members and to say a final fond farewell.