A PENSIONER with a passion for photography was left bemused after she was told to stop taking pictures outside a Kendal shopping centre.

Wendy Chandler was snapping bins and posts situated on land behind the town's Westmorland Shopping Centre.

However, she was approached by a security guard and asked to explain what she was doing and that he wanted to see the images. "I said: 'I do not know how to do it,'" she said. "And I do not want to mess about with it and my camera is only a year old.

"So he started to tell me that terrorists take note of things like this. They note where these things are and they use this information and I am sorry but I laughed."

Mrs Chandler said that the security guard 'persisted' and was 'very serious'.

"He took the camera from me and looked at it and I did not want him to inspect them so I took it back," she said.

The Selside resident is part of an online group of photographers who share images based on a chosen theme of the day, which is why she was taking the pictures of the bins and posts.

"I know it's a serious matter. But I said what about everybody else who takes photos with mobile phones? He said it's something you have to take seriously. This is a private area, this is private property."

Mrs Chandler said that she appreciated that there were two sides to the situation but found the fact that she was approached to be 'ridiculous'.

"I left a chain of laughter around Kendal," she said. "I told everyone I met and everyone was roaring with laughter."

Jonathan Ainsley, director and head of asset management for the shopping centre, said: "From my point of view it's a fine balancing act that the guys on site play because obviously the standard policy is constant vigilance to assure everyone is kept as safe as possible.

"However, there has to be that element of common sense and I think in this case there was a lack of common sense."

He apologised for any inconvenience or embarrassment caused to Mrs Chandler.