Celebrating Angela's great photographic legacy

The exhibition The Past On Glass is exploring Bosham's history while raising money for St Wilfrid's Hospice.

The Past On Glass - Children Playing On The Foreshore, Bosham c1890
The Past On Glass - Children Playing On The Foreshore, Bosham c1890

The Angela Bromley-Martin Archive goes on show at The Bosham Gallery, 1 The High Street, Bosham until September 30, open daily except Tuesdays from 1-6pm.

Curator Luke Whitaker said: “The Bromley-Martin Collection contains original 19th-century prints never before published that give a unique insight into Victorian life on the south coast of England. Currently work is ongoing to conserve and digitise the glass plates and prints which capture a generation of Bosham fisherman, coastal traders and their families working in what was once a thriving coastal port. Perhaps most touchingly the collection contains photographs of local children playing around the Quay.”

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Angela died on February 12 2013 at St Wilfrid’s Hospice. Her collection of photographs and images of Bosham is now preserved by her son Michael as the Angela Bromley-Martin Archive. The Past On Glass is the first exhibition from the newly established Bosham Gallery Archive, set up by the Bosham Gallery in partnership with West Sussex Records Office to preserve historic photographs of Chichester Harbour.

Luke explained: “The exhibition showcases 50 newly-restored photographs from the Angela Bromley-Martin Archive, set to bring alive some of the most exciting passages of Bosham’s history since the advent of photography in 1840 – namely the village’s oysters, wooden boat building and merchant trading.

“Angela Bromley-Martin was born in Hong Kong in 1926 and she first came to Bosham in 1937 when she stayed in Forge Cottage for the summer holidays from boarding school. After the war, which she spent in Canada, she married naval officer David Bromley-Martin in Hong Kong in 1949. Thereafter, they both came to live on Bosham Hoe in 1950, having two sons, the second of whom, Michael, was born on Bosham Hoe in 1955. Angela was given her first camera, a Kodak Box Brownie, when she was nine years old in Hong Kong. Photography and collecting historic prints were to remain her abiding passion for the next eighty years. She was a very long -standing member of the Chichester Camera Club and exhibited her photographs through the 60s and 70s. In the mid-1970s, Angela began her interest in old photographs of Bosham, having been asked to look after and preserve a collection of old prints and negatives that had been found following the death of Mrs Merritt. Over the following 25 years, she was to amass a collection which now stands at over 2,500 images of Bosham from the dawn of photography in the 1880s, through the 20th century and into the 21st. She was to publish a number of books that made use of the collection, as well as her ever-increasing knowledge.”