Bosham Gallery - The Past on Glass

Bosham Gallery’s latest exhibition – The Past on Glass has been running since 30 June 2018, showcasing the incredible Angela Bromley-Martin collection. Angela Bromley-Martin (1926 -2013) was a prolific local historian, writer and photographer, and for over 40 years she compiled an enormous archive of historically important photos of Chichester Harbour. 

The goal of the Bosham Gallery was to bring local history to life in a series of public exhibitions that celebrate some of the most exciting passages of Chichester Harbour’s history, including the oyster trade, wooden boat building and merchant trading. These beautiful photos have been lovingly restored to their former glory for display at the Bosham Gallery.

The restoration process of the photographs has been a labour of love for the past five years! Firstly high resolution scans of the negative, slide or print were taken and then sent to a specialist restoration team located in Delhi, India! Here they were cleaned and any damage removed before being sent back to Bosham. The scans were then sent to the Isle of Wight where they were contrast and colour corrected and toned sympathetically to the era in which they were first made. Finally test prints were made and delivered to the gallery to be reviewed. After any final corrections the pictures were printed on specialist paper and delivered to the gallery to be framed locally.

What is really fascinating is we can now reveal previously hidden details and stories behind the photographs that have remained hidden for over a hundred years.

Luke Whitaker
Bosham Gallery Curator

One thing the digital restoration process has revealed are the faces of people previously unrecognisable to us all in smaller prints. There is a very poignant photograph of the Bosham Regatta, taken in 1913 one year before the outbreak of WWI that now captures the faces of a large group of spectators enjoying the regatta at the end of Bosham Quay. 

In other photographs the team have been able to reveal the names of boats that you couldn't see in the original 5 inch prints. The gallery is working with a small group of local historians who are now able to search the newly digitised Chichester Observer Newspaper Archive, and cross reference it with the Lloyds Shipping Register to begin piecing together the stories of the boats built within the harbour. In the next few months the gallery hope to publish some of these stories behind the photographs.

Thank you to everyone who has already been to the Bosham Gallery’s latest exhibition – The Past On Glass. If you haven’t had an opportunity to see the incredible photos from the Angela Bromley-Martin collection, you can do so until 30th September 2018. The Gallery is open daily (except Tuesdays) between 1pm-6pm. 50% of the profit from all sales in this collection is generously being given to St Wilfrid’s DREAMBUILDING campaign.