LONGBOTHAM, Charles

1917 - 1999

Charles Longbotham

Born at Carlton, Nottinghamshire on 6 July 1917, third son of George N. Longbotham (17 November 1881-1949), a mining engineer, and his wife Alice D. M. née Campbell (1 July 1884-1957) who moved to Southsea when Charlie was eight and there he saw the ships which so captured his imagination. At the age of 15 Charles left Portsmouth Grammar School to commence training as a Merchant Navy officer at HMS Conway at Rock Ferry on the River Mersey. After three years with the New Zealand Shipping Company and an abortive attempt to go into advertising, Longbotham was called up in 1940 to the RNVR and saw service as a navigating officer for anti-submarine trawlers, and escorted East Coast convoys to Portsmouth. He always had his sketchbook and after an E-boat or air attack on a convoy he was making sketches, which he later worked up into a watercolour many now in the Imperial War Museum. After the war he worked briefly for Bassett-Lowke, a firm of model-makers in Northampton before returning to London, where he was employed for a period by the Council of Industrial Design. From 1946 until 1969 he worked as a professional model-maker, and at his studio in Ealing he made some 700 models and his projects included a model of Giles Gilbert Scott's scheme for rebuilding Coventry Cathedral, as well as work for the Festival of Britain; the Brussels World Fair '57; Addenbrooke's Hospital; the Commonwealth Institute and a palace for the Shah of Persia. He continued to paint but it was not until he retired to Norfolk that he realised his desire to become a professional artist. His only art training was a brief time spent at Heatherley's Art School, in London, but such was his natural skill he exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of Marine Artists being elected to the Art Workers' Guild in 1963. In 1965 he held a one-man show at the Federation of British Artists' Gallery in Pall Mall and in 1969 elected an associate of the Royal Watercolour Society, becoming a full member in 1974. A member of the Ipswich Art Club and exhibited from Tunbeck Cottage, Alburgh, Harleston, Norfolk in 1977 watercolours 'Towards Dolgelly with Cedar Idris' and a further three pictures the following year. In 1939 a copy & layout writer of commercial advertisements, living at 45 Abingdon Villas, Kensington, London and he married in 1940, Eleanor Nairn-Allison (died 1972) and their daughter was the artist Claire Dalby, and in 1979 he married again Jeanie Campbell-Taylor (nee Goodacre) with two stepsons. He died at Cambridge on 17 February 1999.




Works by This Painter