LONGBOTHAM, Charles Norman

1917 - 1999

Charles Longbotham

Charles Norman Longbotham was born at Carlton, Worksop, Nottinghamshire on 6 July 1917, third and youngest son of George Norman Longbotham (17 November 1881-26 January 1949), a mining engineer and colliery owner, and his wife Alice Dillon Malcolm Campbell (1 July 1884-2 February 1957), younger daughter of the late Frederick William Burleigh Campbell, who married at St Mary Marylebone Church, London on 20 December 1911. When Charles was eight, the family moved to Southsea, Hampshire and where 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 R.N.V.R. and saw service as a navigating officer for anti-submarine trawlers, and escorted East Coast convoys to Portsmouth, during which time he always had his sketchbook and after an E-boat or air attack on a convoy would make 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, 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 became a professional artist. His only art training was a brief time spent at Heatherley School of Fine Art in London, but such was his natural skill he exhibited at the Royal Academy also showing at 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 in Pall Mall and in 1969 elected an Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society, becoming a full member in 1974. A founder member of the [[8+1 Suffolk Group,4380]] and 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 as Sub-Lieut. C. N. Longbotham, R.N.V.R. of Devonport, he married at St Andrew's Church, Bath on 9 March 1940, Eleanor Friedel Nairn-Allison (c1910-1972), youngest daughter of Mrs. Eleanor Nametta Rittershaus, and their daughter was the artist, Claire Dalby. Eleanor Friedel Nairn-Allison had changed her name by deed poll on 4 May 1939 from Rittershaus. In 1979 Charles married secondly Jeanie Campbell-Taylor (nee Goodacre) with two stepsons. Charles Norman Longbotham died at Cambridge on 17 February 1999.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from Northcroft Studio, Northcroft Road, West London
1966 266 Mouth of the River Coquet

Works by This Artist