Archive for the ‘Arthur Boswell’ Category


Poetry is a unique way of describing the changes which have occurred in the Broadway, Bexleyheath. As Arthur Boswell begins:

An old couple sat in the twilight,

Thinking of days that are gone,

Trying to recall what happened,

To the town where they were born…

Tricia Dyer has expressed her memories in a poem about how Bexleyheath has changed over the years, and this can be seen here: How Times Change by Tricia Dyer.

Arthur Boswell (1880-1966) was a photography enthusiast and toured the borough giving talks and lantern slide shows. His poem about the changes that happened to Bexleyheath during his lifetime can be seen here:What a Change by Arthur Boswell.

Not far from Bexleyheath is Barnehurst. Bexley Historical Society member Sally Hawkes has described the changes to Barnehurst here: Borders and Boundaries by Sally Hawkes. She has also described changes in Welling: Trading as ‘Welling’ by Sally Hawkes, in Blackfen: In and Out at Blackfen, and in Crayford: A Clock Tower Ballade.

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Arthur Boswell (1880-1966) lived in Bexleyheath. His family used to run a coach building business at Market Place, Bexleyheath. However, Boswell’s main passion in life was photography. Over the years he built up a collection of photographs tracing the development of the borough as well as more exotic slides from around the world. He toured the borough giving talks and lantern slide shows.

Arthur Boswell

A horse and cart outside Boswell wheelwright and coach builder at Market Place, Bexleyheath, c 1900

A relative found part of Boswell’s slide collection after his death and handed them to the Local Studies.  A further 1000 negatives were bought by Local Studies in 1989, and 25 prints were put on display at Hall Place in February 1989. [Kentish Times 9 Feb. 1989 p16]. Our project, ‘Changing Times: 100 Years of the Broadway 1912-2012’, has included the digitisation by volunteers of a selection of Boswell’s slides.

A new exhibition at Hall Place called ‘Illuminated World’ showcases his work again. The collection includes fascinating images of people and places in Africa, Norway and India, which the people of Bexleyheath attending his slide shows must have found quite extraordinary. There are also pieces of equipment on display, including stereoscopes which became popular in Victorian times.

The collection also creates a unique view of the Bexley Borough while it was undergoing huge changes. Boswell watched Bexleyheath’s Clock Tower being built in 1912 and saw vast house-building projects swallow up farmland.

A farm girl with wheat, Warren Farm, 1899

The exhibition at Hall Place, Bexley continues until 17 March 2013. http://www.bexleyheritagetrust.org.uk/hallplace/whats-on/

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