Horsham Museum exhibition captures moments in time

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Photography captured the moment like no other invention, freezing time and reporting events.

Now for the first time, Horsham District Council’s Horsham Museum is putting on an eclectic display of original photographs that reveal some of the fascinating stories of Horsham’s past.

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This small exhibition has a remarkable photograph of the Prince of Wales sitting in a carriage in front of a gloriously bedecked railway station.

Horsham station is festooned with yards of fabric, covering every inch of brickwork.

The Prince had just arrived from London to Horsham to lay the foundation stone of Christ’s Hospital. However, the photograph wasn’t used as a record of the event, but as an advertising and marketing ploy by a town saddler who boasted that he made the harness.

Later research revealed that was an exaggeration, as he had bought much in pre-made.

The small but select display repays the time taken to view the images, as they show Horsham folk in various activities.

The solemn unveiling of the highly contentious war memorial enabled the photographer, Copnell, to create a fascinating rich panoramic shot, suggesting the pathos and sense of hurt three years after war ended.

Contrast that, with the opening of the Horsham Bowls club in 1906 – a rare record of an event that is barely recorded in the town’s history. In fact, the recent move to its new location and discussion over its re-development caused more comments than its opening 109 years ago!

While the photographs freeze time, time doesn’t stop for the photographs or the chemicals in the photograph. The fragility of some frames and mounts mean that for conservation reasons most of the museum’s extensive collections are de-framed.

However, some have been kept in their original frames. It is these that are on display in Originals Framed.

The exhibition runs from December 31 to February 27. Horsham Museum & Art Gallery is open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm. Admission is free.

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