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Through The Lens Exhibition - Part 2

‘Through the Lens’ - Part Two

17th – 30th May



1890s image of Hythe's Station with a train at the down platform taken from north of the station above what is now Cliff Road, the line of which can be seen between the fencing in the photo

On display is a selection of prints of scanned glass plate negatives from our ‘Benjamin William Horton Collection’ (BWH).


Among his many talents, BWH was an enthusiastic amateur photographer. Born in 1867, he lived with his parents and siblings at Cold Harbour, Hythe (near to the top of Blackhouse Hill). In 1891, he travelled to Blackburn to work for a camera manufacturer. Included in the display are two magnificent street scenes from his early time in Blackburn.


Three years ago approximately 300 of his glass plate negatives were donated to the Civic Society by his grandson, David Horton. David and his wife Joan had also carefully scanned some of these plates. With the help of the volunteers at the Kent Photo Archive all of the remaining plates were digitised.


Many were either damaged in the development process or became marked through age and handling. However, the plates have scanned well and the images represent an important historical record. For example, the collection includes rare scenes of military review at the Shorncliffe Camp, thanks to the Horton’s close association with it.


The collection also includes some early views of Hythe taken from Cold Harbour that reveal a very different landscape to how it is today.


On display in the glass cabinet are some camera parts and other ephemera that belonged either to BWH or his father, Benjamin Bassett Horton. A booklet ‘The Hortons of Cold Harbour House’, by Anne Petrie accompanies the display and is available to purchase for £5 from the Library Desk.

(The display contains local and not-so-local images - see image below)

This one is of Leeds Castle, near Maidstone in the 1890s, and is a rare image, for there are no images of the castle this old generally available for public viewing

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