Gallery opens a window on to the world
A SHERBORNE multi-millionaire businessman has opened a new art gallery in the town to donate money to the Third World.
Michael Bromfield, 63, of Stowell near Templecombe, last year sold his £10m turnover company, Casterbridge Tours on Long Street, to fuel his passion for photography and his urge to raise money for charity.
He has now opened the Global Images Gallery in the former Booklore building, on Hound Street, to feature his own photographs taken during his travels around the world.
The gallery is free to enter and 10 per cent of all sales will be donated to a dedicated cause.
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Mr Bromfield said: "I wanted to turn my focus to my ambitions, which are writing and photography, and buy my own gallery.
"I saw the property up for sale and thought it was the perfect choice.
"My close friend, a photographer, thought I was mad, as it is not something you go into to make a profit.
"But this was more about devoting time to something I was passionate about.
"When I returned from travelling I always used to invite friends round to see the photos. I would give a short talk about the places we visited and ask them to donate a little money for charity too, which is what I'm doing here."
Mr Bromfield's first three exhibitions include pictures of Katmandu and Lhasa, Antarctica and, his particular passion, iconic mountains.
He has chosen to first donate to Community Action Nepal, a mountaineers' charity founded by Doug Scott.
Mr Bromfield said: "The Nepalese Sherpas live in the mountain regions in extremely poor communities.
"They help you to climb the mountains and I realised donating to this charity would be a way that I could help them."
A keen writer, he has previously had a book serialised by the Western Gazette about Yeovil Town Football club, and is now working on a guide to becoming an entrepreneur and another based on articles about his trips around the world.
He now divides his time between his house in Stowell, a home in Canada where his wife originally comes from, and an apartment in Switzerland.
Mr Bromfield is already planning forthcoming exhibitions much closer to home to include coverage of next year's Glastonbury Festival.