Fred Bottomley was educated at Truro High School from school he followed his father into the cotton business, but during WWI left to join the Forces, spending three years in France. After the Armistice he decided to devote his life to art, and studied at the Slade from 1923-25, having married and settled in Kent.
After eighteen months exploring England, he and his wife arrived in St Ives in 1929, living at Salubrious House, Fore Street. Fred worked from Porthmeor and Dragon Studios, Norway Square. During WWII he seems to have moved back to Southport for a couple of years. Paintings of the harbour, lifeboat slip-way and Downalong in St Ives, were among 10 pictures exhibited at the RA between 1931 and 1944. He returned permanently to Southport in 1952.