Old Brighton brought to life in pictures thanks to new website

Posted On 22 Nov 2017 at 6:40 pm

Old Brighton has been brought to life in pictures thanks to a new website containing an archive of historic prints.

The Regency Society said that the Society of Brighton Print Collectors website – spbc.regencysociety.org – had taken a year to prepare.

The site contains about 450 images from the Regency and Victorian era and rivals the James Gray Collection of more than 7,000 historic pictures.

The new site includes several images of the Royal Pavilion and Chain Pier, reflecting their popularity in the 19th century.

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Other pictures are of Brighton’s historic squares, crescents and terraces, notable people, houses, churches and other buildings.

One shows the original Hanningtons shop in North Street, Brighton, before it grew to become a leading department store and Brighton’s answer to Harrods.

Another shows a storm over Pool Valley and there are a number of other weather engraving and lithograph prints. Cricket was another popular subject.

Regency Society trustee Mary McKean, who helped put the website together, gave a talk to Regency Society members at The Keep this evening (Wednesday 22 November).

The occasion also marked the eve of the publication of the first Regency Society book for many years – Victorian Chroniclers of Brighton by Andy Grant and Steve Myall.

Mr Myall was instrumental in the creation of the new website of old pictures.

Mary McKean appealed for help in updating the other online archive, the James Gray Collection, saying that volunteers could help as much or as little as they liked.

She said: “We want to give it a new lease of life with a new site.

“To do this we need help from a lot of people who know and care about Brighton and Hove who are willing to help update the information about the images including finding the locations of the photographs and recording what is there now.

“You do not need technical expertise to get involved, nor do you need extensive local knowledge.”

Volunteers should email jamesgray@regencysociety.org.

  1. Gordon Reply

    Offered early on to assist with dating and noting photos of the Grey Collection, but to compare alongside other images and reference books in my collections I was informed I would still have to pay to download any images. Smaller parts of images can reveal more data in particular when there is a vehicle in the shot which through various lists becomes a far easier task. I have my own historic negative library so have no desire to copy others.

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