7.500 topographical photographs
James Gray (1904-1998) was a local man whose passion for the streets of Brighton and Hove led him to amass a collection of over 7,500 topographical photographs. Gray worked all his life in insurance, and initially collected stamps; but in the 1950s he was offered a few images of Western Road. It was from this chance occurrence that Gray went on to build his wonderful collection of local images.
Foresight and dedication
Today we are very aware of the significance of the James Gray photographic collection in terms of social history. Old photographs are much valued for the glimpse they allow us into the history of our city. When Gray started his work there was little concern for the need to chronicle the changing fabric of the area. It is thanks to his foresight and dedication to his task that we have such a unique record of these changes.
The Regency Society
On the death of James Gray, mindful of the historical and social significance of the photographic images, The Regency Society purchased the collection. It was their intention that the images should be made available for the use of researchers and others interested in the history of the city. By raising subscriptions to cover the cost, The Regency Society has digitised the whole collection which, together with James Gray’s notes and commentaries, can be viewed on their website.
Our grateful thanks
My Brighton and Hove, thanks to the co-operation of The Regency Society , has been given permission to reproduce images from the James Gray Collection on our website. We are very grateful for their help in our work of chronicling the history of our city.