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Regency Society


Across the city : Regency Society

If you care about our city, this is your home

The Regency Society is the oldest amenity and conservation society in Brighton and Hove and a registered charity.

We were founded in 1945 to oppose the proposed demolition of the Regency terraces and squares of the Brighton and Hove seafront. Today, we work with other societies and the council to protect all that is best in our city – of any era – and promote excellence in new development.

If it affects the physical environment, we’re involved – from consultation on key planning matters to a range of educational initiatives designed to inform and inspire everyone who cares about the quality of life in this exceptional city.

James Gray Collection: Photographic archive of the Regency Society

James Gray, 1904–1998, was a local collector with a passion for the streets of Brighton and Hove, and, as time went on, further afield.

Working all his life in insurance, his initial collection of stamps gave way to local topographical photographs with the chance acquisition in the 1950s of a few images of Western Road. From then on he built up a massive collection: many of the entries are copies, exchanged with other collectors, others are views that he purchased or, more recently, that he commissioned

Although there is today a strong general interest in old photographs, both for their factual content and also for their artistic value, when James Gray started his collection there was little:we must be grateful that he had the foresight and the single minded dedication to assemble this unique record of our City.

Upon his death, the Regency Society purchased the collection, and with help from our sponsors, has digitised it, to make it available to all, as James Gray wished.

There are 39 Volumes in all, some 7500 annotated photographs, sub-divided into areas of the city.


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The Regency Society is the oldest amenity and conservation society in Brighton and Hove and a registered charity

Across the city : Brighton Society : Regency Society : Hove Civic Society