Example images from our collection and some recent uploaded images.

Some side by side comparisons of then and now


The Happy Valley / Grey Bull

This example shows how we have been able to tie up a modern image of a business with an image over 100 years old and some historical information to accompany it.

This was the Grey Bull which lost its licence in 1916 because it was considered Bellingham had too many pubs, especially in Wartime. It was a quite respectable beer house and the tenant, Peter Smith, got good compensation. We are not sure who owned it - but it became a house, the Grey House. It failed to sell at auction. In 1933, Roddy Thompson bought it after it failed again to sell at auction (included was Collier's shop which was next door) and ran it as a snack bar. He rented it to Mrs (Dorothy) Brown around 1959 and Bob Thompson, his son, ran it for 14 years after she retired in 1991. He retired in 2005. The Thompson family still own it.

Two interesting cuttings from the Hexahm Courant related to the above:


The Cheviot / Railway Hotel

The picture of the sheep outside the Railway Hotel, now the Cheviot, one was produced by Northern Photographic Co. of Hexham, who operated widely in the area c.1912, just before Collier came, and their pictures are often very similar in style to Collier. The photograph was taken around the time that Thomas Henry Glass became landlord on 26th October 1912.

Below the 2 comparative images is an advert for the hotel from a 1932 Guide to Bellingham, lavishly illustrated with the photographs of W P Collier and advertisements for the local businesses.

The Post Office / Newsagents

Note the Boer War memorial in the older picture which is now located in Manchester Square (see the modern image of the Rose and Crown below).

The older image shows the corner shop of (photographer) Edward Dobbin. In 1927, he married the niece of spinster E M Smith, who owned the shop, and she gave it as her wedding present to them. She had moved c.1914 from what is now the Butchers in Manchester Square to the shop on the corner of Parkside which was formerly the home of Dr. J P Elliott.

Below the 2 comparative images is an advert for the shop from a 1932 Guide to Bellingham, lavishly illustrated with the photographs of W P Collier and advertisements for the local businesses.

The Rose and Crown

There are four images in this comparison:

  1. A view of the Rose and Crown on the VE75 celebration day on 8th May 2020. With the Covid-19 Pandemic there is no one in sight. You will also see the Boer War memorial which had been moved from the junction near the Newsagents - see the previous set of comparative images.
  2. The second image shows the pub from a slightly different angle 100 years ago from our Collier Collection.
  3. In the third image the original VE day celebrations are underway in 1945 to a packed audience.
  4. Finally an image of the gathering crowds in the same location at the VE 50 celebrations in 1995.

Four images, one location, very different stories to tell over 100 years.

Examples of recently some uploaded images (coming soon)

Examples from our Collier collection

You can view our Collier collection online at our collections website where you can also access over 54,000 names in our Ancestry database and nearly 2,000 Courant clippings.

Some images from Brownrigg School (coming soon)