Philip Bradley (1920-1999) Of Ewell: Fairground Collection
The following describes the contents of this collection in the Surrey History Centre archives. Find out more about how to see the original documents.
- SHC Ref No: 6790
- Repository: Surrey History Centre, Woking
- Date: (1876)-1999
- Format: Archives
- Description: The core of the collection is Bradley's series of 44 volumes of 'fair notes' dating from 1932 to 1999, describing fairs he visited and rides he saw (see -/1/1-44), and the 'data books' which record and illustrate the specifications of fairground rides and equipment Bradley studied between 1943 and 1998 (see -/2/1-4).
Bradley's fairground photograph collection comprises almost 30,000 photographs. The majority of these were taken by Bradley, but many in the collection were gathered from other his fellow fairground collectors. Bradley carefully recorded the provenance of every photograph in his collection and also had two notebooks in which he recorded the location of every photograph he took, and the dates they were taken (see -/3/1-2).
Each photograph in Bradley's fairground photograph collection was allocated a unique number prefixed by the letter 'F' for fair. A number was allocated whether the photograph was taken by Bradley, or by one of many photographers from whom he acquired photographs. From 1936 to April 1952, Bradley put the photographs in albums (see -/4/1-13). After this date, the photographs were stored loose in index drawers arranged by ride/machine (separated under black & white, and colour photographs); engines and steam wagons; fairground vehicles; packing trucks; transport; general views, shows and stalls; and Bradley's other interest, fairground models (see -/5/1-9/-).
Bradley's collection of photographs are listed numerically in notebooks (see -/3/3-23). Details included in these notebooks include: 'F' number, title of photograph; who took the photograph. Where the photograph was taken by Philip Bradley, the initials of people to whom he sent copies of the photograph is also included.
As well as Bradley's photograph albums there is his collection of illustrations and pictures of fairground equipment etc and photographs not in the F series. These were numbered with the prefix 'P'. They are listed by Bradley in numerical order in notebooks (see -/3/3-21), and can be seen amongst his fair notes (see -/1/1-44). Some of Bradley's library is also included in this collection (see -/6/1-49).
- Level: Collection
- Access Status: Open. Surrey County Council holds the copyright to all Philip Bradley's photographs and writings. 24 hours notice is required for production of colour photographic materials in -/5/2/1-2160, -/5/6/1-1180, -5/7/501-1103, -/5/8/1-617, -/5/10/1-718, -/5/11/BOX 7 and -/5/12/1-13.
- Provenance: Bequeathed by Mr Philip W Bradley and transferred by his wife, Mrs JM Bradley of Ewell, in February 2000 and February 2002.
- Bibliography: PW Bradley, Some Notes on the Development of Fairground Machinery (1997, Chippenham).
Kevin Scrivens & Stephen Smith, Philip Bradley Fairground Photographs & Notes, Jan 1932-Dec 1938 (1999, Telford).
The Fairground Mercury, vol 22 no 3, Dec 1999. The entire issue is dedicated to Philip Bradley.
- Arrangement: Bradley's fairground collection needed little re-arrangement as his records and photographs were in very clear self contained categories, ie fair notes, data books, photograph dates and locations, books, photographs etc.
- For more information contact: Surrey History Centre Collections Catalogue
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