‘Dinnages’ are an established and successful family run business, trading since 1989 and have celebrated over 30 years selling many collectibles on transport during that time. Started in 1989 selling promotional diecast models, our experience in bookselling started after we opened a ‘bricks & mortar’ store in 1990.
We have been publishing historic photographs since 1993, a range of postcards from 1998, and after one Christmas Card we published four more Greeting Cards in 2019 and six more in July 2021. From ‘former-owned’ book sales in the 90’s we have stocked new books from a variety of clubs and small publishers. By the year 2000 we had moved to online sales, still attending a number of the best specialist markets in Southern England, while selling from our own website and a variety of other platforms, where in the latter our prices may vary.
The principal owner
Gordon is an avid transport enthusiast and historian. A publisher of historic photographs, handling sales of books from independent publishers and societies, on both road and rail transport.
During his young teenage days Gordon frequently spent time just round the corner from his home at the Conway Street bus garage, which had given him an interest in buses, then later electrically propelled transport, like the many passing milk floats, the street cleaners hand carts and stories of the Brighton Trams from his Uncle and others, the Trolleybuses and of course our unique Volk’s Railway.
Collecting many transport related items over his time of interest, in more recent years he has built up a library of transport and local images, this had provided others with the Sussex views from a slide and negative library through a postal newsletter for a while. Provided a number talks and presentations using this library too. Overall a personal collection, it’s for others to enjoy too.
The family of Dinnages offer enthusiasts and historians, UK and local books on trams, trolleybuses and railway topics, as collectibles or as an aid to research into local history. We have secured an exclusive library of historic photographs over the years, be that of UK vintage or modern buses, trolleybuses, railway, tramway, and even Volk’s Railway, along with a variety of other more topographical views taken mainly around Brighton and the surrounding areas. These views compliment our stock of a number of current and obsolete bus and railway booklets to aid others in their own research. Over these years we have created a number of commemorative collectibles, most now aimed towards charitable and preservation projects, and will continue doing this.
History & background
Dinnages, a Brighton, Hove & Sussex family run business, commenced in February 1989, through postal sales, ten years retailing between 1990-2000, and a progression to online sales in 2000, providing its customers with items such as photographs, postcards, books, models, previously display cabinets (during our retail years), transport DVD films (formerly videos) and whatever ephemera came our way. Since the introduction of a shopping cart store in 2007, The Dinnages family business uses a mixture of methods and platforms for its sales.
Many of our items are exclusive to us as publishers or as distributors. From our former shopping pages from 2000 written in notepad, with those simple individual Buy-Now buttons, items were migrated along with new releases and especially a few photographs, into an online shop, although moved to a WordPress site in 2017, topics are now more easily found here.
Looking towards our other outlets, we have always sold our transport and other collectibles, at stalls and specialist markets, in the main being events centered around commercial vehicles, buses, trams, or railways. Between the latter end of 1990 and until the turn of the century, what started off as ‘Dinnages Diecast’, (that was the good lady Wife’s idea), being initially traders of just die-cast model cars and commercial vehicles, we soon purchased collections that came through the shop doors of books, videos and photographs on a frequent basis.
This led to becoming ‘Dinnages of Brighton’ until we commenced publishing our own postcards from 1998 and photographs from our historic Picture Library beginnings around 1993-94, hence we use our current trading name relating to our longer term aim as a publisher. The postal Photo Newsletter with its monthly offerings started in April 2009 promoting the ‘Dinnages Picture Library’ which quickly helped to build up the range of printed images available.
There are a few around as in all walks of life, that will not link or mention us for our enthusiasm, however we strive to maintain a solid ongoing base for sales of interesting items towards transport and indeed carry on providing some of our proceeds to charitable concerns and preservation projects, and we gladly reciprocate with those who promote us too.
On the web and social media
A brief aside from the sales, with some self-taught skills writing web pages in the late nineties, we had provided help and assistance creating sites for a variety of people and organisations usually non-profit making, and gone on to the creation and admin of no less than sixteen Facebook Pages, with some now run by the editors on their own, with very little further input from us once getting them established. Links to some of these can still be found in the links section off the main menu.
Apologies to those who dislike watermarks but your view is mildly spoilt by this due to already finding many of our library being used and sold without permission, and yes we do have the legal rights obtained with the collections, much to some folks displeasure! We really do have a right to post these views anywhere we like, & the buyers only as in ‘fair use’ giving full credit to the source and original photographer which often they do not. For any post on the web, images will have visible marks, but enjoy these views anyway, although you can always ask us about you adding some real photos to your own collection, as long as you comply with our licensing agreements.
Publications in print
During our early days of the eighties and nineties, photocopied up lists for postal sales, during our time retail making more of a catalogue, we went on to monthly newsletters for photograph sales in an A5 folded format.
On behalf of an author we were given the task of handling the sole distributor or a book on Southdown Motor Services and its buses from a drivers prospective printed in 2001, although unfortunately did not receive an ISBN number before being put into print, however we still sold all the copies we were given.
Printing our own catalogues and newsletters, we have our own small print and design facilities, and a backup of a local Sussex printer too.
During 2011 we published an eight page promotional and historical booklet for The Brighton Tram 53 Society at no cost to them other than the print cost.
With a number of topics in mind, the photographic and print material gained over almost thirty years as a reference, is something to cherish yet provide others with enjoyment too, and we have been looking to make more of our collections available to others in print form than just as photographs.
Our very first publication under our own imprint of Dinnages Publishing and ISBN number has been in the pipeline for some four years now on behalf of the author who has since sadly passed away.
Since 1993 we have provided a variety of authors and publishers images from our picture library for books and magazine articles, that are quite unique and of a scarce topic in particular of pre-war Brighton Trams, most taken by the Late Jack Turley. Few can honestly say they can provide such genuine exclusive material on Brighton Trams for use in publications that were not originally printed as earlier postcards.
With a number of topics in mind, the photographic and print material gained over almost thirty years as a reference, is something to cherish yet provide others with enjoyment too, and maybe we might manage to make more of our collections available to others in print form than just as photographs.
During our postcard series we were utilising an artist that for the even-numbered postcards we would commission Sam to create a line-art coloured image for these. We ceased producing the cards while concentrating on the Newsletters for new photographs, although we have published a few more since then up to number sixteen.
Our line-art is now produced in-house, which has been used on our latest postcard and a completely new product range, an Enamel Pin Badge, with seven released in the last three years, with more to follow. On that Badge page is an opt-in subscriber form to obtain early pre-release information on new badges.
A product revived from 1996, we made up a new Ceramic Bus Mug, so we have no intention of retiring our sales just yet, so do follow us on our various sites and web pages.
Take a look at our in-house graphic artist own site to see more of his skills and creations here.