‘Dinnages’ are an established & successful family business, trading since 1989 and are celebrating 30 years trading, primarily by postal sales, an experience of 10 years in retail, and moved online with its own store by the year 2000 with ZenCart, an open source shopping experience.
The principal owner
Gordon Dinnage is an avid transport enthusiast & historian. A publisher of historic photographs, handling sales of books from independant publishers and societies, on both road and rail transport.
During his young teenage days Gordon frequently spent time just round the corner at the Conway Street bus garage, which had given him an interest in buses, then later electrically propelled transport, just UK based, like the milk floats, Brighton Trams, Trolleys and Volks Railway.
Collecting many transport related items, In more recent years he built up a library of transport and local images, providing 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, its for others to enjoy too.
The family of Dinnages offer enthusiasts and historians, UK and local books on trams, trolleybuses and railway topics, as collectables or as an aid to research into local history. We have secured an exclusive library of historic photographs, be that of UK vintage or modern buses, trolleybuses, railway, tramway, & even Volks Railway, along with a variety of other more topographical views taken mainly around Brighton & the surrounding areas. These views compliment our stock of a number of current and obsolete bus and railway booklets to aid others in thier own research. Over these years we have created a number of commemorative collectables, some aimed towards charitable preservation projects, and have plans to continue doing this.
History & background
Dinnages, a Brighton, Hove & Sussex family run business, commenced in February 1989, through postal sales, ten years retailing, and a progression to online sales, providing its customers with items such as photographs, postcards, books, models, display cabinets (during our retail years), transport DVD films (formally videos) and whatever ephemera came our way. Since the introduction of our free to operate ‘shopping cart’ system created in 2007, The Dinnages site has an online secure store, originally implimented by individual click to buy buttons, which we still use today on some sections of our sales.
Many of our items are exclusive to us as publishers or as distributors. From our former shopping pages written on the fly just in notepad, with those simple individual Buy-Now buttons, all items were migrated along with new releases and especially a few photographs, through our secure online shop. Many ‘shopping cart’ systems cost a monthly fee or hundreds of pounds to purchase the software outright, therefore we do our best to pass on our lower operating costs to our customers through a lower fixed flat rate postage and packing charge unlike many other major online stores. The online shop was created during mid 2007 in order to bring all items under one easy to find area. Do browse all sections of our site then if you have any queries, please use the Contact Us form if you cannot what you are after.
Looking towards our other outlets, we have always sold our transport & other collectables, 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 diecast 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 (1998) and photographs from our historic Picture Library beginings 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.
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 have 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 thier own, with very little further input from us once getting them established.
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 & original photographer. 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
Quite apart from those simple catalogues printed & copied up for postal sales in the early days, during our time retail too, monthly newsletters for photograph sales, we have handled the distrubution of one book written about Southdown Motor Services, published an eight page promotional and historical booklet for The Brighton Tram 53 Society, while providing a variety of authors & publishers images from our picture library that are quite unique and of a scrace topic in particular of pre-war Brighton Trams, taken by the Late Jack Turley. Few can honestly say they can provide such genuine exclusive material for use in publications that were not originally printed as 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.
The publcations we stock from a variety of small publishers over the years have encouraged us to think about taking the plunge to bring our library into print. The format and layout of these publishers show how narrow and specific topics can indeed be put to print, yet initially small runs can demand reprints through continual sales and therefore revisions & updates.
During our postcard series we were utilising an artist that for the even numbered postcards we would commision 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.
Our line-art is now produced in-house, which has been used on our latest postcard number 16 and a new product, an Enamel Pin Badge, with others to follow, and a product revived from 1996, the Ceramic Bus Mug, so we have no intention of retiring our sales just yet, so do follow us on our various sites, webpages and Blog.