These collections hold over 4000 views of towns and villages chiefly around south-east Surrey although the Walter Rose Collection and the Ashley Series go further afield. The Surrey Village Views and Betchworth collections are continually growing and the newest additions were made in April 2013.
To quickly find an image of your desired location click on Archives/Search index



These collections hold thousands of photographic images taken 1890-1950, the vast majority of which are only available from Goodness Gracious...

Walter Rose Collection
Walter Rose (1857-1954) spent his working life in the village of Westcott near Dorking in Surrey, a peaceful backwater of rural activity beneath the North Downs. From his humble premises in Westcott Street Walter plied his photographer's trade working mainly for local businesses and land owners but occasionally venturing as far afield as Cornwall and Derbyshire. Walter and his wife Ellen had no children but raised a niece, Dolly, whose mother had died in childbirth. Walter doted on Dolly judging by the charming studies of the young girl with her pets and the simple toys of the Edwardian age. Dolly never married and lived with her Uncle Walter until his death in 1954 at the age of 97, so inheriting his collection of 900 glass-plate negatives which had been stored for the past 25 years in the wooden garden shed that had served as a darkroom. Local historian and friend of the Roses, David Knight, was asked by Dolly to store the precious plates in his attic and there they remained until 1986 when Keith Harding undertook the task of proof printing the entire collection, many of which had not been seen for 90 years. Now that the collection has been catalogued and, where possible identified, these superb images are once again being made available to the public.

John Chaplin Collection
Sometime back in the 1970s a collection of glass-plate negatives was bought by Dorking resident Ted Molyneux who identified them as being the work of the Guildford photographer John Chaplin. The wonderful images are some of the earliest photographs in existence of Dorking, depicting a town that still held its weekly market on the dirt roads of the High Street. At Goodness Gracious we continue to make photographic prints from these stunning glass-plates.

Surrey Village Views
Choose from nearly 2000 images taken chiefly from Edwardian picture postcards. All dates are approximate, some relying upon postmakrs, some upon publication dates and some upon written evidence. Every care has been taken to avoid infringing any copyright.

Betchworth Collection
The Betchworth Collection comprises more than 750 photographs showing people, places and events within the village and have been collected and copied by Keith Harding over the past 20 years.

Ashley Series by Donald Birkinshaw (1922-1988)
Donald Birkinshaw grew up in Epsom and developed a passion for photography which fitted neatly with his love of the English countryside. Over his working life he amassed more than 15,000 images of the villages, towns in the south of England. Most of these were to appear in print between 1938- 1953 for his "Ashley Series" of postcards and calendars.

During the Second World War, Donald worked for the Home Office, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Agriculture which presumably allowed him access to otherwise rare stocks of photographic film and paper. The Birkinshaw archive depicts a country on the cusp of huge change, when production of motor vehicles and houses was about to increase in numbers never before seen.

Donald studied at Nottingham High School and Whitgift Grammar School and lived with his parents and brother in Epsom, later moving to the Hog's Back near Farnham until 1970 when his mother died after which time he moved to the West Country. He died in Cornwall in 1988.

The collection of negatives, prints, notebooks and diaries remained with the family until 1997 when they were purchased by John & Sue Robertson who have catalogued the huge archive. Keith Harding at "Goodness Gracious" now makes prints from these rare negatives allowing us a glimpse back to a period in our history which was not widely recorded.

This collection is too vast to list on this website at the moment, but if you like the photographs that you see here and would like to know if your town/village was photographed by Birkinshaw then please email