Pilgrimage to Snaps

Pilgrimage to SNAPS and the Harbour Grottos May 2016

One of the most iconic buildings in Bridlington is the “Snaps” building which overlooks the harbour and the north pier from the end of Prince Street.  Some may recall the word “SNAPS” in giant writing on the roof.  You may remember the uniformed “Snaps” photographers who took photographs of visitors on the seafront.  Inside the building you can still see some of the equipment used to develop the photographs.  William Foster Brigham began the “Snaps” business in 1919 which lasted into the 1970’s. Externally the building itself has changed little since Fanny Waring painted it in watercolours in 1805. The age of the building is unknown. Some wonderful Georgian interior fittings remain and a build date of 1750 is not an unreasonable estimate.  There are extensive cellars which extend beyond the footprint of the building.

Until about 1892 Prince Street itself sloped down to the level of the harbour north pier.  The slope began almost half way up the street. When the street was levelled off a series of passages and barrel vaulted rooms where constructed under the new road level which linked to cellars and undercrofts already present. This warren of passages and rooms is often referred to as the “Harbour Grottos”.

Would you like visit the Snaps building and the Harbour Grottos?  Well if you were a member of the Bridlington Augustinian Society you would have had that chance. About 30 members were recently given conducted tours in small groups whilst enjoying the treasures in the Bridlington Harbour Heritage Museum as they waited for their turn.

The Bridlington Augustinian Society would like to thank John Bull Limited and the Bridlington Harbour Commissioners for their kind permissions to visit, and the Bridlington Harbour Heritage Museum for opening especially as an added attraction for our members.