Alfred Grey Collection

Holiday makers having their photograph taken in Joe’s Bar

Ref: NFA0093

Title: Alfred Grey, Joe’s Bar Collection

Scope: This collection contains black and white photographs and negatives of photographs taken by Alfred Grey at Joe’s bar novelty portrait studio and a small amount of related ephemera.

Dates: 1960s
Level: Fonds
Extent: 742 rolls of 35mm photographic negatives, 269 photographs and 1 box
Name of creator: Alfred Grey

Administrative / biographical history: Alfred ‘Joe’ Grey (1904-1999) built a comic yet realistic photographic stage set featuring a make-believe bar in an old fashioned pub in his unique open-fronted shop on Strand Street, Douglas, Isle of Man. He called it Joe’s Bar and ran it with his wife Hetty and photographer son Howard between 1950 and 1971. The novelty seaside photographic set only opened during the summer months, when countless groups of holiday-makers had their photographs taken while wearing novelty hats, pretending to drink out of oversized bottles of Whisky or Guinness and appearing totally drunk.

Alf Grey served people on holiday who wanted to return home with a souvenir photograph of themselves, their friends and their family having a good time.

Alf had a lifetime’s experience in professional studio portraiture and he only used the very best cameras, lighting and film processing techniques. His creation, Joe’s Bar, was in no way a ‘Snap and Run’ establishment but it became one of the island’s main holiday attractions.

Related Collections:
Source: Donated by Howard Grey
System of arrangement: Catalogued according to type
Subjects: Seaside Entertainment
Conditions of access: Items are available to view by appointment in the NFA reading room
Restrictions: None
Copyright: Howard Grey. Copies may be supplied by the National Fairground Archive for study or personal use only subject to condition of the material.
Finding aids: Online finding aid available here