The Braughing Society was set up in 1972. The following year, local vicar, The Rev’d D.R.Smith, sold to the society an accumulation of historic photos for the sum of £75.00. They included fascinating wedding photos taken 90 years previously. The year after that, 1974, the society held its first photo exhibition with 315 prints. Most generously, this first exhibition was financed by a grant of £90.00 from the same Rev’d D.R.Smith, plus a grant of £20.00 from (the then) Mr Don McCullin.
Don McCullin lived for a few years in the 1970’s at Redstack in the heart of the village. Widely acclaimed today as Britain’s foremost photojournalist, whilst living in Braughing he worked as overseas correspondent for the Sunday Times. His numerous dramatic and at times shocking front covers of the Sunday Times Magazine, of conflicts in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Nigeria, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and more recently Iraq, earned him several worldwide photographic awards. As did revealing photos of extreme poverty in industrially depressed parts of Britain. He was knighted in 2017 for his contribution to photography. Sir Don now lives in Somerset. He has published several books. Amongst them, one in Italian, contains photographs of rural scenes attributed to Braughing.
The historic photographic collection comprises about 65 photo albums which thanks to painstaking hard work by several founder members and colleagues in the Braughing Society were also indexed, and subsequently digitalised, in various formats. One of these albums contains 7 photographs taken by Don McCullin.
For many years the collection was housed in the room above The Old Boys School. In 2019 it was transferred to the care of the Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (H.A.L.S) department of H.C.C. at County Hall, Hertford. From 16/17 October 2021 the Braughing Society aims to build on this by displaying nearly 300 photographs recording life in the village during the past 11 years. (This follows the last such exhibition held in 2010). This latest exhibition is for the benefit of future generations for them to see how we are living today and in particular how we lived through the Covid pandemic. Following the exhibition the photos will be added to the collection held at HALS. Digital images will be available on www.braughing.org.uk.