Founded in 1998, with Brighton & Hove Albion playing home games at Gillingham, the Society was formed to safeguard the history of the club and historic items connected with it.
Tim Carder, who with Roger Harris had co-authored a history of the club, took inspiration from an exhibition at the PlanAhead Gallery in Eastbourne organised by supporter Tony Hylands. Displaying historic Argus photos, replica shirts and programmes, the week-long event helped to keep interest in the club within Sussex alive while home games were played in Kent — and it proved to be very popular.
An association of those interested in the history of the club would be beneficial, figured Tim, so he organised a meeting at The Eclipse pub (now the Poet’s Corner) in Hove on 30 March 1998. Twelve people gathered to form the Brighton & Hove Albion Collectors’ and Historians’ Society – a name that reflected the interests of those present.
The aim was to safeguard items of historical interest while the club had no permanent home; to raise interest in the history of the Albion and continue research; to encourage members to undertake Albion-related projects of their own; and to establish an Albion museum at a longed-for new stadium.
Those goals have been achieved, and the Society has been involved in many Albion heritage projects and events (see timeline here).
In April 2019, members voted to adopt a new name. Brighton & Hove Albion Heritage Society rolls off the tongue more easily than the old title. It also reflects wider interests than collecting and history, thereby appealing perhaps to a wider group of Albion supporters.