50 Years Of Billingham Bags.


50 Years of Billingham 
This year, Billingham Bags is celebrating their 50th anniversary. Founded in 1973 by Martin and Ros Billingham who started by handcrafting fishing and shooting bags in their kitchen. By the late seventies, they had discovered that many of their products were being exported to the USA as camera bags by New York photographers. It was at this time that they designed their first dedicated camera bag, the 550. Since then, they have become renowned for the quality of their bags and are considered an industry staple. 
Our founder and owner, Jason Regent, has long been an advocate for the brand and we spoke to him about his personal experience of Billingham...
"I bought my first Billingham bag over 20 years ago, it cost me somewhere around £300, which I saved up from my monthly wages."
Having recently returned from travelling in Australia, Jason was working as a manager at Repertoire. The shop no longer has a presence in Salisbury, one of the many changes to the city over the last two decades. 
At the tender age of 27, Jason bought the bag to serve its intended function - as a camera bag.
Jason has always had a passion for photography so knew of Billingham for their excellent reputation. 
In its lifetime, the bag has accompanied Jason on a number of photoshoots and has been borrowed by countless friends and family. 
"I have fond memories of riding around on my Vespa and my Triumph, with my Billingham secured on my shoulder. It's fully waterproof and so could survive any weather, keeping my equipment safe."

As Jason got older, he realised the versatility of his beloved bag and stopped using it exclusively as a camera bag.

Jason had the bag when he first started writing the business plan for Regent and formed the company. When visiting the bank, and viewing our premises for the first time, he had all the important paperwork tucked away in his Billingham.

And, it continued to be a presence at Regent's formative moments. It accompanied Jason on his very first buying trips and often caught the attention of brand representatives, acting as a fantastic conversation starter and aiding him get those vital contacts in the early days.

"My Billingham bag is incredibly special to me, it's been there through all the highs and lows of establishing and running Regent as a business and as a brand. And it continues to form an integral part of my daily work attire.

"Billingham's story is an inspiration - a couple who founded a business in their kitchen, working tirelessly in their spare time and this discovering that their product fulfilled a niche in the market and going to to create a hugely successful brand known all around the world"

Regent was one of the first businesses that bought Billinghams' Leisure Range. At the time this was quite an exclusive privilege, only take up by other heavyweights such as Selfridges and Liberty.

One of Jason's favourite things about Billingham, is that despite their worldwide distribution, they remain a UK-based, family-owned business. They are exceptional quality and are designed to last for many years. They fit well with the Regent ethos to buy well, buy once.

"I've had my Billingham bag for over 20 years and I will pass it on to my kids, if they don't pinch it from me before then!"

Regent is proud to be a stockist of Billingham Bags for their reliability and security. Jason's own story and experience of the product is a testament to their superb quality. 

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