THESE remarkable images from more than 100 years ago give a fascinating insight into a bygone Sussex.

They are among an amazing collection of more than 200 postcards featuring all parts of the county from Hastings to Selsey and Brighton to Crawley, bringing a lost era back to life.

Following the death of their owner, they went up for auction yesterday, selling for more than £40,000.

Whether it is the newly opened King’s Road on Brighton seafront, horses and carts, garages, fairgrounds and bonfire societies, all elements of life are covered in this treasure trove of a collection.

Among the fascinating images, if you take a closer look at the picture of the postcard and confectionery shop in Littlehampton, an Argus billboard is on view with a sporting headline about boxing.

This particular image attracted the highest bid of the day with the hammer dropping at £385.

The cards come from the estate of collector Maurice Stevens, from Burgess Hill, who died last year.

A horticulturist and keen angler, he was Sussex born and bred and loved its towns, countryside and social history.

The cards sold at fine art auctioneers Tooveys in Washington, near Storrington, yesterday.

Senior valuer Nick Toovey said: “We were really pleased how it went.

“They were sold to various collectors, mainly from Sussex. However, we had people come down from all over the country.”

One of Mr Stevens’ main interests was postcards of the county and many of the cards for sale have his pencilled comments on the back.

Mr Toovey said most pictures were taken between 1900 and 1930.

He said: “I’m amazed by the number of small and remote places that were documented. Often these images will have been the first visual record of that place other than, perhaps, an artist’s interpretation.

“My personal favourite is the postcard shop in Littlehampton.

“The staff are outside this Surrey Street shop. You can see the Sussex postcards being displayed alongside Cadbury’s and Fry’s chocolate. It shows the lives of everyday people.”

Mr Steven’s personal favourite was one of a bakery in Sedlescombe, with employees, horses and carts outside.

His note on the back read: “Most likely the best photographic card of Sussex ever.”

Other highlights include people trying out a new fire escape in Shoreham in 1912, cars outside Southdown Garage in Storrington, a steam train at Haywards Heath station and a fairground in Hailsham.

Sussex’s long association with November 5 is also not forgotten with an early image of members of the South Street Bonfire Society in Lewes.