In 1901-2 a house was built on the site - Braymead, and was resided in by F.I. Pitman, a stockbroker. He lived there until 1922 when several local people formed a syndicate to run what was then called the Braymead Court Hotel.
This hotel venture never prospered and in 1928 the Hotel de Paris came into being - its name deriving from its new owners (Messrs Poulson and Stocco) who were running the Cafe de Paris in the West End of London at the same time. Each weekend many top-ranking bands and cabaret stars from the Cafe de Paris would entertain 2-300 visitors and guests. It was famous in its day and provided 'jest and youthful jollity' to the visitors as well as employment to some of the villagers.
There then followed some years where the 'Bright Young Things' lived it up riotously at the hotel, where a regular booking was from the Guards annual passing-out parade party from Camberley with up to 500 guests.
With the coming of the Second World War in 1939 came austerity; blackout, petrol rationing and belt tightening put an end to the night life and the hotel was taken over by a London shipping and insurance company for the duration of the war. After the war, there was a gradual return of the hotel activities, but never again on the same scale as before. Gradually its name and fame dwindled until the hotel was sold and demolished.
The current Braybank, a large development of flats and houses was built in 1964 on the hotel's site. Its arrival caused great consternation, disapproval and distress, but, equally, it was part of village's own fault for being so apathetic about local government and planning. At first, by no means attractive, in spite of some of the old trees being retained, it has since been well landscaped.
(With acknowledgements to 'Bray - Today and Yesterday' by Nan Birney)
We have managed to obtain from a resident, a brochure which details some further history of the estate from the 1950's. Click an image below to enlarge the photos.