Day trip to Bognor

30 November, 2009

On Saturday I went to Bognor Regis for the day. Last time I’d been that way I’d followed Ben’s car. Ben was following his satnav and no one got lost. Anyway, it was completely different this time. I did eventually find Bognor. (Just incase you’re looking for it – go straight down England to Southampton and then turn left and make your way across the city, as best you can.  Continue for another 20 miles on winding back roads).  Alternatively just stay on the M27 and follow the massive signs.

Now I’ve never been to Bognor before and as a kid I had a fascination with the name because it had the word “bog” in it. At my catholic junior school, using the term “bog” for the loo, was basically as sinful as questioning things like armaggedon. Sort of like, “Er Sister Emmanuel, how can a fallen angel like satan really challenge god’s position as creator? And can I go to the bog please Sister ?”. (Nun goes ballistic in response). Letter home about my appalling use of language, (no mention of their appalling misuse of philosophy). Junior school wasn’t the highlight of my educational career. In fact neither was grammar school, or university. Er, lets move on.

My mother reliably informed me, during those toilet obsessed years, that Bognor was a upmarket seaside resort. I’ve often referred to it as such when I’ve met people from Bognor, and of course they’ve always agreed. In fact they’ve readily agreed – I now know why. There is a theme that runs through my Mother’s general knowledge which I will call “out of date”. So, normally I could expect her to be, say, between five and forty years out of date which I can accommodate fairly well. It just depends on what you ask her. So, for example if I say, “do you know where I can go for coffee in Cheltenham?” She will suggest a cafe that shut down five years ago. But that’s only because she lives in Cheltenham and regularly goes into town and keeps fairly well informed about such things. But the conversation can easily go like this;

“Mum, I don’t know where to meet Sophie (made up posh friend) for coffee in London?”

Mum: “Well, the Lyons tea-house on Oxford Street is always very nice”


Then I’d reply; “You mean HMV?”

Mum, “Oh, has it shut down now?”

Me; “Yes, they just closed it in 1971”

Mum; “What a shame”


I’m used to these informal history lessons and I”ve made the most of them over the years. It saved me revising for my history O-level and I even passed (the resit). But every now and then she throws a truly spectacular one in. Bognor is a classic example. She knows it’s an upmarket seaside town, because once, when she was a young child in school, she read a very old book which told her all about Bognor Regis and its development. So the “book” she was reading could have also been called a collection of parchment leaves loosely bound to form a rudimentary precursor to what we now term  “book”. At the time her parchment manuscript was scrawled, Bognor was probably an exciting new build, full of new money. History actually confirms this to be true.  So top marks there mum. Bognor was apparently a purpose built resort, developed during the 1780s mostly by an East India Company trader,   Lord Hotham. He needed somewhere to retire to and found that Bognor had the perfect soil for brick making. So he got all excited and built Bognor Regis to compete with Brighton.  Guess what? It didn’t.

So, thanks for knowing your stuff about Bognor mum. Shame, you got the wrong century, but hey, no-one’s perfect. Just in case you want an update –  these days, out of season, Bognor is a shabby place with cheap shops and is still no competition for Brighton. But its saving grace is that Dan Jones lives thereabouts, and he’s a skilled hypnotherapist., who is well worth a visit.

Spectacular Bognor Regis

4 Responses to “Day trip to Bognor”

  1. I cannot believe this is true!

  2. Hey, ok, I get it, I guess – but does this really work?

  3. I cannot believe this will work!

  4. Hari Says:

    Get off my blog, you obviously haven’t read a word I wrote. You can take yer spam somewhere else. Blog off all of yer

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