Bognor Regis

Street Map

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Bognor Regis is a seaside resort town and civil parish in the Arun district of West Sussex, on the south coast of England. It is 55.5 miles (89 km) south-south-west of London, 24 miles (39 km) west of Brighton, and 6 miles (10 km) south-east of the city of Chichester. Other nearby towns include Littlehampton east-north-east and Selsey to the south-west. The nearby villages of Felpham, briefly home to the poet William Blake, and Aldwick are now suburbs of Bognor Regis, along with those of North and South Bersted.

Bognor is one of the oldest recorded Anglo-Saxon place names in Sussex. In a document of 680 AD it is referred to as Bucgan ora meaning Bucge’s (a female Anglo-Saxon name) shore, or landing place.

Bognor Regis was originally named just “Bognor”, being a fishing (and one time, smuggling) village until the 18th century, when it was converted into a resort by Sir Richard Hotham.

Bognor was a part of the ancient parish of South Bersted in the county of Sussex, attaining parish status separate from South Bersted in 1828. Until 1894 it formed part of the Hundred of Aldwick, an ancient division of Chichester Rape. From 1894 to 1974 it was part of Bognor Urban District (Bognor Regis Urban District from 1929), and since 1974 it has been a part of Arun District.

The historic meeting of the crews (and associated handshake) of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project on 17 July 1975 was intended to have taken place over Bognor Regis, but a flight delay caused it to occur over Metz in France instead.

On the beach between Bognor Regis and Aldwick lies the wreck of a Floating Pontoon. It is part of the Mulberry Harbour which was towed across to Normandy on D-Day June 6, 1944. This particular section of Mulberry did not make it across the channel and was washed up on the beach shortly after D-Day. It is clearly visible at low tide throughout the year.

Tourism gradually took off in Bognor during the 19th century, with the area being chosen as an ideal location for King George V to convalesce during 1929, the King and Queen actually staying at Craigwell House in Aldwick. As a result, the King was asked to bestow the suffix “Regis” (“of the King”) on “Bognor”.Rumour has it that the King, upon being told, shortly before his death, that he would soon be well enough to revisit the town, uttered the words “Bugger Bognor!

Bognor Regis has a large town centre, much of which has either been pedestrianized or made pedestrian-friendly. Since the end of World War Two the town has been subject to some piece-meal commercial redevelopment, notably in the early 1960s when a new shopping parade and road (called Queensway), a health centre and a high-rise block of flats were built on land just north-west of the High Street. In the three decades between 1950 and 1980 much residential development took place to the west and north of the town, since then mostly in-fill development has taken place, predominantly redeveloping land on brownfield sites that had formerly been used for commercial business.

Bognor Regis lies within the constituency of Bognor Regis and Littlehampton.

From 2003, planning policy documents were drawn up which would, if fully enacted, lead to much redevelopment and regeneration, but economic uncertainty has meant that nothing has, so far, come of the plans.

Sir Billy Butlin opened one of his Butlin’s Holiday Camps in Bognor in 1960. The camp later became known as Southcoast World until 1998 and is now known as Butlin’s Bognor Regis Resort. In 1999 Butlin’s erected a large indoor leisure park, the buildings construction sharing aspects similar with the Millennium Dome in London. In 2005, a new £10m hotel, called “The Shoreline” was unveiled at the Bognor Regis resort. A second hotel “The Ocean” opened on the site in Summer 2009 and general landscaping and upgrading has also taken place. Postcards featuring the Butlins’ Reception Hall and Sun Lounge were reprinted in the book Boring Postcards (1999). More luxury hotels are planned for the site. In May 2009 Butlins have also announced that they will be looking into adding a third hotel to the Bognor Regis site.

The International Bognor Birdman is an annual competition for human-powered ‘flying’ machines held each summer in Bognor Regis. Contestants launch themselves from the end of the pier; a prize being awarded to the one who glides the furthest distance.

The Alexandra Theatre is a 352 seat auditorium showing a variety of entertainment from comedy to drama to pantomime. It replaced the Esplanade Theatre in the late 1970s.Rail linksBognor Regis railway station is situated on a branch line from Barnham, on the West Coastway Line. It has half-hourly services to London and to other south coast towns, some being direct.

A29. To Dorking to the north, where it joins the A24 to London. This road bisects the main east-west trunk road, the A27, at Fontwell and the A272 at Billingshurst. A259. The coastal road running along the south coast from Havant in Hampshire to Folkstone in Kent.

Note: this page is partly based on a Wikipedia page. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Where possible, text is being updated to original, fully referenced research. ‘Our photos’ means we took the photographs. The Street View and street map visuals are courtesy of Google.

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