||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (April 2014)|
Bognor Regis seafront
Bognor Regis shown within West Sussex
|Area||4.86 km2 (1.88 sq mi) |
|Population||22,555  2001 Census (parish of Bognor Regis)|
|- Density||4,644 /km2 (12,030 /sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|- London||55 miles (89 km) NNE|
|Civil parish||Bognor Regis|
|Shire county||West Sussex|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||BOGNOR REGIS|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Bognor Regis and Littlehampton|
|Website||Bognor Regis Town Council|
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-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.
- 1 Origin of name
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Tourism
- 5 Culture
- 6 Education
- 7 Sport
- 8 Transport
- 9 Twin towns
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Origin of name
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.
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 6 June 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.
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.
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 Craigweil House in Aldwick.
As a result, the King was asked to bestow the suffix "Regis" ("of the King") on "Bognor". The petition was presented to Lord Stamfordham, the King's Private Secretary, who in turn delivered it to the King. King George supposedly replied, "Oh, bugger Bognor." Lord Stamfordham then went back to the petitioners and told them, "the King has been graciously pleased to grant your request."
A slightly different version of the "Bugger Bognor" incident is 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!" Although there is little evidence that these words were actually spoken in this context, and although the sea air helped the King to regain his health, it is certain that the King had little regard for the town.
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.
The town has several areas, and buildings, that still firmly link it with its past. Good examples, and prominent local landmarks, are the Royal Norfolk Hotel and Hotham Park.
Bognor Regis regeneration plans
Bognor Regis is awaiting plans to be submitted by developer St Modwen, who have been given several extensions to their agreement due to the recession. The plans are to include a Multiplex cinema on the Regis Centre Site, several hundreds of flats, a hotel and some restaurants. This has been subject to a highly controversial consultation and is not generally a popular proposal with local people as the results of the surveys can testify.The plans also include building high rise flats (possibly student accommodation) on the Hothampton car park, which will help to cross subsidise the refurbishments to the Regis Centre/Alexandra Theatre. Issues of reduced parking caused by building over the car parks, and by the proposed increase in traffic due to the cinema etc. will need to be addressed before this work can proceed.
Bognor Regis experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the United Kingdom albeit sunnier and milder due to its proximity to the coast - It has, at over 1900 hours on average, the highest annual level of sunshine of any UK mainland weather station resulting in Bognor Regis being named the sunniest town in the UK. Besides inhibiting summer cloud development, its coastal location also prevents extreme temperatures; Whereas locations in the Sussex weald to the North can on occasion fall below −15.0 °C (5.0 °F) or rise above 35.0 °C (95.0 °F), since 1960, the temperatures recorded at Bognor have never fallen below −9.4 °C (15.1 °F) (January 1963) or risen above 31.5 °C (88.7 °F) (June 1976). Rainfall in Bognor peaks during the winter months, and reaches a minimum in summer, as is typical for the South Coast of England.
|Climate data for Bognor Regis 7m asl, 1981-2010, extremes 1960-|
|Record high °C (°F)||13.7
|Average high °C (°F)||7.8
|Average low °C (°F)||3.1
|Record low °C (°F)||−9.4
|Precipitation mm (inches)||76.2
|Avg. rainy days||12.5||9.0||9.7||8.8||7.6||7.3||6.5||7.3||8.3||11.2||11.6||11.7||111.5|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||75.4||94.6||130.9||198.6||233.0||237.9||252.5||236.7||174.1||131.9||88.5||66.7||1,920.8|
|Source #1: Met Office |
|Source #2: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI|
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, with a third hotel "Wave" opened Summer 2012. 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.
Birdman of Bognor
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 Grade II listed pier, a prize being awarded to the one who glides the furthest distance. Rarely taken completely seriously, the event provides competitors with an opportunity to construct improbable machines complete with outlandish dress. The spectacle drew a sizeable crowd in addition to the local media. Inaugurated in nearby Selsey in 1971, the Birdman transferred to Bognor in 1978 when it had outgrown its original location. Competitors have included Richard Branson.
The Birdman Event of 2008 was transferred to Worthing after 60 feet (18 m) of pier had been removed by the owners due to storm damage in March 2008. This meant that there were question marks over the possible safety of the contestants landing in shallower water. The shortened pier was judged safe for the event in 2010, and the event subsequently returned to Bognor.
Music scene and festivals
Each summer Bognor Rox free music and arts festival is held. In 2012 the ROX Music and Arts Festival attracted over 40,000 visitors  and featured many genres of music in 5 performance areas over 3 days. The town is also home to the Bognor Regis Concert Band, who perform at various local locations and events, including the yearly "Proms in the Park".
Theatre and cinema
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The Picturedrome Cinema in London Road has been trading as a cinema for over 100 years. It has recently[when?] enjoyed extensive refurbishment, the freehold having been acquired by the Bognor Regis Town Council to secure the buildings future, after extensive consultation. The operator, the Picturedrome electric Theatre Company Ltd, has also invested heavily in the interior and it provides two screens with comfortable brand new seating and digital projection. It shows all the latest popular films on release and has significantly lower charges than its competitors, at £2.50 and £3.50 a ticket. It is under grave threat from the proposed building of the multiplex on the nearby Regis Centre site and so the long-term future is uncertain. It remains a very popular attraction, and it is hoped that extra screens can be added to increased its chance of survival when the multiplex is built.
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. As part of the proposed regeneration plans, it is hoped[by whom?] that it will be enhanced and the seat numbers will be increased. It is currently run by a voluntary trust and shows a mixture of local groups, tribute bands and concerts.
Bognor Regis Town F.C. play in the Isthmian League Premier Division Middleton & Bogner Hockey Club play their home matches at Littlehampton Academy.
There are two cricket clubs: Bognor Regis Cricket Club and Pagham Cricket Club.
The Formula One driver David Purley, best known for his attempt to save the life of fellow racing driver Roger Williamson during the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix, was born in Bognor Regis, where he was killed after crashing his aerobatic biplane into the sea off Bognor Regis on 2 July 1985.
- Road links
Bognor Regis is twinned with:
- Regis (place)
- List of place names with royal patronage in the United Kingdom
- List of places of worship in Arun
- "2001 Census: West Sussex – Population by Parish". West Sussex County Council. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- Glover, J: Sussex Place Names pp. 31-32. Countryside Books, 1997
- NASA History: SP-4209 The Partnership: A History of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project; 17 July-The Rendesvous.
- Chichester Observer article on the bombing
- "A Brief History of Bognor Regis". Localhistories.org. Retrieved 2009-07-07.
- "Bognor Regis Why Bognor "Regis"? in Bognor Regis". Bognor-regis.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-07-07.
- Antonia Fraser, ed. (2000). The house of Windsor. A royal history of England. University of California Press. p. 36. ISBN 0-520-22803-0.
- Rose, Kenneth: King George V, London 1983. pp. 359–361
- Daily Mail Online: The sunniest beach resort
- The Telegraph: Bognor Regis the sunniest spot in Britain
- Met Office: Highest Annual Sunshine
- "1963 temperature". KNMI.
- "1976 temperature". KNMI.
- "Bognor temperature extremes". KNMI. Retrieved 10 Nov 2011.
- No place like holidaying at home
- A Third Butlin's Hotel is planned
- "Birdman Pier Length Investigations".
- Rox festival Rox homepage
- Observer, bognor. "ROX Music and Arts Festival 2012". Bognor Regis Observer. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- Observer, Bognor. "Musicians flock to show support for ROX festival". The Bognor Regis Observer. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- Bognor Regis Concert Band Official Site
- bognorregis Schools in Bognor Regis
- "Middleton and Bognor Hockey Club Club". Middletonandbognorhc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Home". Bognorregiscricketclub.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Pagham Cricket Club". Pagham Cricket Club. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- Autocourse G'Prix Archive
- "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
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