Glimpse history through old images of Bognor Regis, West Sussex, England.
Craigweil House 1929
George V had various accidents and bouts of ill health from 1915, until his death in 1933. After suffering from septicaemia in November 1928, which required his son Edward to take over many of his official duties for two years, his aides suggested he take a foreign holiday to recover. Instead, he chose to spend three months at Craigweil House, Aldwick, close to Bognor, at what today is the Craigweil Private Estate.
It’s because of this royal stay that the town of Bognor had the Latin suffix Regis (King) added, making it Bognor Regis.
In Sunny Sussex By The Sea (1929) – British Pathé on YouTube
Under the London Naval Treaty, ships at the end of their lives could be used as target practice.
In 1931, the Emperor of India battleship was used for experimental shell fire by the Iron Duke off the coast of Bognor. It was severely battered, and then sank.
The Emperor Of India (1931) – British Pathé on YouTube
Horse Training 1936
Some of the entrants for the 1936 Grand National were brought down to Bognor’s beach for training. There are glimpses of some of the seafront buildings in the background, but the camera is focused on the fast moving horses.
Horse training in Bognor Regis (1936)- British Pathé on YouTube
New Laundrette 1957
Cicely Courtneidge and her musical comedy star Jack Hulbert came to support the opening of their relatives’ new laundrette.
Lots of local people gathered round the window to watch the entertainment inside, and there are glimpses of nearby buildings seen in the background too.
Special For Bognor – The Hulberts Clean Up (1957) – British Pathé on YouTube
Table Tennis 1960
Table tennis training at the Butlin’s Holiday Camp was a popular activity for young people.
These children will be well into old age now.
Junior Table Tennis (1960) – British Pathé on YouTube
Clergy Conference 1961
“The scene is a big gay holiday camp at Butlins”….as 400 clergymen arrived at Butlins for a conference.
They clergymen were allowed to enjoy the camp facilities in the late afternoons and evenings, joining holidaymakers at the revolving bar, games, and swimming pool.
Clergy Conference (1961) – British Pathé on YouTube
Swimming Pool 1961
The Butlins Holiday Camp had windows in the side and underneath, here promoted as an opportunity to go for a drink while your children swim.
Full View Pool Aka Butlin’s Swimming Pool At Bognor (1961) – British Pathé on YouTube
Sun Tattoo 1962
Back to the innocent days when sunlotion was no where in sight, no one had real tattoos, and men didn’t have to display a six pack to be the hunk on screen. The point of this short comedy item is clearly to suggest the sunshine was found in plentiful supply here.
Sun Signs (1962) – British Pathé on YouTube
Cartoonists Conference 1962
Cartoonists’ Conference (1962)- British Pathé on YouTube
Underwater Party 1962
The local scuba diving club provided entertainment for Butlins holidaymakers, by having an underwater tea party, complete with an after-dinner pipe.
Underwater Party (1962) – British Pathé on YouTube
Butlins Holiday Camp 1962
The people show in this 1962 clip had never tasted chinese food before!
Chopsticks Competition (1962) – British Pathé on YouTube
Rescue Helicopter 1963
A dancer from London’s Windmill Theatre was rescued in a practice helicopter sea rescue. You don’t see much of Bognor, but it’s a reminder of the local rescue efforts which saved lives.
Helicopter Rescue (1963)- British Pathé on YouTube
Butlins Camp 1963
A curious item about a student psychiatrist who sketches women and then decides what their pose says about their personality.
Don’t sit wth your legs and knees firmly together or men will stay away, knowing you are bossy, apparently, but sitting forward shows you are terrified.
No one takes a second look at the young man as he wanders round a holiday camp in a suit and tie.
Good shots of the camp’s leisure facilities and some of the people enjoying them.
Postures (1963) – British Pathé on YouTube
Darts Champion 1963
Darts champion Joe Hitchcock made a living entertaining people with his tricks throwing nails at objects in people’s mouths or ears.
Darts Champ (1963)- British Pathé on YouTube
Motor Bike Display 1965
This item about a display of army motorbikes includes some nice shots of the holiday camp’s facilities.
Army Motorcycle Display Aka R.A. Motor Bike Display (1965)- British Pathé on YouTube