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The Pier And Esplanade

A Memory of Bognor Regis

I was born in Sudley Road nursing home, Bognor, and we lived in Nyewood Lane, but I used to stay frequently with my grandmother in her flat a couple of hundred yards from the Royal Norfolk Hotel.
One of my earliest memories was of her taking me out of bed one summer dawn for a walk down to the beach in front of the Esplanade Theatre. We both went skinny dipping, for it didn't matter to her that the classy hotels overlooked the shore!
The Bognor pier was on my parents' list of forbidden places, but my grandmother and my old aunts took me there after it had been rebuilt after the war. (The long deck had been cut so that it wouldn't be so easy for Hitler's troops to come ashore.) There was also a miniature train that took adults and children from one end to the other. As a young child, I also learnt that if I put a penny into the slot of one of those little crane booths, there was only the remotest likelihood of the crane picking up anything, and if it did, its jaws were so slippery that it would drop the cheap toy. Hence, I have never bought a lottery ticket.
But it was Bognor Regis that started me on my westward journey to Canada, and my memories of Bognor Regis that begin my published memoir.

A memory shared by Josephine Hammond , on Aug 1st, 2011.

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