The story of Bognor Regis Treasure Hunt.The Why`s,The How`s and the Where`sPosted on: 08/10/2020
When it was suggested to me to write a Bognor Regis treasure hunt, it was like a light bulb moment. I had never given it a moment`s thought before, but soon I began to wander why not. My recent Arundel treasure hunt was more a case of righting a wrong. I had always meant to create one there, but for some reason best left undiscovered I had never got round to it until a few weeks ago after a request via Twitter.
Bognor Regis was different. I was sent an excellent selection of photos and info about things in Bognor and it soon became apparent that I had under-estimated it. I had been to the town before to play football, but became a little biased against it following memories of a rigourous training session up and down the sandy beach. It was time to give it a proper chance and I committed myself to getting over there on the next available sunny day. With the best weather of September fading I worried that I may have missed out after all, but Bognor is not one of the sunniest places in Britain for no reason. I was there within the week of making my decision.
A lot of people know that George V was a bit rude about Bognor when it was asked of him to accord the title of Regis to it. This was following his recovery from illness, but give the title he did and the town hall, where there is a plaque about this, seemed the obvious place for me to start the hunt. I have to state at this point I have never seen a town so well served by blue plaques and information boards. It can be extremely helpful for a treasure hunt setter, but at the same time care should be taken not to overdo it with using them. Bognor put Arundel to shame on this point though which was something I was not expecting a few weeks earlier before I had completed either of them.
I couldn`t ignore the blue plaque about James Joyce the author though before heading down to the seafront for an early sampling of the esplanade. The bandstand had been purchased from another town back in 1948. This made me laugh as I thought you just had your own built rather than buying someone else`s. It soon became clear that they had got a bargain on the deal though. The seafront in September was fairly uncluttered, apart from the ubiquitous info boards, until I came across an imposing beacon.
Further on you get to the pier which I`m sorry to say looked a little sad, but nevertheless had an interesting memorial stone about how it was used for anti aircraft practice in WWII. That, I liked! Across the road from there was a neat 18 hole mini golf, but also, interestingly, a weather station. I even saw a man measuring how much early morning rain there had been. Now, just further on from here and tucked out of site was a highlight for me. There was an excellent David Bowie mural, as Ziggy Stardust. The commissioner of the work had it painted and then asked permission for it afterwards. I think this was wise as it looks great and would have been a shame if it had been denied to general viewing.
At the most westerly point of the treasure hunt is the Royal Norfolk hotel with a rather imposing walk up to it. There was also a reference to Tony Hancock (one for older readers...like myself) the comedian/actor who filmed in the town `back in the day`. I started to work inland from this point, passing the museum on route. It was closed because of Coronavirus which was a shame because I was intending to set a clue inside. (the museum is free). However, there was still a more than satisfactory clue to be had relating to its sign.
The cinema would have looked `hunt-worthy` but was undergoing major repair works and it took me a few minutes more from there until I got to the unusual, a word that Black Cat loves to be able to use, Ice House! It looks like a brick igloo and there was a little history on how it was used. Pleasingly, apart from ice, there was an easy question for me to use about what it stored in there during WWII. (not ice)
Just near the Ice House was Hotham Park. I had heard good things about this park and I was not disappointed. It was well maintained and included a train, another bandstand, a sundial,boating,golf and to top it all...excellent wooden sculptures of Alice in Wonderland characters! Hotham Park House was quite impressive too and of course I learned about the considerable influence of Sir Richard Hotham on the town during the 18th century.
I left the park and soon returned to the esplanade for a near circular route, normally a preferable feature for a treasure hunt if possible. I looked East and saw the fantastic dome shapes from Bognor Regis` Butlins. The Butlins has attracted thousands of people to the town over the years and I felt it was appropriate to set a question about it, courtesy of another helpful information board. Being Bognor the last question was very original and about a Zoo that Butlin had set up in the town.
So there you have it, a quick potted history of how my Bognor Regis treasure hunt came to be. Apart from advocates Of Horsham..yes, yes...one day!.. I now like the combination of treasure hunts across West Sussex . I hope you like the additions of Arundel and now Bognor Regis of course.
For further details about the Bognor Regis hunt please copy the link below :