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In some cases, it’s not the ‘Regis’ which is in danger but the B-word.
Just this month, the town has been snubbed by one of its own flagship projects.
It reads: ‘On this site at Craigweil-on-Sea in the Parish of Aldwick stood Craigweil House where HM King George V and Queen Mary were in residence . .’ It gives a brief history of the place, but makes no mention of ‘Bognor’.
Across the way, is a brand-new Craigweil House, a redbrick beachfront home.
But, thanks to the dead hand of health and safety, the event disappeared for two years before returning this month.
He built this house three years ago after pulling down a Seventies eyesore.
Soon afterwards, there was more hurling of headwear when it was announced that the King had agreed to grant Bognor the accolade of ‘Regis’ — the Latin for ‘of the King’. As the King’s biographer, Kenneth Rose, has since pointed out, Stamfordham translated this to the Bognorians in more diplomatic terms: ‘His Majesty has been graciously pleased to accede to your request.’ A more popular but, sadly, mythical story is that the King uttered the words on his deathbed in 1936. Despite the ‘Regis’, Bognor never quite managed to establish itself alongside, say, Bath, Baden Baden or Royal Leamington Spa as a great European spa town.
What the civic worthies were not told was that the King’s initial response to the idea had been less enthusiastic. Assured by his doctors that he would soon be enjoying another revivifying trip to the South Coast, the Sovereign reputedly groaned ‘Bugger Bognor! And all those jokes just carried on — ‘First prize: One week in Bognor; Second prize: two weeks in Bognor’ and so on.
For many non-Bognorians, there is something intrinsically funny about a town with lofty social aspirations and the word ‘Bog’ in its name. They are proud of a town which, they say, gets more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in Britain. A cumulative series of minor insults has reached a tipping point.
There have been repeated examples of local organisations — including the police — dumping the ‘Regis’ from their logos and uniforms.