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Pupils see birthday messages to Queen

EXCITED children at a Rose Green school have seen their messages in a special birthday album for the first time.


The 15 pupils were presented with certificates for contributing to a unique celebration for the Queen’s 90th birthday.


The album was compiled by the former Friends of Bognor Regis Pier and Bognor Pier Trust to mark last year’s milestone regal occasion. It contains an extraordinary 4,110 messages from the Bognor Regis area and much further afield.


Tuesday was the first chance the children at Rose Green Infant School had been able to see the album after its return from Buckingham Palace where it was believed to have been viewed by the Queen.


Among those who received a certificate was Olly Brian, aged six. He said: “I’m pleased to see my message.


“I went up to London two days ago and saw Buckingham Palace and it’s good to think my message was taken inside there. I like the pier as well and I’ve been on it.”


The certificates state that each pupil contributed a personal message in the 2016 commemorative album celebrating the 90th birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Meticulous indexing by pier supporter Lyn Debenham enabled each person’s contribution to be cross-referenced to the page on which it appears in a publication which weighs a whopping 19.05kg or 42lbs.


About 11 infant, junior and secondary schools contributed towards the album’s total number of messages.


It will be taken on a tour of them by Lyn and Jan Malpas, the chairman of Bognor Regis Pier Watch, which has succeeded the Friends’ group.


Jan said: “It’s so fantastic that the children of today realise that we have a 90-year-old Queen and want to get involved in her birthday and write a message to her.


“It’s so good we have been able to give them the opportunity to do that.


“We spoke to the children last year about what we were doing and how we would like them to write a message for the Queen.”


The idea for the album arose last winter because of the Queen’s childhood links to Bognor Pier through her grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary. She would have seen the pier when she played on the beach and her 90th birthday last April was seen as a way of linking her memories with the desire to restore the pier to the condition of that pre-war period.


Pier Watch members will take the album around to as many as possible of those who contributed messages before they plan to be able to put it on display in the town for everyone to see.

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