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Community News & Views | Blue plaques subjects of University talks

BLUE plaques around Bognor Regis were among the subjects of an interesting talk to members of the town’s University of the Third Age group.


One of the U3A members, and local historian, Sylvia Endacott, went into detail about her subject of words in stone and steel.


The Post Newspapers’ columnist started her talk by describing the types of commemorative plaques, like that pictured below, that are located in the Bognor Regis area.


The first such scheme began in London in 1866 as the oldest in the world.The usual plaques to be seen are blue and are mainly located at locations where famous people have lived or visited.


Some examples are Bognor Regis are:

  • Tony Hancock – the comedy actor stayed at the Royal Norfolk Hotel on the seafront while he filmed The Punch and Judy Man in the town in the early 1960s
  • Sir Richard Hotham – the founder of Regency Bognor and the man whose vision led to the current seaside resort
  • William Blake – poet and painter who has two blue plaques. One is located at Blakes Cottage in Felpham and the other is at The Fox pub in Felpham where he was involved in an infamous incident of treason


Sylvia told about how the plaques were normally awarded either by national organisations or local authorities. However, applications can be made by local organisations or individuals to have a plaque. These latter types are brown.


The plaques normally state the issuing authority, name and dates of the individual concerned.


Some councils, however, like Aldwick, include full details of the reasons for the plaque.


One example of a local plaque is in Sea Road, Felpham, which remembers the crew of a Hampden bomber which is believed to have crashed nearby during the Second World War.


Another plaque is located in a bus shelter in Nyetimber Lane, Aldwick, in respect of a RAF officer who was also killed during the conflict.


Applications have also been made for nine more plaques to be installed around Bognor Regis to help to make up a heritage trail.


Denis Lindsell, on behalf of the meeting, thanked Sylvia for her most interesting talk.


Another of Bognor Regis U3A’s monthly meetings at St Mary’s Centre, Grassmere Close, Felpham, saw guest speaker Tessa Daines talk about old country customs and folklore.

Posted in Letters.