Sorting through some newspapers I came across a selection of papers from the 1990s, 20 years ago, so I had a look through for this week’s article.
One thing that was noticeable from my selection was the amount of ‘new’ paperwork at the time. There was the Promoter, an A5 free newspaper principally full of advertisements, for cars, jobs and similar. It provided a good service for companies which advertised job vacancies around the town.
I also have Issue No. 1 of the Bognor Regis Magazine, again an A5 production, covering quite a wide range of subjects, fashion, book reviews, video updates and Chamber of Trade information. I don’t know how long it lasted, it was apparently a new publication to allow Bognor people to have their say. Do you know?
I also have issue 1 of a magazine entitled Generation, written by and for young people. This again has a very wide range of articles suitable as it says for young people and has been produced in a manner to be understood by that age group.
Another young person’s magazine in 1999 was Noise, which was a guide to the South Coast musically. Covering a wide area and ideas was the All About Magazine, this time a monthly issue, covering an area from Southampton to Worthing.
Finally, I have the Arun Business Magazine providing an insight into businesses in the area. There was also an Arun business news leaflet which provided information on developments in the area such as ‘Exciting plans to improve Bognor Regis,’ and a new society formed to look after the Barnham Windmill. I am sure this is not a full list of available printed information that was around in the early 1990s
Today, of course, most of this information will be produced on the internet and on many of the Facebook pages that promote businesses. Sadly, in future we will not be able to look back at this type of information in a paper format.
Newspapers help us to remember various events through time. In 1998, the Evening Argus reported the extreme damage that had been caused to Rainbows End in Hotham Park said to equate to £300,000.
The report reminds us that at one time it was one of the biggest tourist attractions in our area. We now have a much larger park, as it was expanded eventually to encompass this area.
Some things, of course, repeat regularly like, drinking problems, questions over new houses but January 1998 contained a good report on the start of work for the new Pagham Village Hall. Also, there was to be a revamp of Felpham Village Hall.
Another headline was interesting, No to a National Park!
This era had many notable events, including the annual clown convention which was a great highlight of entertainment in the town with hundreds travelling here to join in. Major personalities came here to take part, including Ken Dodd, Norman Wisdom and Jeremy Beadle – all personalities of their era.
Sadly, in 1994, the town was hit by the final bomb placed in the UK by the IRA. This was obviously a major event, which did not cause any major injuries, as it had in some other bombings around the country.
The town recovered from this and then, in 1995, the railway station was hit with a fire in the main building. Sometimes a memory can be evoked by just one word. For me it is the word ‘kiosk.’
At one point, we were told we would have extra shopping outlets in London Road. These turned out to be yellow and blue kiosks. To say the public were angry is an understatement. The aim was to improve the image of the town while providing extra spending power – certainly not the result of their placement.
One cutting from 1991 headlined ‘Blue Print for a brighter future.’ Plans were to be put in for a town manager to be given the job of encouraging new investment into the town centre apparently ‘to half the decline of the centre’ which was occurring in the 1990s.
Marks and Spencer closed in August, 1990, also Sainsbury’s in Queensway had closed. Eventually, we were pleased when we heard that Littlewoods would be moving into the premises left by M&S.
Finally, of course, they closed to go to the new environment of online shopping.
There were to be forums held around the area for the general public to have their say. Apparently, car parks were essential and there was a need for out of town shopping. Today we say that out of town shopping is not helping the high street. Views and ideas do change over a number of years.
As this decade came to an end, we were looking forward to the new millennium. Another pamphlet in Action was produced to encourage training for companies, which included a one-day seminar to improve the effective use of the internet as a resource for your business in 1999.
This was to help us understand the internet with “an increase in your confidence to use it”. A new paper appeared that of The Reporter which was produced primarily by young people. It covered a range of subjects but did not last for a long period.
Finally, I thought I would take a look at some of the advertisements in more detail from a 1999 newspaper. There were a number of Ford cars advertised for prices from £6,995 to £9,995 available with insurance. Bensons for Beds advertised half price beds.
Entertainment was promoted widely with the Picturedrome showing its pictures in Dolby Digital sound. Bobby’s of Bognor had a sale with duvets averaging £14. Numerous auctions and car boot sales were also advertised.
I was interested to see a full page advertisement for Tesco. But this was for a new shopping service being provided by it. The new internet shopping service meant you could do all of your shopping from your home to show how new events and activities can become everyday occurrences.
I hope you have enjoyed this random look back 20 years at this decade.