Despite the numerous horrors being witnessed across the world these days, there are plenty of awesome humans on this planet willing to put themselves through aches, cramps and blisters in the name of a good cause. John’s son in law Scott along with a bunch of fresh eager souls are organising a sponsored walk along the shoreline from Bognor Regis to Brighton on 3rd June to raise money in support of people with cystic fibrosis. People born with this debilitating condition have a build-up of sticky mucous in their lungs and digestive system which can lead to a whole bunch of problems including difficulty breathing, malnutrition, chest infections, diabetes and osteoporosis. Although there is no cure, a range of treatments such as medications, staying active and airway clearance techniques can help control symptoms and reduce complications.
Just Giving – Walk for Susan
Scott and the rest of the gang have been practising walking to raise their fitness levels and eating healthily (most of the time anyway) in readiness for the big day. Here they are playing around with balloons, banners and buckets all donated by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The Trust supports those who live with cystic fibrosis, conducting research and campaigning to raise awareness and funds in order to improve outcomes for many people including some that are or have been close to several individuals in our gregarious group of fundraisers. The walk is over 30 miles from pier to pier and there are plenty of cafes and benches along the way for the walkers to stop and refuel. I would offer to accompany them but I don’t like getting sweaty so I’ll sponsor them a few quid and send them off with a smile! I hope the weather stays good and everyone remembers their bottle of water and packet of plasters!
Just Giving – Walk for Susan
You can’t beat a leisurely Sunday morning breakfast followed by a stroll along the seafront to brush off the cobwebs and clear your head. Whether you’re a muesli fan, an egg and bacon fiend, a baked bean or sardines on toast aficionado, or a continental fruitcake, a full tummy is essential in my book before heading out into the early morning sunshine for a good sniff of salty sea air. John and I took the car to Worthing this particular morning for a wander along the promenade and managed to find some free parking which always puts John in a jolly mood. When we got out of the car we realised why the parking spot was free, because the pier looked quite small in the distance to me. But John said it was a stone’s throw and we decided that the walk would do us both good.
The wide promenade and long shingle beach met the wet sand being exposed by the water as the tide made its way out and I had a feeling of being free with a sense of appreciation as I thought about the many animals across the world that don’t have the luxury of freedom. Looking out to the horizon across the expanse of silvery water, I wondered what the ships in the distance were doing, may be fishing or carrying cargo or people from one place to another. You wouldn’t catch me on a boat because I have a delicate stomach and certainly wouldn’t welcome the endless bobbing up and down. Talking of bobbing up and down, there were quite a few joggers out in their Lycra shorts and fancy trainers and they all smiled at me as they pounded past, panting and glistening in the warm glow of the sun.
As we headed towards the pier, we stopped to read about its history and discovered that it was opened in 1862 and, having been through a fire, a war and extensive renovation, it is a Grade II listed building. The first moving picture show in Worthing was seen on the pier in around 1896 and there used to be a steam ship in operation between Worthing Pier and Brighton, a few miles to the East. The front of the pier is currently home to the Pavilion Theatre and we saw posters advertising films and shows including old Greg Wallace hosting a dessert cooking session where he presumably makes puddings and everyone tucks in. Sounds yummy!
Without the crowds and tourists that no doubt visit during the day, I could hear John’s footsteps on the wooden boards and the squawks of the gulls flying overhead as we made our way to the sea end of the pier which boasts an Art Deco style tearoom. It was too early for the tearoom to be open but try telling that to the crows and pigeons sitting on the roof waiting for titbits. There were several guys passing the time fishing, their rods all pointed outwards in an array of lines as they waited patiently for an unsuspecting fish to take the bait. I tiptoed bravely towards the railing to get a better look and felt a bit woozy at the sight of the dark water sploshing around underneath us. Then I suddenly spotted 4 pretty little plovers strutting along the beams and pecking at the barnacles. I stayed perfectly still so John could take a few pictures and then I meowed ‘hello’ because I’m a polite boy but they ignored me and eventually hopped off. Charming!
John and I turned around and headed back to the car which seemed further away than we thought. As we strolled back, the wind was behind us and there were more people this time on bicycles or walking their dogs. I was so tired that John agreed to carry me back after picking up a couple of odd-shaped sea shells for me to take home and sniff as a reminder of our early morning trip to the seaside.
Bognor Pier at Sunset
This picture is a little reminder to me that its always a good idea to have my camera with me, I was out with John during the spring and spotted this beautiful sunset behind Bognor Regis Pier…..
How old is the pier? – 148 years old as of 2013 First built by the Bognor Promenade Company, the original Bognor Regis pier took some 18 months to complete and was opened on the 4th May 1865. Costing £5000 to construct, Bognor’s first pier consisted of a basic jetty which was some 1,000-ft in length with a kiosk at the shore end where for the sum of 1d, visitors could stroll down to the end of the pier and admire the views that the pier provided. Unlike the majority of piers that were built at that time, Bognor Pier was a private undertaking constructed with the help of local labour. In 1876 the pier was purchased by the local council for the sum of £1200, after which a small bandstand was added. Some 35 years after initial construction, the first pavilion was built at the seaward end, opening on 9th July 1900. The following year, saw the construction of a landing stage at the seaward end to allow paddle steamers to dock. By 1906 the landing stage had become redundant due to the fact that larger more modern vessels found the docking facility rather inadequate. Due to ever increasing maintenance costs and an estimate for repairs mounting to £ 11,000, the Council of the time made a decision to sell Bognor Pier in 1908 for just 10s. 6d (about 50p in today’s money) to Messrs. Shanley and Carter. Over the next few years, they invested almost £30,000 into the pier. After this initial investment and major restoration, the pier pavilion was once opened again in 1909, in time for the Easter Bank holiday