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The books reviewed below are in no particular order, but we felt it would be useful for residents and visitors alike to know about books which will give a greater insight into Bognor Regis and the surrounding area, and the history behind it all.  This page will start small, but give us time - it will grow, there’s lots of excellent books out there!

If you would like to purchase any of these books, the links in the paragraphs will take you either to Amazon or the publishers, who will be happy to take your order and deliver the book to you as soon as possible.  We ought to mention that in some cases Bognor Regis Civic Society may receive a commission on such sales, which all goes to help Society funds, but that is not why we recommend them. We recommend them because we think they’re good!


Sylvia Endacott and Shirley Lewis

This is a fascinating new book giving a wide-ranging and enjoyable insight into the town’s past by comparing a series of 45 rare archive photographs of prominent locations with the same scenes today.  It is intriguing to see how much has changed in certain parts of the town, yet others are comparatively untouched. And fact-filled text alongside the superb illustrations adds to the enjoyment with entertaining background knowledge from two prominent local historians. Did Charlie Chaplin fail an audition at a Bognor Regis theatre? How long did the stage coach take to get to London from here in the 1800s?  What was the origin of the famous cinema name ‘Odeon’?  Even just a glance at the cover picture, with its clever blend of old and modern views will intrigue you. There’s lots and lots more in this book which makes a superb read and a wonderful gift.  Hardback, rrp £12.99, but competitively priced from the Publishers click here or Amazon, click here.


Gerard Young

Considered by many in the area to be a must read for anybody who is interested in knowing more about Bognor Regis from its very beginnings.  Gerard Young was a much respected local historian who unfortunately died before this book was completed, and its final chapters were written by his brother Derek.  Published in 1983 as a hardback, with many interesting illustrations, the book is no longer in print, but used copies can still be obtained  through Amazon, click here, and other similar sites.


Sylvia Olliver

In this entertaining and nostalgic memoir, Sylvia Olliver pays tribute to her home town of Bognor Regis and the neighbouring city of Chichester.  Extensively illustrated with photos and postcards from the author’s own collection, it provides a unique personal insight into life in West Sussex in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.  A charming book that will delight anyone with an interest in local history.

Born and bred in Bognor Regis, Sylvia Olliver is a well-known local figure, having served as a Councillor for Bersted Parish Council, Bognor Regis Town Council and Arun District Council over many years.  She has been Mayor of Bognor Regis three times and deputy Mayor three times.

At the time of writing there is one new copy available on Amazon, click here.