Nostalgia: Bognor twinning and an unusual fishing find in Selsey

Enjoying the sun during a break in rehearsals are the six dancing girls from the summer show Dazzle at the Esplanade Theatre in Bognor Regis

Enjoying the sun during a break in rehearsals are the six dancing girls from the summer show Dazzle at the Esplanade Theatre in Bognor Regis

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“THE two-year courtship between Bognor Regis and the German twin town of Weil am Rhein finally reached the altar last week.”

So ran a large feature in the Bognor Regis Observer on June 9, 1988.

Chris (left) and Robin Ayling with their unusual haul

Chris (left) and Robin Ayling with their unusual haul

The twinning was described by the paper as the ‘culmination of two years’ hard work in both countries to foster and cement Anglo-German relationships’.

At the time, the German mayor was quoted as saying the friendship would solve all the world’s problems.

“You take two Bognor people and people from Weil am Rhein, and mix them with an ample supply of wine from Weil.

“Add a dash of schnapps, and a dash of Scotch, and two hours later, you have found the solution to all the world’s problems,” the paper quoted him as saying.

Bognor's mayor Mr Tim Boothman and his german counterpart Herr Peter Willmann, with the twinning sign that was to take pride of place outside the town hall

Bognor's mayor Mr Tim Boothman and his german counterpart Herr Peter Willmann, with the twinning sign that was to take pride of place outside the town hall

The same week in the Chichester Observer, it reported on a Selsey fisherman who caught more than he bargained for when he hauled in his lobster pots.

Chris Harvey found a three-bladed aircraft propeller caught up in the ropes. He hauled the propeller in around four miles off Selsey Bill.

“It looks as though it belonged to a wartime aircraft which may have crashed into the sea,” said Chris, before adding he would be contacting the Tangmere Aviation Museum to see if it was interested in it.

Finally, the front page of the Bognor Regis Observer 50 years ago this week featured six dancers from the Esplanade Theatre jumping into the sea.

The sextet were taking part in the theatre’s summer show Dazzle and were pictured during a break in rehearsals.

Ten years ago this week saw a visit by Prince Charles to Chichester. For a picture spread see next week’s Observer (June 20 issue).