Saturday, February 24, 2024

Looking For a Fall Fair Season Read? Try The Bognor Chronicles

By Stephen Vance, Staff

As we enter into Fall Fair season, many of us grow nostalgic for the good old days of small town, rural living.

If the various Fall Fairs that will be taking place in the next few weeks cause you to long for a good read about the beautiful simplicity of rural living in years gone by, you might be interested in a new book about Bognor’s good old days.

The Bognor Chronicles, written by Ray Johnson, captures the people, events, and various escapades from a simpler, more innocent time. He vividly describes places that still exist, and some that don’t, like the old sawmill and gristmill, the old Bognor Hall and its replacement.

In an interview with The Independent, Johnson said that the book is a collection of some of his favourite memories, and it has been a labour of love which he has nursed along since 1983, when he first began putting those memories to paper.

I was working away from home when I began writing notes. Then I didn’t touch it for 12 years, and then I started working on it again up until now,” explained Johnson, who is now 75 and has lived in the Sunderland area for the last 35 years.

Johnson published his completed book last year, and he says that the reception has been positive.

We’ve sold about 300 books so far. That’s pretty good,” beamed Johnson, noting that the total did not include online sales of the book.

Johnson says that he hopes readers will learn some new things about his boyhood home, and he noted that all of the photos included in the book are from his own personal collection of photos. In his youth Johnson was given his first camera, and spent plenty of time capturing his Bognor neighbourhood on film.

Asked what he likes best about his boyhood home, Johnson doesn’t hesitate before saying, “Well probably all three of the people,” he jokes. “The people, that’s number one, but the scenery is beautiful, and the sense of community is strong. You’re always welcome when you go back.”

You can find The Bognor Chronicles at Stuff to Read in Meaford, as well as online through Amazon.

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