1979 – Punk and Bognor

10p.  Sounds much better than 2 shillings, doesn’t it ? Made a fair dent in a 14 year old’s pocket money when I took in my first ever “foreign” solo football match back in ’79.

DM John land

Frankly, by the 4th day of our family holiday in Bognor Butlins I was so desperate to escape I’d have gone to watch crown green bowls.

But half an hour through the mean streets of working-class West Sussex was a visceral joy,

Spoons not open in ’79

and I remember a skillful and entertaining derby settled by Steve Gill’s 65th minute half volley from the edge of the area.  You had to be called “Steve” to get a place in a Bognor side that would beat Swansea and scare Reading in the Cup a few years later.

They had Billy Butlin’s son as their President back then, and would reward the Man of the Match (Vijay Korgaokar against Gosport) by NOT making them take a holiday at Butlins.

A team of Steves

I have a vague memory of eating outside Butlins once, possibly at the Golden Egg with its decadent Sunday opening.


L.V.’s are Littlehampton vagrants, by the way.

Here’s a recent pic of the only reason folk visit Bognor.

See the source image
Apparently modernised
Decent pebbly beach

On my one recent visit I was deeply impressed by the orderly queue at the Spoons, a dozen Old Boys waiting for their 9am Smooth.

There’s a new micro, apparently; I assume they queue at 4pm for their Langham Hip Hop there.

Along the coast I enjoyed the old school Cabin in (relatively) affluent Middleton in 2018.

Memorabilia from Bill & Ben

Groups of Old Boys clearly holed up for the entire Summer (possibly lasting till October 2021) were sinking pints on purple tables in the sun and discussing oil prices, while toddlers ran around in the bar discussing stolen packets of Haribos.

Guernsey beer in Doom Bar glass = 3.5
Not the actual Billy Butlin

North of town in actually affluent Nyetimber, which probably gives its address as Chichester, the award winning Inglenook was a scorcher in every sense.


I liked the fact that this pub has such broad appeal, though that night I was at the younger end of the clientele, and one of the few non-cardigan wearers.

There’s a real pubby buzz about the place, helped by some superb drunken banter from two young Irish ladies sitting dangerously close to a monstrous fire, and the low level Sinatra.

Classic Hop Head

And that’s your lot.  Though if after a lager at 10am there’s probably few finer places on earth, and if pub lockdown eased in Bognor first I suspect I’d beat you there.

28 thoughts on “BOGNOR – TICKING “THE ROCKS”

  1. “Spoons not open in ’79”

    Well it was, albeit not in Bognor. The very first branch of ‘Spoons opened in North London in 1979.


  2. “L.V.’s are Littlehampton vagrants, by the way”.

    Given that some of your readers might believe that fake news, I would like to post this for information purposes :-

    It is surprising how popular they were 40 years ago ; having such a vouchers seems somewhat primitive now, and would no doubt be a source of amusement to the likes of your boys.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I was so desperate to escape I’d have gone to watch crown green bowls” – yes, at Bognor’s equivalent of Wolverhampton’s Stile or Newhampton or Crewe’s Hop Pole. .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to love the LV s my husband presented me with every month -used to use them for my weekly shop in Safeway -very useful.As for Bognor -a couple of years ago we found it entirely pleasant for 1 night & I saw a man with a huge lizard on a lead -we visited most of the pubs but names & photographic evidence are not to hand -I am useless at remembering where I have been !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In my minds eye it was as large as a komodo dragon but I was too shy to take a picture as the owner looked a bit “bohemian “

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder when OS stopped putting “here there be dragons” on maps?

      Mind you, they still put “Telford” to scare the bloody wits out of us, so…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Just for once you may be right, Citra. Certainly a notch down in the Evening Star a few months ago. But then again, only 2 years since I gave a half of Hophead an NBSS 5 in Hendon.


      1. I’ll take the once as a victory, as far as I know (and this maybe a load of b******s) Its brewed on two sites, Fullers at Chiswick and Dark Star at Partridge green , It’s easy to tell tell the difference, the latter being the superior to my taste buds, it seems a lottery as to what version you get where. You can deduct a point from me for talking about beer on your pub and walking site. 😃

        Liked by 1 person

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