Christmas at Bognor museum hailed a success

Curator of the museum Chris Burstow with the recreation of a Christmas kitchen Picture by Kate Shemilt C141066-3
Curator of the museum Chris Burstow with the recreation of a Christmas kitchen Picture by Kate Shemilt C141066-3

CHRISTMAS from the has come alive in Bognor Regis.

The town’s local history society staged its first festive event at the museum and it was hailed a big success.

Geoffrey and Elizabeth Lumley with their grandchildren, Ben, seven, and Joshua, 16 Picture by Kate Shemitl C141066-6

Geoffrey and Elizabeth Lumley with their grandchildren, Ben, seven, and Joshua, 16 Picture by Kate Shemitl C141066-6

Hundreds of visitors of all ages packed the building to take the chance to rekindle memories or find out about the festivities of previous decades.

Among the main features was the recreation of a yuletide Woolworths in one of the museum’s vintage shop windows.

The display was packed with Christmas tree decorations, tree lights and a Christmas card holder in a tribute to the leading role the former retailer played in many people’s homes every December.

The old-fashioned experience was enjoyed by Pam Colbourne, 64, of Bognor, and her six-year-old grandson, Dillon Colbourne.

Mrs Colbourne said: “This event is very good.

“It’s the first time we’ve been to the museum, though it’s been on our list of things to do for the past 12 months.

“The Woolworths window brought back a lot of memories.

“A lot of exhibits here seem a long time ago.

“I remember my childhood Christmases when I had a pillowcase for presents as well as a stocking, which was thought to be something special.”

Dillon said: “I like looking at the old toys, particularly the cars and trains.”

Bognorian Ken Scutt, 87, of Nyewood Lane, said: “This certainly brings back memories.

“The local history society have done very well.”

Brenda Alston, who is in her 80s, of Aldwick, said: “This takes me back to years ago.

“They have done a lovely job here and have worked really hard.”

The seasonal special saw the West Street museum open for the first time outside its normal times from the spring to the autumn.

Free Christmas crackers were on offer for the first 100 visitors and Mr Sparks added to the fun with balloon models.

Old-fashioned nut crackers were provided to enable brave visitors to tackle the Brazil nuts and walnuts provided.

A selection of carols added to the atmosphere, along with tinsel around the displays.

The museum shop was re-stocked with traditional toys including tin yo-yos, whistles and spinning tops, as well as history books about Bognor.

History society members dressed up in costumes including an elf and a Victorian chimney sweep.

Chairman Greg Burt, the chimney sweep, said: “We’re delighted by the way this event has gone.”