Unique bus shelter in Bognor Regis to revive memories

A UNIQUE bus stop will take customers of a Bognor Regis centre on a journey to the past.

The wooden shelter for some six people has been put up at Chestnuts Day Centre to help them rekindle their memories.

It is hoped the shelter, complete with a 700 service timetable will prompt the users, who have dementia, to remember the times when they waited for buses and chatted to their fellow passengers.

It was officially opened last Thursday. John Whitmarsh, who has dementia, and West Sussex County Council cabinet member for adult social care and health, Peter Catchpole, spoke about the shelter.

Mr Whitmarsh, who is in his 80s, said: “It’s faultless. It’s certainly never going to fall down.

“It has all been handled very professionally and been a marvellous project all the way through.”

Cllr Catchpole said: “Innovation around dementia is very important. This has been a good idea put into practice and made to happen.

“It is something new which everyone can enjoy and have a peaceful moment.”

The shelter, to the side of the London Road centre, has been called Jack’s Stop in memory of a late customer - Jack Trent. He attended the centre twice a week for about five years before his failing health prompted a move into a home some two years ago.

He still returned regularly because he enjoyed being at the centre so much. His sisters, Jill Stark and Marie Deacon, were at the opening.

Mrs Stark said: “This is absolutely wonderfui. They did so much here for my brother. It’s unbelievable how much help they gave him.”

Centre manager Teri Humphrey said: “Jack loved the Chestnuts.

“He used to sit in the centre and look out on to this place.

“People can sit here and think about him.

“It’s good for Cllr Catchpole to see what we are doing in Chestnuts. We really want to raise the awareness of dementia.”

The shelter has been built by volunteers at the centre. Bus operator Stagecoach donated the bus stop and the timetable.

The shelter is among recent improvements to the centre like a library. a garden room and a pamper room.