ONE spectator clapped as the partial eclipse made a tantalising appearance above Bognor Regis pier.
The brief burst of applause occurred as the thick clouds just parted over the town’s pier to reward the 20 onlookers with the most fleeting of glimpses of the natural phenomenon.
The sun could be seen as a silver ball with its bottom right-hand corner covered.
The group of interested residents gathered on the historic structure just before the maximum impact of the eclipse at 9.30am today (Friday, March 20).
Among them was 17-year-old Seb Sparkey, of Mead Lane. He said: “It was cool to see the sun and quite exciting but I wish it had been for a bit longer.
“I came down here because I wanted to see the partial eclipse live. I could see it on TV but I wanted to see it with my own eyes. It’s really unique. I’ve not seen one before.
“I also want to see everything go dark.”
Also standing along the pier’s eastern side was builder Peter McGrath, 33, of Longford Road. He said: “This is not one of those things you see every day.
“I remember the total eclipse 16 years ago. I was living in Northamptonshire then. It was something to tell the kids about because you don’t forget it.”
Elsewhere along the seafront, on the Place St Maur, two glances of the eclipse were possible. Some 20 people had gathered on the seafront opposite to look up at the sky.
But the weather mainly conspired against the eclipse spotters. The overcast conditions, combined with the partially darkened sun, turned everything dark grey.
Many drivers along The Esplanade turned on their headlights and some buildings’ external lights came on.