Steve signs copies of Bognor Regis rail history book


AUTHOR Steve Jordan signed copies of his history about Bognor Regis’ railway line to mark its 150th anniversary.

Steve spent two hours at the town’s museum adding more sales to the 800 copies which his book has sold since it was published in 1989.

It details the efforts which went into setting up the line from Barnham and the volume of cargo and passenger traffic which passed along it during the boom years of the railways and British seaside resorts.

Steve said: “The book sells steadily and and is still popular.

“It’s an interesting little line. Some lines are dead ends and don’t do anything, but this one had all the trade coming in to Olby’s (the builders’ merchant) and coal merchants and then there’s the tourism which really took off in the mid-19th century.”

Model shop owner Steve, 59, of South Bersted, got the idea for the book from a short article about the line he wrote for the Brighton Circle of railway enthusiasts.

He spent almost a year on research at the county records office in Chichester and the National Railway Museum in York before the book was published by The Oakwood Press in 1989.

“There were half a dozen failed attempts in the 1840s to build the line to Bognor,” said Steve, “before it was finally opened. There were then fires and gales which affected the town’s station. So, quite a lot has gone on.”

It is one of four local history books he has written. Two have been about the railways and the other two about the fire brigade.

As well as last Saturday’s session at the museum, his book was also popular at the previous Sunday’s station celebrations.