This film is part of Free

Typical Budget. West Sussex News Items

Harry Guermonprez’ amateur newsreel captures a Bognor battered by winter storms, silly season antics off the pier, flooding and a shipwreck

Amateur film 1931 7 mins Silent

From the collection of:

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This fascinating wet and wild record starts with flooding in the Arun Valley and at Pulborough. We next see men climbing a pole on a buoy to a watching crowd followed by storms battering Bognor Regis. A flashback to summer fashions on the promenade - is followed by scenes of inundation at the same location. Smashed sea defences and beach huts litter the scene while in Selsey, the SS Mango is seen stranded on the shore. The film ends with a walk around the Cowdray ruins in Midhurst.

To escape the storm, the SS Mango was driven aground on 10th January 1932 and was eventually refloated a fortnight later. Harry Guermonprez, who filmed its predicament, went on to become co-founder of the Bognor Regis Film Society in 1938. He was a photographer by trade, beginning in Bognor Regis, where he managed a chemists and photography shop. He later moved to Chichester, where he set up Chichester Photographic Services. After the Second World War he photographed scenes in and around the historic city, many of them for the Chichester Observer, the local newspaper. His photographic collection, consisting of hundreds of glass plate negatives, is now held at the West Sussex Record Office in Chichester.