Wednesday, 7 September 2016

"The Road to Little Dribbling" (or "Bugger Bognor")

I am reading and enjoying "The Road to Little Dribbling" by Bill Bryson (Doubleday 2015.

It's an affectionate and amusing follow up to Bryson's "Notes from a Small Island".

Bryson is an American who fell in love with the glories and quirks of the U.K.

American born, he is now a dual citizen of the U.K. and the U.S.A.

In "The Road to Little Dribbling" Mr. Bryson reports on his visit to the south coast English town once known as Bognor, and now called Bognor Regis.

It was granted the "Regis" part after King George V of Great Britain , emperor of India etc. stayed there in 1929 to recover from a lung disease (see also the English towns of "Lyme Regis", and "Weymouth and Melcombe Regis")

George V had been sent there by his remarkably incompetent  doctor, one Lord Dawson of Penn, about whom it was said:

"Lord Dawson of Penn
Has killed lots of men.
So that's why we sing
God save the King"

Bryson goes on to tell us us that  George V recovered in 1929, but relapsed in 1936.the year of his death,

The story is that Lord Dawson recommended a   return visit to Bognor Regis, whereupon the King said "bugger Bognor" and died.

Who knows if these were indeed G V R 's last words?

I choose to believe that they were!

Bognor Regis

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