Waking up to the sight of snow covering Bognor's streets on Sunday was a huge surprise to most of us.

From a local perspective Bognor Regis and its vicinity has always been justifiably proud of its place within the sunshine league and if you look back through history books and read the messages on the reverse of postcards, weather is often mentioned and usually in a complimentary manner.

However, this has not always been the case. We have periodically hit the national headlines, as we have at times been the recipients of many severe weather conditions.

When the sea froze around the south coast in 1963

There are numerous reports and pictures of postmen, and others, rowing boats through flood waters along the length of York Road, especially in 1904.

In 1856, the West Sussex Gazette reported on 'the late high tide'.

The report states: ''It was now discovered that so rapid had been the rise of the water, that the tenants had not left their houses and seemed threatened with certain destruction."

They were seen waving handkerchiefs from the upper windows. The long report concluded with 'the scene of devastation is well worth a visit from those who live in the neighbourhood'. No change there!

The central area of town was notorious for flooding. One such report in 1914 told of floods sweeping through the Kursaal - the site of today's Alexandra Theatre - and into its auditorium, necessitating people being rescued by boat.

Years later in 1987, I can remember sitting in the Regis Centre listening to a play about Bognor and wondering whether the roof would remain in place throughout the performance.

It did, although the roof was damaged during the night and the play was never performed again. Which was a shame as it was very good!

I have found many more pictures and articles on the flooding which occurred along the seafront up to and including West Street in 1918.

One report said: "The parade looked as though several bombs had been dropped, so great was the havoc wrought."

Rowing down York Road

At the seaward end of the Steyne and Landsdown Mansions the area was quite literally ripped up, proving we were not strangers to t
he forces of nature, as this area has repeatedly been damaged, until the early 1990s when the new sea wall was built.

Flooding from the sea and heavy rains have continually caused problems but, during the 1960s, there was another problem. Much of the country was gripped by heavy snowfalls, not least of which was West Sussex and in 1963 here in Bognor Regis the sea actually froze and resulted in some dramatic photographs being taken.

Many people have memories of this, as many rushed down to the seafront and just stood and looked at the expanse of ice. Of course many people took pictures of this quite spectacular occurance. Some of the newspaper articles of the time reported the temperature had in fact fallen to minus 17F.

The previously reported exceptionally cold spell had been in 1947.