2014 Blake Trail

Bognor’s very own art trail

Exclusive to the Bognor Regis Observer, we are giving away the Big Blake Trail maps

On a windy and wet Saturday, local Scouts and St Wilfred’s choir celebrated the launch of the Blake Trail Map. Jerusalem was sung at Bognor Regis Train Station, the start of the Blake Trail, after which the Scouts ventured off to lay out the trail with golden angel stickers. Copies of the trail quiz and guide sponsored by local businesses have been donated to the Tourist Information Offices in both Bognor Regis and Chichester. A beautiful limited edition have been printed and are made available to readers of the Bognor Regis Observer free of charge by the Big Blake Project.

This stunning map has been sponsored by Town Manager, Toyubur Rahman and it’s prime purpose is to support the Town Centre by linking it to our green spaces and our “banks of ocean”. Aside from the obvious health and fitness benefits of the trail, there is fun too with a cultural quiz, following the route signposted with angel stickers, or as an imaginative contemplative walk through Beulah.

Will Harvey, Vice-Chair of the Big Blake Project commissioned the highly regarded London artist Chris Price to draw the map. It is a celebration of Bognor’s local heritage and shows Richard Hotham strolling through the park as well as Queen Victoria and, of course, Blake himself penning the lines to Jerusalem the song that has helped inspire on entire nation, be it at royal weddings, sporting triumphs or marches for justice.

It is no coincidence that Jerusalem opens with “And did your feet?” To Blake, feet were uniquely important since they connect man to the land and through the vessel of man, the land to Heaven. What better way to celebrate then than a trail to commemorate those walks that inspired Blake around this area that he referred to as Beulah – meaning married to the land? According to Blake, Beulah offers “windows into Eden” but remains a step removed from earthly paradise.

The Big Blake Trail is designed to grow with new items of interest added each year. Permission has been given from Southern Rail for a permanent map at the station and it is hoped that this will inspire and engage people’s imagination as the “world of the imagination is infinite and eternal”.