Caring for our town - past, present and future

Registered Charity No 1000447

Basingstoke Heritage Society  News April 2016
Basingstoke Heritage Society

Caring for our town – past, present and future

News for Members no 103
April 2016
The Annual General Meeting of the society will take place on
Tuesday April 19th at Church Cottage at 7.30  

Arguably the most significant change to Basingstoke in the 20th century was the agreement made in 1961 between the Basingstoke Borough and Hampshire County Council and the London County Council, later GLC, to take initially 11,500 people from London. We have a film to share with you, which we think is of great local interest.  
In 1974 the National Film Board of Canada made a film about how towns could expand or re-develop. They chose two English towns to consider, Basingstoke and Runcorn in Cheshire, which had been designated as a new town in 1964 and its population doubled. We will show the parts of the film which relate to Basingstoke. Local planners speak on the film, presenting the way in which they thought about the changes which would be made in Basingstoke.                                         

We will have a small display of maps and items which relate to town development. This is a fascinating film – do come and see it and bring your friends. Non-members contribute £2.

1. Welcome
2. Apologies for absence
3. Minutes of the AGM held on 17th March 2015
4. Matters arising
5. Secretary’s Report on the year’s activities
6. Treasurer’s Report and statement of account for the year ended 31/12/15
7. Election of Officers and Committee
8.1 Chairman
82. Vice-Chairman   
8.3 Treasurer
8.4 Hon Secretary
8.5 Membership Secretary
8.6 Committee members
Current Officers and Committee members
The Constitution of the society requires the committee to ask for nominations in writing for the
officers of the society. Currently the officers are: Chairman; Ian Williams, Vice-Chairman; Chris
Comer; Treasurer and Membership; Cathy Williams; Secretary; Debbie Reavell. Life President,
Andrew Benson-Wilson;  Committee members, Peter Davis, John Jones, Wendy Ray, Tim Lehane,
Malcolm Collins, Mike Wall, Josie Wall. Tree warden, Barry Williams.   Other members attend
regularly or from time to time.   Please do think about joining the committee or standing for office –
the form for nominations is below. If you would like to talk to a committee member about what we do
at meetings, then please get in touch.
Information and History signs - we have been busy working with the council, and in particular theTop of the Town Initiative, on signboards with historic information.  There will be four of these one in Winchester Street close to the junction with New Road, one in Market Place near to our Jane Austen plaque, one in Wote Street just north of the Haymarket and the one in London Street near the Triumphal Gates. They will be lectern-style and we hope are going to be popular. The image from the Market Place board shown here is of the town’s old Moot or Town Hall, roughly where Lloyds Bank is today. The three buildings to the right are where the Willis Museum is today. This illustrates the Assembly room where Jane Austen came to Balls. Our contribution has been historic information and images but no cost!
Haymarket former Corn Exchange. We also have been busy with signs to commemorate the 150th  anniversary of the founding of the Corn Exchange now the Haymarket. In fact it opened in 1865 so just a year late! These interpretation boards will go into the windows of the Haymarket Foyer (formerly the Lesser Market) and will be there until early July.  
The opening affair in 1865 sounded rather jolly-

“340 gentlemen, farmers and tradesmen dined together on 22nd  February 1865. Lord Bolton led the festivities followed by a ball at the Town Hall, which went on until 4 in the morning. Mrs Daniels of the Red Lion provided the dinner to both parties”    
The Old Common. January 26 seems a long while ago but that was when Cabinet took the decision to ‘bring a halt to the current consideration of Old Common’ [for relocation of the Stadium]. The decision was not just an immense result for us and all the Eastrop residents but was supported in a press release by CPRE Hampshire. A big THANK YOU to all our members who wrote and emailed and turned up to meetings. We spent many many hours of work making a case for this but felt all along that from a heritage angle, the Old Common should be saved.  
The Burberry Emporium, 20 Winchester Street is part of a large building extending into Joice’s Yard. Consent was given last year for conversion into flats but recently a further application was made to provide an extra 8 flats by adding an extra storey to the top of the Winchester Street frontage.  You can see that the building has a low ‘tower’ at each end. The proposed 3 storey would be above the line of windows in the old photo, and reach as high as the tower tops. Rather odd Mansard roof constructions are proposed for the towers. This building, as part of the town’s Burberry story, is important and we will be opposing this proposal.   The planning number is 00568 if you wish to register an objection.
The Basingstoke Festival – will run from 17th June to 10th July. Our contribution will be 4 guided walks. Look out for the programme as places cannot be booked until it is published.  
Blue Plaque, Church Square - we are hoping to add a blue plaque to note the WW2 bombing. The raid happened in August 1940 and by January 1941, the Basingstoke Gazette was able to report the substantial damage to St Michael’s - just one 19thC window in the church survived.  Houses in Church Square and Church Lane were damaged beyond repair and demolished as were houses in Burgess Road.  
William Hill, 25-27a Winchester Street the Inspector has ruled in favour of William Hill’s  application for a change of use for these premises.  Councils may use supplementary planning guidance to govern the number and proliferation of certain types of premises e.g sex shops, bars and betting shops. B&DBC does not have this policy and we are considering pursuing this matter with the council.
Vyne Glass many of you will have managed to visit The Vyne while the Chapel windows have been under repair. Work was needed to prevent the degradation of the glass and a mesh has been removed from the outside. This enables the glass to be seen more brightly and better. During the work, it was possible to climb up and see the glass close up.  This image is of Queen Margaret of Scotland, Henry VIII’s sister.  If you saw the BBC TV coverage of the work, you may have been surprised to hear it said that Henry VIII would have seen the glass in the Vyne Chapel on his visits to Lord Sandys. No, he wouldn’t, because the glass was still in the Holy Ghost and Holy Trinity Chapels in Basingstoke. But perhaps he and William Sandys rode over to look at it? Seems likely to me.
Captain John Aidan Liddell V.C. – St Michael’s bellringers rang 2 Quarter Peals to commemorate the 100th  anniversary of Liddell’s death on 31st August 1915. The bells were rung at St Michael’s and St Leonards, Sherfield on Loddon on August 30th  2015.
Former offices to flats – every week brings a fresh batch of applications. The former Post Office in New Road and 257 flats for the towering Mercantile Credit building.  At present, legislation  allows these under ‘permitted development’ so objections are difficult.
Thank you to all of you who have paid your subscription.
If you have not sent in your subscription, please do so without delay.
Our voice is our numbers and this has been particularly important as
we campaigned with others to save the Old Common.