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 centurywasthe agreement made in 1961 between the Basingstoke Borough and Hampshire County Council andthe LondonCounty Council, later GLC, to take initially 11,500 people from London.We have a film to sharewithyou, which we think is of great local interest.
In1974theNationalFilm Boardof Canada made a film about how townscould expand or re-develop.Theychose two English towns to consider,BasingstokeandRuncornin Cheshire,whichhadbeendesignatedasanew 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 whichthey thought about thechanges which would bemade 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.
AGENDA FOR ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
2.Apologies for absence
3.Minutes of the AGM held on 17th March 2015
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
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 theTopof the Town Initiative,onsignboardswithhistoric information. Therewillbefour of these–onein Winchester Streetcloseto the junction withNewRoad, onein MarketPlace near to our Jane Austen plaque, one in Wote Street just north of the Haymarket and the one in LondonStreet near the Triumphal Gates. They will be lectern-style and we hope are going tobepopular. The image from the MarketPlace boardshown here is of the town’s old Moot or Town Hall, roughly where Lloyds Bank is today.The three buildings to the rightarewhere the WillisMuseumistoday.Thisillustratesthe Assembly room where Jane Austen came to Balls.Our contribution has been historic information and images but no cost!
Haymarket–formerCornExchange.Wealsohavebeenbusywithsignstocommemoratethe 150th anniversaryofthefoundingoftheCornExchange–nowtheHaymarket.Infactitopenedin 1865so just a year late!TheseinterpretationboardswillgointothewindowsoftheHaymarket 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‘bringahalttothecurrentconsiderationofOldCommon’[forrelocationoftheStadium].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 spentmany many hours of work making a case forthis but felt all along that from a heritage angle, the Old Common should be saved.
TheBurberryEmporium,20WinchesterStreetispartofalargebuildingextendinginto Joice’sYard.Consentwasgivenlastyearfor conversionintoflatsbutrecentlyafurther application was made to provide an extra 8 flats byaddinganextrastoreytothetopofthe WinchesterStreetfrontage. Youcan see that thebuildinghasalow‘tower’ateachend.The proposed 3 storeywouldbeabovethelineof windowsintheoldphoto,andreachashighas thetowertops.RatheroddMansardroof constructionsareproposedforthetowers.This building, as part of the town’s Burberry story, is importantandwewillbeopposingthisproposal. Theplanningnumber 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,25-27aWinchesterStreet–theInspectorhasruledinfavourof WilliamHill’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.
VyneGlass–manyofyouwillhavemanagedtovisitTheVynewhilethe Chapelwindowshavebeenunderrepair.Workwasneededtopreventthe degradationoftheglassandameshhasbeenremovedfromtheoutside. Thisenablestheglasstobeseenmorebrightlyandbetter.Duringthe 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 coverageof thework,youmayhavebeensurprised to hear itsaid that Henry VIIIwouldhaveseen the glassintheVyneChapelonhisvisitsto 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.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE AGM PARKING IS FREE IN CHURCH COTTAGE AFTER 7 PM