Caring for our town - past, present and future

Registered Charity No 1000447

Basingstoke Heritage Society

News March 2012

On 8 December Mark Jones, Editor of the Basingstoke Gazette, unveiled a plaque in Church Street. Mark spoke of Arthur’s work and his love of Basingstoke. We were also pleased that BBC South Today covered the unveiling on South Today the same evening. Our thanks to the Mayor, Cllr David Leeks, who attended and to Mark Jones for his interest and support.


Tuesday April 17th at Queen Mary’s College, Cliddesden Road at 7.30

Talk by Bob Applin


  Bob Applin will show us some interesting photos of old Basingstoke. Bob has a good memory of the town and his talk will be of interest to both native Basingstokers and newcomers!

Bob Applin’s talk will follow a brief AGM.  The meeting will be in the Conference Room, which is to the rear of Café QM off the main car park – easy access. If you go to the main reception you will be directed. Refreshments. Do bring a friend. Free for members, non-members £2.


1. Welcome

2.  Apologies for absence

3. Minutes of the AGM held on 13 April 2011

4. Matters arising

5. Secretary’s Report on the year’s activities

6. Treasurer’s Report and statement of account for the year ended 31/12/11

7. Election of Officers and Committee

8.1 Chairman

82. Vice-Chairman (vacant)

8.3 Treasurer

8.4 Hon Secretary

8.5 Membership Secretary

8.6 Committee members

Refreshments followed by talk by Bob Applin

Officers and Committee members

Colin Williams has decided to stand down as Vice-Chairman, a role he has undertaken since the 2001 AGM. We are very pleased that he will remain on the committee.

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; Colin Williams (retiring), Treasurer and Membership; Cathy Williams, Secretary; Debbie Reavell. Committee members:   Andrew Benson-Wilson, Chris Comer, Peter Davis, John Jones, Clive Lawson, Wendy Ray, Terry Tilley (also tree warden), Nicola 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 on p.4. If you would like to talk to a committee member about what we do at meetings, then please get in touch.


A member noticed these 2 properties in the Fairfields area which have been in non-residential use. We felt that they may be vulnerable and have nominated both of them for the Local List.

In the last newsletter we mentioned that a great-grandaughter of W H Bayley, who lives in Australia, had been in touch. She sent us a photo from the family of a house. But where was it? We knew that Bayley had built Sherborne House for his family in the mid-1870s   but when the photo arrived, it was clearly not Sherborne House. Further research carried out by us and by Bob Applin of the BAHS revealed that Bayley had moved to Hook – indeed he lived in the house in Hook called The Elms, which was later sold to Thomas Burberry who renamed it ‘Crossways’. We asked Hook History Society for help and eventually back came the response. Bayley’s house survives and is now Maryfield Convent and Care Home.

Photo sent from Bayley descendant

Maryfield Convent today  

Other matters

Eastrop House carriage house and stableswe objected to an application to demolish the stables in the grounds of Eastrop House and the council have refused consent.

Bronze Age Burial Moundswe finally got this sign up with the help of the council and the county archaeologist and the BAHS. Truly a joint effort and thanks to local resident, Bill Jeram, who fought long and hard for this sign. Do go and look at it on the corner of Brackley Way and Pitman Close.

Historic plaques in the DC the panels from the exhibition in the Willis last April have a permanent home in the Discovery Centre near the local history section. They look good there!

Canal Heritage footpath and other mattersthe society has always taken an interest in the Last Five Miles Project – the canal route from Greywell to Basingstoke. There are issues about the Canal Heritage path – litter, damaged and sprayed waymarkers etc which we have taken up with the council. We will also write to the landowner about the recent dumping of builders’ rubbish on the canal bank in Cavalier Road.

John James and Major R John Howardtwo very different subjects for our next blue plaques. John James (1672-1746) was an architect in the Baroque style. The plaque will go in the cemetery at South View (Holy Ghost cemetery) and will be unveiled by architect and founder chairman of the society, Andrew Benson-Wilson.  Major R John Howard, was part of the D-Day campaign and the plaque will commemorate meetings to plan the details of the campaign, held in The Wheatsheaf pub in the weeks leading up to D-Day.

12 Cross Street and 3 New Streetdilapidated buildings. We have raised concerns with the council about the state of these buildings - Cross Street looks as if work is to begin, but 3 New Street looks very sad at the moment. We are nagging the lettings agents who act for the owner.

Football club move – we noted the publicity around this with dismay. The loss of so much open space in the Old Common is regrettable, and we note that the capacity of the new stand will be 5000, with parking for just 250 cars. The old Camrose site will be marketed for a retail park (as this will bring in the most money, which the club will need to build their new stand). We are not opposed to the Football Club seeking better premises, but surely not here.

Core strategythis is the beginning of the LDF or Local Development Framework, which will become the council’s plan until 2025. It includes providing 594 new homes each year up to 2027 on sites which have been selected. Our concern is that unless sufficient sites are earmarked outside the central town, then the town will become even fuller of high-rise, high-density building. The consultation on this at this stage is limited, as it is a ‘formal legal stage’ but do have your say. We think that omitting the Manydown site from the SHLAA will be problematical for Basingstoke. Use the website or get a form to comment.

Talkthe talk by Alan Turton on 29 November ‘The Civil War in Hampshire’ was well attended and very interesting

Talk at Milestones  Saturday 10th March - 12.30pm at Milestones Museum. Ginny Pringle from Basingstoke Archaeological and Historical Society will talk on “Basingstoke BC - A Hidden Gemstone". Entry fee to Milestones applies.

All members are welcome to attend meetings of the society.  At most meetings we consider planning applications which fall within the area of concern to the society and agree comments.  Meetings have been arranged on the following days – Tuesdays 20 March, 17 April, 15 May. Our meetings are subject to change if there is an event at QMC