Registered Charity No 1000447
News May 2015
Annual General Meeting 17 March 2015.
Thanks to all members who attended the AGM and enjoyed Ian Williams’ talk on how
Basingstoke was affected by the war of 1914-
In his report, the Chairman thanked the officers and members of the committee for their
work helping to keep the society as a voice in our community. Special thanks to Terry Tilley
who stood down from the committee. Terry has been our tree warden for many years, looking
at planning applications and assisting with comments. Thanks to Wendy Ray for her work as
minutes secretary and to Peter Davis for his ‘blue plaque’ research and finding sources to
produce the plaques for us.
Ongoing Work: We are involved in Top of the Town improvements through the High Street
Innovation Fund work and the Top of the Town Social Media Group. We are keen to see that
the historic ‘old town’ is well-
and with the Jane Austen bicentenary in 2017. We have worked very hard this year to try
and prevent the Old Common being taken for Basingstoke Town Football Club’s new stadium.
We hope very much that this concept is thoroughly discredited and that a better site can be
found for the club.
Our 25 anniversary was celebrated with an exhibition in the Discovery Centre with cake
and a reception given by Mayor Cllr Roger Gardiner, both excellent occasions. In October we
unveiled a plaque for artist Diana Stanley. Another busy year!
Chairman Ian Williams
Treasurer Cathy Williams
Secretary Debbie Reavell
The committee: Wendy Ray (minutes secretary), Tim Lehane (website), Peter Davis, John
Jones, Malcolm Collins, Mike Wall, Josie Wall, Barry Williams (tree warden), Robin Loxley
(tree warden). Our president is Andrew Benson-
All refreshed with a new coat of blue
The Blue Coat Boy statue was re-
The statue stands on the site of the Basingstoke Blue Coat School which was demolished along with the whole north side of Cross Street during town development in the 1960s. The original school was founded through the legacy of Richard Aldworth, whose mother, Jane South, was from Basingstoke. In his will of 1646, he left money for the: “bringing upp of 10 poore Male Children being the children of honest religious poore men in the Towne of Basing Stoke aforesaid and to pay for their meat drink and cloathing for every one yearly and every year for ever”
This object (left) has ‘turned up’ and is now with Ian and Cathy Williams. It is the foundation plaque from the bandstand, which was oringinally at Fairfields – see the postcard below with the bandstand on the far right and Fairfields Schools. (This is where the tennis club is today). Maybe the plaque was removed when the bandstand was dismantled and moved to the War Memorial Park in 1927. It was moved to its present site by the……
Festival of Britain gates some years ago and perhaps the plaque should be reunited with the bandstand? John May, brewer and many times Mayor, was a great benefactor to the town – one of his gifts was the 9 bells for All Saints’ Church.
The Willis Museum has a Burberry ‘Trench Coat’ exhibition, which was previously shown in Winchester. It includes the smock and some Burberry coats and a little of his story in Basingstoke. Worth a visit
We will be offering two walks in June and July as part of the Festival this year.
‘Jane Austen’s Basingstoke’ Image right shows the old Town Hall, where Assemblies were held – this is the town Jane Austen would have known well.
‘Heritage, History, Myth and People’ is a walk in the Holy Ghost Cemetery at South View. Places will need to be booked, so watch for the festival publicity if you would like to join these walks. The programme will be out on 29th May.
All Saints Church centenary 2017.
The architect of All Saints Church was Temple Moore who died in 1920 and has been called “the last giant of the Gothic Movement”. Moore was a Yorkshireman who worked in the Victorian Gothic style. All Saints Church will celebrate the centenary of its completion in 2017 and the church is starting off with a 'Memories Day' on Saturday 4 July, between 10.00am and 4.30pm to "look at archives, records and memories of the last one hundred years – bring your own memories to share, and build up the story of All Saints’ Church”. So if you have memories, do go along to the church and help All Saints with its history.
WEA courses in Basingstoke – Saturday 20 June, 10-
Magna Carta – there is so much going on in Odiham this year, please look at the website for activities http://www.odihammagnacarta.com/index.php
Rose Hill was a handsome house on the Winchester Road entrance to the town. Neglect,
vandalism and a fire resulted in the state -
The Twentieth Century Society Southern branch will visit Basingstoke and we hope to help them find the best places. Two examples are Temple Towers, 1929 and Lutyens’ Daneshill Brick and Tile Works Office of 1909.
The entrance to the Church Square Gardens of Remembrance, which commemorates the
lives lost and the destruction caused by the bombs dropped here in August 1940. But
where has the arch gone which completed this entrance? We are trying to find out.
This photo from 1967 – it’s not your eyesight, a person has been removed -
Better news on this. The insurers seemed to have agreed that repairs can go ahead …
Thornycroft. During October there will be an exhibition at BCoT and later in Morrisons to
tell the story of Thornycroft and the company’s contribution during the First World War.
Note: 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.
L’Arc by David Annand, Alençon Link