Registered Charity No 1000447
The society has unveiled two plaques since the last newsletter or at least we have
presented one and unveiled the other. The first one was presented to Audleys Wood
Hotel. They have opened their ‘Simonds’ room as a fine dining restaurant and 2 of
us were lucky enough to go and enjoy the opening evening and to hand over the plaque.
Although Audleys Wood was owned by the Simonds family for many years, it was built
by Thomas Paine (1823-
News October 2011
We were asked about a barn at West Ham Lane, which was removed brick by numbered
brick sometime in the 1960s and taken to the New Forest, where it was re-
The panels we did for the exhibition at The Willis have found a permanent home in the Discovery Centre. Thanks to Cathy Williams and to Sarah Faithfull at the DC. If you didn’t make the exhibition, then you can now find them in their new home.
An application to build on land on the canal route in Old Basing has been turned down. The society objects to applications which would further destroy the route of the Basingstoke Canal.
Morrison’s and the old Thornycroft Gantry. If you fill up at Morison’s you will know
this silver structure. We are told that Morison’s are going to re-
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Planning applications for changes to windows and doors in the conservation areas. The society did a lot of work when the conservation areas at Brookvale, Fairfields and South View were designated. These areas have Article 4 Directions, which means that windows and doors cannot be changed without consent. We do often object to these applications but were pleased to note that a house in Winchester Road is to replace its clay roof tiles with slate which is a lovely piece of appropriate restoration.
A Memorial Death Plaque
Debbie Reavell led a walk around South View on a showery Sunday in August. We were able to visit St Thomas’s Chapel, courtesy of Barchester Healthcare, and see the very fine brickwork and moulded or pressed tiles. The story of this part of Basingstoke begins with the Inclosures, when the May family, yeomen farmers and brewers, acquired the land in the town’s Chapel Field in 1788.
The Chapel, St Thomas’s. Photo by Gideon Coolin
Sherborne House, Photo by Gideon Coolin
The women had to stay for two years and were trained in laundry and dairy work, cooking
and needlework as well as some basic studying. In 1882, it cost £54 7s per woman
per year to keep a woman there – the equivalent of about £4500 today. The site was
planted with 600 or 700 trees and shrubs. Across the road, is the Warden’s House
where the Rev. Reginald Fitzhugh Bigg-
John Burgess Soper bought the land and in 1874, he sold 3 acres to the Winchester Diocese as the site for St Thomas’s Home for the Friendless and Fallen. By 1885 there were 60 ‘penitents’ as well as servants and sisters. The home intended to give women “the chance of recovering the character they have lost before God and Society”.
Sherborne House, built in the mid-
THE LOCAL LIST
Four of the sites we nominated have been added to the local list – the WW2 shelters at Brinkletts and the possible gas decontamniation unit at Whiteditch as well as no. 3 Vyne Road and the Soldiers Return pub. 3 Vyne Road is an early house in South View, once known as Prospect Villa. As buildings grew up around it and its ‘prospect’ disappeared it was renamed Dean Lodge. It is not in the Conservation Area and its inclusion on the Local List means that at least a developer would have to consult locally.
The Local and Family History Day in the Discovery Centre on 9 October was a success
with 500 people visiting the DC that Sunday. Ian Williams has a ‘Dead Man’s Penny’
for a Basingstoke man, Alfred Cecil Pointer, which was part of our display. These
bronze plaques were properly called ‘Memorial Death Plaques’ and they were given
to the families of those killed in the 1914-
Alfred Cecil Pointer was born in Basingstoke in 1896. He enlisted at the age of 19
years 7 months when his occupation was given as ‘tailor’s presser’. At that time,
there were three firms for whom he may have worked -
3 Vyne Road
If you read the local papers then you will know that on October 1st we unveiled
a plaque at Limes Park to commemorate the work of Sir Harold Gillies C.B.E., F.R.C.S.
Sir Harold, a New Zealander by birth, was known as the ‘father of plastic surgery’
and we had intended to note his work at Rooksdown during and after WW2 for many years,
but had waited until works at Park Prewett had settled down. Rooksdown House was
demolished many years ago so the plaque has gone onto the building which was the
main and grand entrance to Park Prewett Hospital – formerly known as Clocktower House
and now as The Clock Tower. During WW2, Park Prewett became a civilian hospital with
patients from London hospitals being treated here. Gillies, already a pioneer in
plastic and reconstructive surgery from his work in the First World War, chose Rooksdown
House as a suitable place. We were delighted that two grand-
from Peter Leavey, who at the age of 12 and as a young cadet in the St John’s Ambulance,
remembers being woken at night to go to the goods yard to help move wounded men from
the ambulance trains onto Venture buses for the journey to Rooksdown. The hospital,
with 200 beds, was particularly busy after Dunkirk and again after D-
Rooksdown House. Photo by Robert Brown