Articles by Friends

Over time many articles, relating to Basingstoke and nearby places, have been written by Members for inclusion in The Willis News. In more recent times this publication became the Friends Newsletter, copies of which, since 2009, can be viewed in full by clicking on Newsletters.

It is not possible to offer on-line access to the pre-2009 editions of The Willis News/Friends Newsletters, though copies can be viewed by prior arrangement in the Local Resources Room. A selection of articles from pre-2013 Newsletters can also be accessed via this MENU link

However some of the more significant articles have been made available on-line. These are detailed below. Just click on the highlighted links.

The issue in which article first appeared is noted in brackets. The majority of the Articles are concerned with the history and archaeology of Basingstoke and the area covered by the Borough of Basingstoke & Deane.

In The Massagainians Bob Applin writes about the people who caused the “Salvation Army Riots” of the early 1880s, one of the most astonishing series of episodes in the history of Basingstoke (December 2002)

The Mount, Silchester   by Bill Fergie, is a readable description by an authority on historic buildings of a local building of great archaeological interest. (June 2002)

In Basingstoke in 1880 George Plummer looked at some copies of the Hants and Berks Gazette published during January and February of that year, and picked out items of interest to make a “little snapshot” of local life at that time. (December 2005)

In Historic development of the Fairfields Conservation area Derek Anthony looks into how this interesting part of Basingstoke grew up. (June 2004)

In A guided tour of Winchester College, Alan Roach writes about a, to him, newly discovered place of interest within easy traveling distance from Basingstoke. (September 2002)

With the aid of a grant from the Co-operative Society, the Willis was able in 2006 to purchase a gig (a small horse drawn vehicle) constructed at the nearby Joice’s Yard. This is currently on display at Milestones Museum. Joice’s Yard, by John Hollands is about where it was made (June 2006)

In The story of Hackwood Park  its former estate manager Brian Spicer, tells the story of this interesting stately home just outside Basingstoke.(June 2001)

Dicken's A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843. Barbara Applin wrote Basingstoke in 1843 for the programme of a Haymarket Theatre production of A Christmas Carol in 2000. It was subsequently reprinted in our newsletter by kind permission of the theatre management, and has been slightly modified by its author for our website. (February 2000).

In Early memories of the Town Hall the late Mary Felgate vividly recalled long ago experiences in the building that is now our museum. (July 1989).

Though they still have their British headquarters in Basingstoke Eli Lilly recently left their popular landmark factory and laboratory building. (Now being converted into apartments). In Eli Lilly and Company come to Basingstoke  Derek Anthony tells its early history (November 1991)

Bill Fergie wrote Fairfields School, 1888-1988 for the November 1987 newsletter as the school’s centenary celebrations were getting under way. (November 1987)

Short but sweet, by John Hollands is the story of a very brief but very memorable royal visit to Basingstoke in 1863 (June 2006)

Extracts from the diary of George Woodman was published in the newsletter in three parts in 1984 and 1985. Caroline Goldthorpe, the then curator chose the excerpts and provided introductions. This most interesting local diary is now kept by Hampshire Record Office, though the Willis retains George Woodman’s own transcripts of parts of it. (June 1984, September 1984, April 1985)

Basingstoke’s role as a shopping centre is far from new. In this three part article, Shops in early Basingstoke, Anne Hawker gives us an idea of what was available to local shoppers from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries (April 1985, July 1985, July 1986).

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