Zoom Cloud Meetings Guidance

You can participate in a Friends Zoom meeting using either a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.  If using a tablet, iPad, iPhone or Android smartphone to access a Zoom meeting, you will need to install the free Zoom Cloud Meetings app from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store before joining a meeting – clicking on the appropriate icon below from your iPhone or Android smartphone will take you directly to the app.

                     App Store         Play store

If using a computer, either laptop or desktop, Windows, Mac or Linux, then you do not have to install the Client program in advance of the meeting although it will automatically download and install the client program when to click on the link to access the meeting. As this takes a little time, you should aim to join the meeting slightly earlier. If you wish you can download the Zoom Client and install it on your PC in advance – clicking on the icon below will take you to the installer.

Zoom Client

Not all older mobile phones, or tablets or PC’s can use Zoom. The system requirements for using the Zoom app on iOS, iPadOS or Android can be found HERE

To make effective use of Zoom on a computer, it ideally should have a webcam, speakers and microphone although you can still view the proceedings without these. The system requirements for using Zoom on a Windows, Mac or Linux PC can be found HERE

If you would like to test your system in advance you can join a test Zoom meeting to familiarise yourself and test your microphone/speakers by clicking on this link and following the instructions

The Zoom Help Center has further advice and video clips explain how to use the system,  click this link for the Zoom Help Center

Joining a Friend's Zoom Cloud Meeting

You will receive an invitation to join the Zoom meeting by email. The invitation will be in the form shown below and include a hyperlink to join the meeting, the Meeting ID and the Passcode – note this is a dummy meeting invitation.Friends Zoom Cloud Meeting

You can simply click or tap on the link in the email and this will launch the Zoom Cloud meetings client – you do not need to enter the Meeting ID or Passcode.

If you choose to join the meeting via the Zoom app [mobile or tablet] or the Zoom program [PC or Mac], you click on the join button and enter the Meeting ID and Passcode when prompted to allow you to join the meeting.

At the end of the meeting there will be an opportunity for a general chat with other members.

Zoom Etiquette

  • Join early – up to 5 minutes before the meeting start time, latecomers may not be able to join the meeting. If it is your first-time using Zoom, aim to start joining the meeting 10 minutes beforehand so that you can check that your video, microphone and speakers are working

  • Find a quiet space without interruptions or background noise

  • Avoid backlight from bright windows and have good lighting on your face so you can be seen clearly

  • Adjust your camera to be at around eye level if possible – especially take note of the angle of your laptop screen if using the built-in camera.

  • Mute your microphone when not talking to the meeting. Where two or more are in the same room, be aware that any conversation between you will be heard by everyone in the meeting unless you mute your microphone

  • When you wish to ask a question of the speaker at the end of the presentation, raise your hand so that the host can see that you want to speak. Keep your microphone muted until directed by the host.

  • Try to avoid talking over or at the same time as other participants

  • Be aware you are on camera and try to avoid doing other tasks, checking emails, looking at your phone etc.

Shops in early Basingstoke by Ann Hawker

Basingstoke’s role as a shopping centre is far from new. In this three part article 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).


From the earliest Court Rolls at the end of the 14th century there are records of men who were tradesmen 'exercising their art' in Basingstoke. As these records were of men who had been summoned to Court to be fined for overcharging or some other misbehaviour, there would have been other men making and selling goods who were not offenders. The amount that a man could charge for his labour was decided by the King 's Court at Westminster. A master carpenter, tiler, joiner, plumber or glazier was to be paid 4d a day during the summer and 3d in the winter months, Michaelmas to Easter. Others could earn 2d-3d a day in the summer.

In 1399 John Gylderne must have been a carpenter, for he should have made doors and windows and walls for John Skynner's house and did not. At the same time there were recorded John White, a tanner and Henry Clerke, shepherd.

By 1409 there were three bakers, a tanner (still John White) three weavers, three shoemakers, four tailors, and a carpenter all overcharging. In 1422 butchers, mercers, a mason and a chandler (candlemaker) had made their appearance and in 1427 there were also a fletcher or arrow-maker. In 1448 there were three vintners, who never appear again, two thatchers and a tiler as well as a long list of the more usual trades.

Year after year the bakers John How or Hoo and John Prewet were presented as baking bread too light in weight. The first overcharging barber was fined in 1470. Members of the same families carried on the same trades for many years, from 1422 to 1478 there were Gretes who were butchers. The Whites were tanners from 1399—1478, Smiths were smiths, Taylours were tailors, Sadlers were saddlers and Fletchers made arrows. Remembering that these men were only a selection of the entire working population, there would have been quite a full range of trades being carried on. The shepherd looked after the sheep (and very likely sheared them), the fuller, weaver, dyer and cloth seller dealt with the wool. Tanners supplied the leather for saddlers and shoemakers, the smith made and mended farm implements and cooking pots, chains and locks as well. The drapers, mercers and grocers supplied luxuries in the form of ribbons, fine linen and spices. Hosiers and cap makers made these things for people who could afford to buy them ready-made. At the Court of 1464 in Basingstoke we have a very long list of men made who were at fault and also the goods that they supplied, so that we know that a haberdashier, for instance, sold wool fabric, girdles and other merchandise and a chandler made candles of wax and tallow. Some of these traders would not have needed specialised premises, but smiths, tanners and dyers could not carry on their work in the front room of their own houses, but must have furnaces, vats and pits. A butcher had to have a slaughter-house and a baker an oven large enough to bake a whole batch of bread. To make it more confusing, some men had more than one trade so that mercers sometimes sold fish and could be summoned as fishmongers.

Until the beginning of the 16th century we have no idea of the sort of shops there was in Basingstoke nor where they were. Dyers and tanners had to be near water, so dyehouses could be expected at the lower ends of Church Street and Wote (Ote) Street, and also at the place called Flaxpole, roughly, at the end of Flaxfield Road, the present Penrith Road area. There may have been dyers in the place that is now called Church Cottage. There was a tanner at the end of Bunnian Place and others on the site of the Barge. At least one smith had a smithy in the Market Place. A butcher had a shop at the Market Place end of Ote Street.


In the 16th century, when Wills with the inventory attached were necessary before Probate could be granted, the stock of the shop had to be valued, and the contents were occasionally listed. A butcher of that time had a slaughter house and a shop, and his tools were butchery axes, knives and cleavers. There was also a frame to hang meat. A leather worker called Sabaoth Hitchcock had leather ‘in the pits' but he had four vats and a lime hook, so he treated his leather with lime as well as tan-bark. He sold gloves, points, money-bags and satchels and skin to make doublets. The skins he stocked were horse hides and buck and doe skins. To decorate the goods he had gold skins and latten, a yellow metal. Clothiers sold woollen cloth, linen came from the mercers. George Cox, clothier, in 1551 sold twenty-two pieces of woollen cloth of all colours. Like other clothiers of the period, he had shears and teasels in his shop, and something called burling irons, which were to remove the little knots or lumps that form on wool. Alice Perman, baker, dying in 1583 left trestles and a great chest in the shop, and in the bakehouse two quarters of wheat, twelve bushels of malt and four bushels of pease, a bushel of salt and a bushel of bran. There were tubs and troughs to mix and knead the dough and two moulding boards to shape the loaves. Mercers sold linen cloth of various types, coarse and fine, and ribbon, tape, pins, silk thread, wax, soap, spices and dried fruit (raisins, currents, figs and dates). It is clear that the shops selling woollen cloth did not sell linen, glovemakers did not sell shoes, and smiths, although they sold frying pans and horse combs and coffer locks did not sell knives and daggers which were the province of the cutler.

As we come to the 17th century, the inventories with the Wills become less in— formative in general, but there are a few that apparently leave nothing out. A Woollen Draper, Arthur Baffe, in 1606 had pieces of woollen cloth with their colours so that we know he had cloth of wormwod, french green, primrose, venice colour, sea green, stone grey, holly colour, red, sad sage, and horse- flesh colour. William White, Apothecary, in 1636 left such a full inventory that he needs a section to himself. Richard Daniell, grocer of London Street (he seems to have been near the Almshouse, that is, Deanes Almshouses at the east end of the street) died in 1645 and his goods included toys (poppets), spices, ribbons, caps, books, rabbit skins and tobacco. Around 1666, sticks of tobacco were burnt with gums in the Church of St Michael, supposedly to sweeten the air.

(Wormwood is a dark grey/ green, Venice is light blue, horseflesh is bronze) Sad means dark or dull.

It is odd that in none of the cloth shops is a yardstick mentioned or any form of cloth measure. Perhaps they just smelled a yard? (Stretch the cloth the length of the arm and up to the nose). If there were any scissors they vanished, but scissors are always in great demand.


William White, Apothecary, died in Basingstoke some time between 12 July 1636, when he made his Will, and 26 September 1636, when the Inventory of his goods were taken.

As he left his daughter 'one carved or wrought box that was her mothers... and all other her said mother's linen… woollen & apparrell whatsoever' it seems that he was a widower. He also left his daughter Elizabeth White one diaper table cloth, a dozen of flaxen napkins, all the Pewter in the chests in the chamber 'as I lie in’ , two pairs of the best sheets and three silver spoons.

All the rest of his goods were for his son Hugh White (who also became an Apothecary). The first room in the inventory is the kitchen, where he had the usual kitchen equipment with 'an Iron Jack and a little leaden Cesterne’ in addition. Also in the kitchen were tables, benches and stool, two joined chairs and two other chairs, and as there was no room called the Hall, this may have been the main living room of the house. However, in the middle chamber he had yet another table, with a frame, six joined stools, a pair of virginals, a pair of playing tables, two sheets, one cupboard and three boxes. The walls of this room had both wainscot and painted cloth.

There was a special Still-house where the distilling part of his Apothecary 's work went on, where he kept three stills, a brewing tub and a washing tub (a Bucking tub). There was a cellar, but he only stored beer in that.

Two other chambers contained bedsteads and in one little chamber he kept a press with his clothes, and a silk quilt, in the Garret- was another bedstead, a trundle bedstead, in the whole house there were two ordinary bedsteads and three trundle- bedsteads. Also in the Garret was a close stool.

But the best part of the Inventory was the list of the contents of his shop. As the Inventory was on a fairly large sheet of paper, written on both sides of the sheet, it is rather difficult to read, for the ink comes through from the other side, but it was worth the effort. I had not really expected such a gold-mine, as by this date, the full inventories had become rare, and many of them ended tamely with 'and other old lumber' when we would have longed to know what they thought was just rubbish, not worth listing. When it came to the shop, even when inventories were very full, it was usually the case that the shop stuff was entered as that alone and valued as one lump.

Anyway, his list began with four mortars, eleven pairs of brass scales and weights, and one pair of great scales and beam. Probably he gathered, or paid someone else to gather, the herbs that could be got from the countryside, paying for them by weight, But it can be seen that his stock was not entirely home produced. Apart from the drugs we should expect from a chemist today, purges like senna, aloes, agaric, rhubarb, he had mixtures which were probably very expensive, called Methridate, Diascordium and London Treacle. He had as well some truly fantastic objects - Unicorn Horn, Bezoar Stone and Lignum Vitae.

Methridate should have had more than sixty ingredients, mostly with entrancing names - Illyrian orris-root, Terra Lemnia (a greasy red earth from Lemnos) Dittany of Crete, Balm of Cilead, and some nasty things, for example lozengers of vipers (flesh and broth) and green vitriol (either copper chloride or ferrous sulphate). It did contain opium and was mixed with old canary wine and honey.

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Eli Lilly and Company come to Basingstoke by Derek Anthony

In 1934 Eli Lilly and Company established its first office outside the USA at 2-4 Dean Street in Central London. At the time Eli Lilly was one of America’s largest suppliers of medicines, but its export business was in the hands of local agents.

The Dean Street office was one further step towards internationalisation and was followed within two years by a decision to build a manufacturing plant in the UK.

It is not recorded why Lilly chose Basingstoke for its manufacturing site, but the reasons are not hard to guess. High on the list of priorities must have been the sophisticated railway link-ups which put Basingstoke in touch with the whole country. The original factory was built facing the main railway line and overlooking Lilly’s own private siding, by the side of which was built a coal fired boiler house. Easy accessibility to London, the largest market for pharmaceuticals in the country, and to the port of Southampton, through which supplies and people from America could come, must also have been an important consideration. Finally not the least attractive feature must have been the availability of building land.

Lilly bought quite a lot of land – approx 23 acres of farmland between Kingsclere Road and the railway – on what was then the outskirts of the town. One of the Company’s oldest employees recalled the site as it was before development. “I can remember it as a wheat field where my father worked. After school I had to cycle here to bring his tea. Not the big gates to enter then, but a five bar gate leading down a rough track. Approximately where the front steps are now stood about four or five straw ricks which my father used to build and thatch, and while he sat on a bundle of thatching spars, I used to sit up on the ladder and watch the trains steaming by.”

Nearby were Lancaster Road, Merton Road and Merton Farm, names which encapsulated the history of the land. The Earl of Lancaster had left it to Merton College, Oxford from which Lilly bought it in 1937.

Construction began in February 1938, with the removal of 10,000 cubic yards of chalk from what was to become the basement of the factory building, followed soon after by the burrowing of a tunnel to carry steam and service pipes from the boiler house by the railway siding up to the main building.

The winter of 1938 saw the traditional topping out ceremony, the building little more than a shell, the windows of the upper storey – their iron fitments not yet having arrived – still gaping holes. The big six floor building, a brilliant sugar loaf white, stood on its own. No other landmark contested the ground between it and the water tower of the Park Prewett Mental Hospital.


The newly completed building in 1939

It was a stylish piece of architecture which today looks externally at least almost exactly as it did in 1939 at the time of its completion. The journal “Concrete and constructional engineering” of June 1939 described it as follows: 

A laboratory building has recently been completed at Basingstoke for Eli Lilly and Company Limited, manufacturers of biological and pharmaceutical chemicals. The architect is Mr A G Porri, FRIBA, and the consulting engineers Considere Construction Ltd. The contractors were Sir Robert Mcalpine and Sons Limited.

The building is 220ft long by 60ft wide by 66ft high above ground level, and consists of a basement and five floors. The most interesting and unusual feature in the design lies in the construction above third floor level. It was required to provide a clear space on the third floor free from structural supports”. (There then follows a detailed description of how this was achieved).

This third floor accommodation was shared between offices and laboratories, but it is interesting to note that no passenger lift was incorporated into the building.

By March 1939 thirteen months after the earth movers had begun their work, A Block, as the original building is now called, was ready for occupation. That same month a caravan of pantechnicons turned up at Kingsclere Road filled with the company’s stock and effects. Soon afterwards testing of the manufacturing machinery began and by the beginning of September the site was ready for business.

By that time however all eyes including those of the Company’s new employees was turned to Poland and the German invasion which had begun on the first of September. World events were moving rapidly and Great Britain declared war on Germany at 11.00 am on Sunday 3rd September, the day before the new Lilly factory opened for business. Before long the brilliant white building had been covered in camouflage paint, the newly erected neon sign had been switched off, an anti-aircraft gun stationed on site and half of the accommodation requisitioned by the Ministry of Aircraft Production.

The Company had precious little time to reap any reward from its considerable investment in Basingstoke before war intervened, but at least the new factory had been built and partially equipped, and was ready to make a significant contribution firstly to the war effort and later to the supply of pharmaceutical needs to an exhausted post-war Britain.

By Derek Anthony, November 1991

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Joice’s Yard by John Hollands


The Willis Museum's gig on display at Milestones.

 A short walk from the museum along Winchester Street takes you to an arched opening bearing the name Joice’s Yard. Nowadays this leads you to a public car park, but in days gone by it was the beginning of a thoroughfare called Wendover Street, which connected with Cross Street. Had you been standing at this spot in the early nineteenth century you might well have seen a stage coach bound for London or Winchester emerging from the opening, because it led to the stable yard of the Crown Inn, a coaching inn where Jane Austen is believed to have dined.

By 1880 the stage coaches were no more and the Crown Inn had fallen on hard times and shrunk to a small tavern; it was in that year that the stable yard and part of the warren of buildings were acquired by John Joice who was to establish an important coach building business there, plus another in Staines. John Joice was not a local; in fact he hailed from a farming family in Danbury in Essex where he grew up in a time of depression in the farming industry and it was his mother who urged him to train as a coachbuilder.

Though the railways had caused the almost complete demise of the stagecoach, the number of horse drawn vehicles on our roads was increasing rapidly at that time, reaching a peak in the early years of the twentieth century. There was plenty of work for coachbuilders. However the writing would soon be on the wall, and before the 1880s were out the first internal combustion engined “horseless carriages” had already taken to the roads. Just twenty years later Basingstoke’s first car dealers, Webbers, opened for business.

Nevertheless Joice’s business prospered for many years and in the late 1890s John’s son, Arnold was apprenticed to him, and in due course became a partner in the firm, eventually taking over the management of the Basingstoke works whilst his father concentrated his attention on the other workshop in Staines. Arnold inherited the business when his father died.

As the demand for new horse drawn vehicles slowly but inexorably declined thanks to the unstoppable onslaught of the motor vehicle, the firm diversified into the repair of motor vehicle bodies for Webbers, whilst work on horse-drawn vehicles became largely limited to repairs instead of new construction. Arnold Joice finally retired in 1960. He closed the by now much reduced business, and sold the 9000 square foot site in Wendover Street, much of which was soon afterwards destroyed by fire.

This article draws on a taped interview recorded in 1992 with Mrs Barbara Broadridge, Arnold Joice’s only daughter who was born in 1918 and brought up in the family home in Winchester Street adjoining the works. A copy is kept in the museum. The museum also has copies of some priceless early photographs taken in Joice’s Yard, mostly showing finished vehicles, but including one or two of the workforce.   The vehicles photographed range from small two-wheeled vehicles, such as the museum’s gig, to quite large four wheeled Broughams, which had an enclosed saloon for two passengers behind the open box for the driver. They all appear to be private conveyances as distinct from commercial or farm vehicles.  Mrs Broadbridge had these developed from glass plates that had been bricked up for some seventy years in a recess in the family home and came to light when alterations were made to the property. Other sources of information on Joice’s Yard are a chapter in one of Arthur Attwood’s books about Basingstoke history, and a second audiotape of reminiscences by Graham Viner who lived close to the works in his childhood in the 1930s.

joices One of the photographs taken in the yard in about 1900 shows a workforce of 18 men. Mrs Broadbridge thought that the largest number of employees had been about 15, but mentioned that one or more sign writers and a trimmer (who fitted the leather upholstery) were not employed by the firm but were often called in as needed, and perhaps that accounts for the three others. The number of workers had probably also peaked by Mrs Broadbridge’s childhood, and had declined to just two full time employees when the business finally shut down.

In her interview Mrs Broadbridge made brief references to a body shop, a paint shop, and a varnish room with staging outside from which finished vehicles were winched down into the yard with the aid of a pulley.

She said that it took two men to make a frame in the body shop. Assuming that normal practice was followed this would have been made of straight grained oak. The men would have called the main longitudinal member a “perch” and the cross members “bolsters”. Curved body panels, and likewise the gig’s curved shafts would have been made of ash, and have been bought in from “bending factories” where they had been steamed and bent to shape while the wood was still green, and then kept for several years to season. 

The body shop and perhaps most of the workshops appear to have been on first floor level. Barbara recounted how as a two year old her father had begged her grandfather to take him to the body shop. He seemed to be no trouble as he sat quietly on the workshop floor until it was discovered that he was pushing sawdust through the cracks between the floorboards on to a newly finished carriage stored below. The visit was not repeated for some time.

Our gig bears witness to the great skill and care that went into painting, lining out and varnishing the carriages, making them well able to withstand the rigours of the British weather.

Mrs Broadbridge remembered the painting being done in a very dark paint shop with multi-coloured steaks on the “lovely knobbly surface” of the walls where the painters unloaded excess paint from their brushes. The varnish room by contrast had good natural lighting. When it was not possible to do any varnishing during the Second World War, Arnold Joice had kept chickens there.

In 1924 part of the family’s garden was sacrificed to make room for a new paint shop. Probably it was the work now being done on motorcars that made this necessary. An interesting insight into the conditions of the day was the fact that this building contained the first WC for the men, a requirement of new Factory Act legislation. The works’ first telephone was added two years later, and a new clerk was taken on to answer it. Incidentally Mr Joice used a bicycle to call on his customers.

Mrs Broadbridge did not give a detailed account of the making of the carriage wheels by the firm’s wheelwright, a highly skilled job requiring extremely accurate craftsmanship, but she did recall with obvious and justifiable pride that three kinds of wood were used in their construction. The nave (hub) was made of elm because it could be relied on not to split when the twelve spoke mortises were cut from it. (Old hubs were saved as Yule logs, she said). The spokes were made of oak for strength, and the felloes (the six curved sections that made up the rim) were made of ash which combines strength with flexibility.

Our gig has solid rubber tyres like early bicycles and motor vehicles. These had been developed in the 1870s; they would have given a much quieter ride than the more usual iron tyres. The latter had to be fitted in the open air in full view of any bystanders.

The wooden wheels had to be clamped to “tiring platforms”. Remains of these platforms could be seen until quite recently. Made of iron strip up to four inches wide – a fifteen foot strip would be needed for a larger wheel – a tyre would be made fractionally smaller than the wheel to which it was to be fitted. (Wheels could be re-tyred several times, and old tyres were sold to Mr Ruddle, a farrier, as material for making horseshoes). It was heated in an open furnace to a dull red, causing the metal to expand one eighth of an inch for every foot. Some of the fuel for the furnace consisted of old shoe boxes from the original Milwards store. It would then be quickly taken to the wheel, hammered and levered into place, and immediately quenched with much hissing to make it shrink tightly on to the wheel, and of course to stop the wheel catching fire. Sometimes small boys were enlisted to help with this operation. One of them was Graham Viner, born in 1930, who gave a vivid account of the process when interviewed in 2001.

“When I was a boy”, he said, “they were still making these horse drawn carriages in Joice’s Yard. In fact he had at least six stored in the workshops there, and I can remember them bringing in carts and carriages to have new rims put on the wheels. There was a large flat metal ring, a huge great thing, about ten foot in diameter on which they used to light a fire in the hole in the middle of it to heat the rim up, and then when the thing was red hot, it was hammered on to the outside of the wheel, and us small boys were charged with throwing buckets of water over it. They were canvas buckets, and they were very heavy. I remember that, remember them being heavy, and running backwards and forward to the tap that was actually out in the middle of the street, and throwing water over these wheels, and the smell of these burning and all the bits of paint; you know it was something you can’t imagine nowadays. As I say, this was the middle of the town.”

Not that small boys had always been as welcomed on the scene as Graham Viner appears to have been. Mrs Broadbridge recalled how other boys sometimes got in the way and risked having a bucket of water thrown over them or having their heads ducked in a water tub, sometimes resulting in visits to Mr Joice from irate mothers.

But as Graham Viner memorably put it: “It was something you can’t imagine now – in the middle of the town”.

The tapes and transcripts of the interviews with Barbara Broadridge and Graham Viner are available in the Resources Room at the Willis Museum.

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Extracts from the diary of George Woodman


Part 1

Born in 1844, George Woodman was apprenticed in 1863 to the chemist Robert Meatyard. From 1863 to 1869 he lived and worked at Christchurch and Bournemouth, returning to Basingstoke in 1870 to work for F Blunden. In 1872 he rejoined Meatyard and his partner Arkas Sapp at first only to help them move into their newly built premises on the corner of Market Place and London Street. In 1875 the Meatyard and Sapp partnership was dissolved, leaving A Sapp with the chemists’ shop. In 1878 George Woodman became engaged to Elizabeth Corps, with whom he worked, and who appears variously in the diaries as Lizzy, Elizabeth, or EC. In 1885 they were married, and moved to Odiham to run a chemists’ shop in the High Street which George had acquired in partnership with Arkas Sapp.

He kept a very detailed diary from 1862 to 1932, much in his own shorthand, including a long entry on the opening of the Willis Museum in 1931 which he attended.

We join George Woodman in July 1884 when he is working at the chemists’ shop in Market Place, living with the Sapp family and engaged to Elizabeth Corps.

July 8, Tuesday. Went to Crystal Palace with EC (Elizabeth) and Miss Hornzee. Left at 9.00, arrived at the Palace about 12.00. It was a splendid day and we enjoyed ourselves immensely … We saw an immense procession, and fountains played in the grounds. EC and I climbed up one of the towers, and it was a very clear day with a magnificent view over the palace.

July 14, Monday. Sheep Fair, one of the best in years.

July 17, Thursday. Two cases of hydrophobia at the Cottage Hospital.

July 18, Friday. Great talk of mad dogs.

July 24, Thursday. Church and National School Treat at Goldings. 950 children.

August 4, Bank holiday. A glorious day. In the morning about 11.00 went on a walk over to Cliddesden and Farleigh. It was scorching hot; I nearly melted. Watched them cutting wheat; all the corn is dead ripe everywhere. Picked a handful of wild flowers the other side of Farleigh, and looked at the hills beyond; could see Kingsworthy and Winchester.

August 8, Friday. Hottest day, 91° F in the shop, making ginger beer, 120° F in the sun.

August 19, Tuesday. Basingstoke Flower Show and it came on to rain just as people were going in… The Duke of Wellington buried at Stratfield Saye, a private affair, very different from the funeral of his father, the Great Duke.

September 2, Tuesday. Went to Burberry’s and bought a jacket and waistcoat for 2/6d.

September 21, Sunday. In the morning at Sunday School. The Lord’s Prayer. In the afternoon walked to Hackwood Park, a dull day, the trees looked very sombre, and I felt miserable. 

September 24, Wednesday. Lizzie’s birthday, 39.

September 25, Thursday. Went to Chineham. It was a beautiful day. Tigwell overtook me and gave me a ride in his trap. The Mayor, Captain May gave a ball at the Drill Hall.

Part 2

We return to George Woodman one hundred years ago in October 1884. He is working in A. Sapp’s chemists, on the corner of London Street and Market Place, living with the Sapp family and has been engaged to Elizabeth Corps ( Lizzie) since 1878. (The Corn Exchange is the present Haymarket Theatre). 

November 3, 1884, Monday. 40 years old. Have now entered middle age, have done nothing for myself or anyone else, not much pleasure in looking back on a wasted life. At supper Mother gave me a cup and saucer with Basingstoke views on it, an a beautiful 5/- crown piece of George IV’s reign and A. Sapp’s children gave me a photograph of themselves in a group.

November 5, Wednesday. Fire broke out in Poplar Lane and burnt Mr Baker’s stables down.

December 18, Thursday. To Lady Patroner’s Ball, 190 present, much activity in the Market Square, so many carriages rattling about.

January 1, Thursday. Mr Sapp and I decided to go to Odiham together as partners taking the Hornsby’s business. 

January 17, Saturday. Bought a hat at Howitts, 25/- 

January 24, Saturday. Dynamite outrage in London; attempt to blow up the House of Lords, House of Commons and Tower of London. Thousands of pounds worth of damage, all England astir. 

February 4, Wednesday. Went to the Savings Bank to draw out all my money which amounted to £177 18s 1d. John Dew complimented me on the amount. Up till very late packing. 

February 5, Thursday. Arkas Sapp and I succeeded to the business of John Harwood Hornsby at Odiham. We paid £200 for it. This is my first start in life. Directly after breakfast A Sapp and Thomas went off by train and took possession of the place, and Mother and Lizzie went to Edney’s and selected the furniture for two bedrooms and the kitchen. I was very busy packing up my books and other things. Budden, the carrier called for the things at 11am… This has been one of the most eventful days of my life.

February 11, Wednesday. News of the death of General Gordon at Khartoum. The Duke of Wellington came into the shop and I sold him some wax vestas.

Part 3

We join George Woodman again just after his 40th birthday, as he is beginning to settle down to his own shop in Odiham. As we plan for our holidays we can see how a Basingstoke couple holidayed a hundred years ago.

25 May, 1885, Whit Monday. 

Got married

Got up rather early, had breakfast, put my traps together, and put my new clothes on… About 9.00 Mr Milligan called for me, a ¼ hour later the cab drove up with Elizabeth and her cousin Ruth Corps, and we drove down to church in good time. It rained a little and being early and our keeping it quiet there were but a few in the church. Canon Millard was in readiness, Milligan gave her away and Ruth was her bridesmaid. We got through the ceremony alright, it was not half the ordeal I expected… We went into the vestry and signed the necessary documents, Elizabeth Corps signing her name for the last time. On coming out of the church, several were there to give their good wishes… We were soon arrived at home and all got out and went for a glass of wine… Then went on to Overton by cab, then had a little chat, and the breakfast… packed up ready to start, in fact the cab drew up to us just as we were cutting the cake. It rained fast, but we did not mind that, as we were in the railway carriage by ourselves until we got to Salisbury. It seemed a long wearisome journey, but at last arrived at Exeter…

26 May, Tuesday. Did not get up until after 9.00. After breakfast went to the Cathedral. Went for a walk around the streets. In the afternoon went to Dawlish by train. It was exceedingly hot, had a good look round, it was something like Bournemouth only smaller with more hills

27, May, Wednesday. Went to Plymouth , got up early and started on the excursion at 8.00. Had the carriage to ourselves for some distance, but gradually it filled up with all Devonshire people, who laughed and talked to their hearts’ content and were all bent on enjoying themselves. Soon found out that there was an agricultural show on at Plymouth…

28 May, Thursday. Went to Torquay.

29 May, Friday. To the cathedral for a last look round… bought a green bonnet for Lizzie…

30 May, Saturday. Went to Ilfracomb. Got up early with our things, paid our bill and set off at 9.00. Enjoyed the ride through Devonshire, amazingly all the trees and streams and rocks looked so lovely, so different to anything we had ever seen before…

31 May, Sunday. First Sunday of our married life, it was rather a gloomy day as regards weather but not otherwise.

1 June, Monday. Went to Clovelly. It was a glorious day, beautifully bright, and the most delightful spot I ever visited. Charming in the extreme. E and I went by steamboat from Ilfracomb Quay, it was a most delightful trip on the water. The sea was as smooth as glass, and shone like a mirror… We could not get the steamer close in, so we had to go ashore in little boats. The entrance to the place is very quaint, you have to go under an archway and up some steps… The High Street as it is called is not badly named as it is high and steep beyond imagination. There are actually steps all the way up the street, and a donkey going up and down with a pack on his back… On arriving at the top we were well paid for our tiring climb, as the view was magnificent, never saw anything so beautiful before, even in Jersey.

2 June, Tuesday. Went to Lynton by coach. Find going about costs double what it did a month ago. I keep forgetting I am married when I have to pay. It was extremely jolly on top of the coach, this was the first time I ever rode on a coach… this was one of the old-fashioned four in hand stage coaches, being up on high we got a finer view…

3 June, Wednesday. Last day at Ilfracomb. In the morning went out shopping, in the afternoon went for a row on the sea… This was the wind-up of our holiday which was one of the things that seemed to spoil it all.

4 June, Thursday. Went back from Ilfracomb to Odiham. Got up very early and started from Mrs Dyer at about 7.00… To bed together for the first time in our new home, I can hardly believe it.

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