Arthur Attwood's densely-illustrated history of Basingstoke gives a fascinating insight into the varied and surprising events, personalities and wider developments that created the town of the present day. The author's long study of the story of the town, and his 40 years as a journalist at the Basingstoke and North Hants Gazette, gives his narrative unequal breadth and vividness. The story ranges from the Romans, the Guild of the Holy Ghost and Jane Austen to the arrival of the railway and sudden post-war growth of the modern town. He covers civic affairs education and religion, but he also recalls the plagues, riots and fires, Luftwaffe bombing, Civil War sieges and executions, and the horrific burial of Mrs Blunden. The book is illustrated with photographs, drawings and maps from his unique collection of Basingstoke pictures and memorabilia. The Illustrated History of Basingstoke will be essential - and eye-opening - reading for every Basingstoke resident, past and present.
From the Author
It has been a life's ambition to write a comprehensive illustrated history of Basingstoke and I am very pleased at what the publishers have achieved.Having spent 85 years of my long life in my native town, I am thrilled to think that I have upheld the family tradition of recording the town's history. My great-grandfather, Samuel Attwood, was a diarist who recorded important events in the town from 1815 to 1870. For example, in 1825 he recorded the passage of hot-air balloons over the town.I am proud to think that my book is so unique that it will remain a reference book for many years to come and will find itself on bookshelves in the company of such local writers as Jane Austen and Charles Kingsley. I hope my research will provide not only education about the local scene but also entertaining reading.
Arthur Attwood M.B.E.