15 Facts About Basingstoke

Here’s another little series of blog posts.  Something to keep you all going, and so that Vegas seems so much more exciting when I start blogging about that!

1) Basingstoke is often nicknamed “donut city” because of all the roundabouts we have.

2) Basingstoke is the UK headquarters of some pretty big companies, like GAME, Motorola and the AA.

3) We were recorded in the Domesday Book as being a market town.

4) Oliver Cromwell is believed to have stayed here at some point during the Civil War.

5) Top Gear once filmed a chase scene in our shopping centre.

6) The word “Basingstoke” was used as a code word by Sir Despard Murgatroyd in Gilbert & Sullivan’s 1887 show Ruddigore.

7) Other media mentions include Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy, the 1968 biography of The Beatles by Hunter Davies, Monty Pythons Flying Circus, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and in Only Fools and Horses Rodney was expelled from an art college in Basingstoke.

8) There’s an entire film that was made and set here.  Get Real from 1998.  It wasn’t bad.  Coming of age, gay love type.

9) You know that Channel 4 tv show Green Wing?  It was filmed in two different hospitals, once of which was the one here.

10) We are twinned with Alencon in France, Braine-L’alleud in Belgium and Euskirchen in Germany.  I have heard of none of those places.

11) She of the safety pin dress, Liz Hurley, was born and raised here.

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12) Ian McNeice, who has had many roles but most importantly has played Churchill in Doctor Who is also Basingstoke born.

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13) As is another Doctor Who alumni.  Not just an actor, but a companion!  Nyssa (aka Sarah Sutton) was born here too.

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14) We have a statue called Wote Street Willie, which weighs 7 tonnes and is the largest phallus statue in Britain.

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15) The largest banana ripening warehouse in Europe is here.

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and here’s a bonus one cos I think it’s brilliant:

16) The men’s toilet at the train station was once bombed by the IRA, and on a separate occasion (which I recall hearing on the news) there was an abandoned suitcase at the same train station that contained the body of a Buddhist monk.  In macheted pieces.  Nice.

About Colette Horsburgh

A 30-something creator/baker/writer/artist/crafter living with several (but not enough) scatty animals.
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