The Romans
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The Plague
Battle of Church Sq
World War Two
Basingstoke Canal
Basingstoke windmill
Alfred the Great

Walter de Merton
Sir James Lancaster
Mrs. Blunden
John May
Thomas Burberry
Lord Sandys
Adam de Gurdon
Thomas Warton
The Light Railway

Witch Trials
Jane Austen


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Col. John May

John May was born in Basingstoke in the 19th century and became the towns greatest benefactor. He was educated at four Blood thirsty blood sports different schools and then went to work on a local farm. He had a love of hunting and shooting and for four years had a pack of harriers. His family had their own brewery business, and in 1860 at the age of 23, John May joined his brother in running the firm. In 1859 May had set up a local group of the Hampshire Volunteers and over the coming years his rank rose until in 1898 he became Lieutenant-Colonel.

   May then established a large drill hall, at his own expense, in theCricket town. This was built at the top of Sarum Hill. Cricket was also a favourite sport of May's and he again used his own money and purchased a large field, and later a pavilion, for Basingstoke. This still survives in the town as May's Bounty cricket ground and often plays host to Hampshire's county side.

  Vote me John May became Mayor of Basingstoke in 1883 and served for six periods of Mayoralty. During this time he continued giving gifts to the town. In 1887 he paid for a new clock tower to be erected on the Town Hall. He also had a ward named after him at the local hospital, and gave All Saints Church in Southern Road a set of nine bells. John May died in 1920 but his name still lives on in Basingstoke in the various items he left behind.