Basingstoke: Fame and Infamy

So, I mentioned I’d been starting to take more of an interest in local history, even though I didn’t think there really was much.  But I now know about several people who are connected to the town that was at least twice voted the most boring in europe.

I already mentioned Jane Austen before, who grew up in the village of Steventon a few miles away.  She stayed there until she was 25, and it’s where she completed the first drafts of a few of her famous novels; Pride and Prejudice; Sense and Sensibility; Northanger Abbey.  Although at the time, she was rejected by publishers.

Sarah Sutton who from 1981 – 1983 played the character Nyssa in Doctor Who was born in Basingstoke.

Another actress, Elizabeth Hurley, attended school and college in Basingstoke (pretty much everyone in town above a certain age claims to known her and some of the people she hung out with.  She was a punk, apparently.)

Thomas Burberry, maker of coats and inventor of Gabardine, had his first shop and factory in Basingstoke.  It burnt down in 1905.

And the family of welsh born Ruth Ellis moved to Basinstoke during her childhood, before moving again to London when she was 14.  On the 13th of July 1955, she became the last woman to be executed in Britain, for the murder of her lover.

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