The Baverstock Arms, the working pub at Basingstoke’s Milestones Museum, was visited on Tuesday 15 January by Town Mayor of Romsey Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, a namesake of the Hampshire innovator who inspired its name.
The Town Mayor of Romsey, who was accompanied by Cllr Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, was welcomed to the living history museum by the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Cllr Seán Keating. Before their visit to the pub, the party enjoyed a tour of the museum, taking in the many attractions that it has to offer. On their route around Milestones, which is run by Hampshire Cultural Trust, the party hopped on to a 19th century tram, one of the many vintage vehicles housed at the museum, had a go on the slot machines in the penny arcade and used their ration cards in Abrahams, Milestones’ 1940s sweetshop.
En route, they also encountered some of the museum’s costumed interpreters who bring social and local history to life for both visitors and the many schools who come to the museum on educational trips. Amongst these was the First World War Soldier, David Whithorn, who explained some of the original items belonging to soldiers that made their lives bearable in the trenches of the Western Front.
The final stop on the tour was to The Baverstock Arms, which was named after Alton-born James Baverstock, a brewer and inventor who was one of the first people to use scientific experiments to improve the quality of ale: the results of his work are still important today. In the pub, the two mayors and Cllr Perry enjoyed a drink and a pie and were entertained by the museum’s resident piano player, who took them on a trip down memory lane with renditions of sing-along pub favourites.
Cllr Baverstock commented: ‘It has been such a fascinating and enjoyable trip to Milestones today - seeing the Victorian school room with its printing press, finding out how workers at Taskers factory were treated by their employers, winning some old pennies in the penny arcade, all topped off with a visit to The Baverstock Arms!’.
The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Cllr Seán Keating, said: ‘It was a pleasure to welcome Cllr Baverstock and Cllr Perry to Milestones Museum of Living History for an insight into Hampshire’s riveting history. We enjoyed stepping back in time, particularly in The Baverstock Arms. Basingstoke is rich in culture and the museum offers a fascinating visit for people of all ages.’
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: “Milestones is a fantastic day out - one of the jewels in Hampshire’s crown. I hope visitors from all over Hampshire, and beyond, will come and see it for themselves.”