The Willis Museum


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9 reviews so far


06/03/2014 08:38am

Richard Ferguson

Thank you for listing the history of the Basingstoke factory on Winchester Road which made aircraft instruments, altimeters, compass instruments, etc.

During the run up to WWII. I read the memoirs of the local resident Ernest M. H Appleby, an Instrument Maker who mentioned the importance of instruments and credited Paul Kollsman, an American inventor for the brilliant designs and remarkable genius.

I knew the quiet gentleman Kollsman and would love to hear details of his 1938-1939 crucial war involvement and some 200 patents!?



14/02/2014 10:45am

Coreen Laflamme D'Angelo

Enjoyed viewing your site. Born 21 Chapel St in 1945 & left Basingstoke in 1953. Grandad worked at the brewery. It was really nice looking at all the pictures & the change. Still lots of ruins when I left. Loved running under the railroad bridge & hearing our echoes.



17/10/2013 08:09am


I visited the Recreation Exhibition by Basingstoke Art Club. It is an excellent exhibition with very varied work. Well worth seeing.




12/09/2013 03:09pm


It was enjoyable.



29/08/2013 08:20am


Great site, brought back a lot of memories,are there any more pictures available,( before the destruction of the Basingstoke I knew) I was born there, married there but left before demolition started. I am trying to find any pictures that relate to Basingstoke from about 1945 to 1958  



24/09/2012 09:41am

Sue Smith

I liked the old and new pictures as it brought back memories from my childhood and many familiar places and could see part of the Milk Bar New Street which my dad used to run for many years.



20/07/2012 12:36pm

Dr John Hart

Taking a look at the museum we came across Pickaxe, a spooky wax model of a street cleaner and scavenger from the early nineteenth century. This was a real person apparently, but on the wall there was what was described as a fictitious account of how Pickaxe might have come to be the person he was, via Waterloo and what have you, told as a comic strip.

What on Earth is the point of having a made-up story in a museum? Why is the Willis serving up this fantasy material? Stick to the facts Willis - and display a few more treasures from your archive!



14/09/2009 04:00pm


Alan McDonald

I have visited the Museum on on 2 occasions, albeit briefly because of other commitments, .

I would like to make the following observations:-

  • I like the new museum very much and will definitely plan to come back to look around properly.
  • On both occassions your staff were extremely helpful & pleasant - a pleasure to talk to them.
  • I will definitely recommend it to my friends.



08/09/2009 08:41pm

Colleen Smith

My GGFather was a teacher at the Blue Coat School and I would have liked to copy the picture of the school across to a Word Document but I was unable to. The document printed off only included the text. All the same a very good site.

Reply from Curator

We have more information and photographs on Basingstoke's Blue Coat School. We can send you copies if contact us with your details.


Review Ref. 317702


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