YESTERDAY saw the first in our series of articles looking back over 2017 in the Basingstoke Gazette, covering January, February, and March.

This time, it is a collection of events that happened in April, May, and June.


APRIL was kicked off by with protests about the movement of Basingstoke Town Football Club from their long-standing home at the Camrose.

In a bid to ensure that it didn’t happen, a campaign group called Keep Football In Basingstoke (KFIB) launched a petition against outgoing chairman Rafi Razzak’s plans to move the club out of the Camrose – BTFC’s home for more than 70 years.

Towards the end of the month, fans invaded the pitch with KFIB banners at a game against Hitchen Town FC to convey their displeasure. It was described as an ‘emotionally charged’ day for the fans.

A CHARITY night was held in honour of Dean Evans, on the first anniversary of his death.

The 31-year-old, from Kempshott, died after being stabbed on April 8, 2016.

A 20-year-old man was sentenced to 11 years for manslaughter in October.

The event, organised by his sister Sam Evans and friends Keith Longman and Eleanor Frances, was set up to raise funds for Sebastian’s Action Trust as well as creating a party atmosphere to commemorate Dean.

The charity event, which was held at Viables on April 8, raised more than £5,000 for the charity with raffle prizes, an auction and donations all part of the evening.

IT WAS in April that The Gazette launched its ‘Turn Up or Tell ‘Em’ campaign to help combat the amount of missed appointments that were happening at GP surgeries across the borough.

It was reported that there was a 20 per cent rise in the amount of people who were missing their appointments and not letting their doctors know.

The campaign encouraged people not to contribute to the nearly 6,000 missed appointments and almost 1,000 hours of GP and nurse time throughout the year by turning up to booked appointments by cancelling appointments if they were unable to attend.

THE Lions Club of Basingstoke (LCB) celebrated its 50th anniversary at the end of April, and reflected on what they had done for the borough.

Set up in 1967, LCB has become an integral part of community life. Throughout the decades, LCB has raised money for charities at home, whilst supporting causes including UNICEF’s Disaster Fund abroad. During its existence, the club has raised nearly £500,000.

Over the years, it provided a swimming pool at Lymington House School; a hoist at the old town centre swimming pool to help disabled swimmers enter and leave the pool; equipped the town’s ambulance service with defibrillators and with the help of J Davy and another member, donated an ambulance.


BASINGSTOKE Town Football Club started the month in style, as they won a thrilling Hampshire Senior Cup final over AFC Bournemouth after a tense filled penalty shoot-out at St Mary’s Stadium.

After 90 minutes failed to split the sides and ten penalty kicks also, the trophy was decided by sudden death. Alex Tokarczyk wrote his name into Dragon’s folklore as he saved the 16th spot kick and Town won the tie 7-6.

LOCAL ‘heroes’ in Winklebury risked their lives to rescue two young boys from a fire.

Before fire crews arrived at the scene, three men who were relaxing in the nearby pub The Winkle took it upon themselves to try to rescue the boys.

A fourth onlooker saw the commotion and ran across from the houses opposite with a ladder to climb up the side to reach the boys, aged five and eight years old.

Residents in Winklebury then started a community fundraising effort to help the family, including The Winkle, and the Londis below the house, were raising money and collecting toys to help out the family who lost everything in the house.

IN MAY, a Basingstoke grandfather reached the final of an IRONMAN competition.

Alan ‘AJ’ Lane, 59, put his body on the line, hoping to join an elite group of athletes competing at this year’s world championships, which were being held in KailuaKona, Hawaii.

In a bid to watch his progress throughout the year, he was filmed by a crew from IRONMAN for a special 30-minute documentary.

An IRONMAN consists of a 2.4- mile swim, a 112-mile cycle and a 26.2-mile run – all completed without a break.

BASINGSTOKE’S very own Singing Dentist was honoured, claiming the top position in The Dentistry Top 50.

Dr Milad Shadrooh, now more commonly known as The Singing Dentist, came out as number one in the annual list by website – which ranks the most influential figures within the dental industry.

The Chequers Dental Surgery dentist beat the likes of prime minister Theresa May, health secretary Jeremy Hunt and Sara Hurley – chief dental officer for NHS England – to earn the title.

Dr Milad soared to fame last year after his videos, which parody music tracks with lyrics about oral healthcare, went viral on social platforms such as The Lad Bible.


JUNE saw the return of the Great Whitchurch Pub Race, with thousands turning up to cheer the runners on, raising thousands of pounds for the Whitchurch Festival Association.

The annual event saw nearly 200 runners take to the streets of Whitchurch to run a threemile course, stopping off at nine pubs and stops along the way.

Onlookers would throw money in their buckets, which would be donated to the Whitchurch Festival Association. The runners dressed up in all manner of weird and wonderful costumes, which ranged from LEGO characters to Donald Trump.

Best dressed team ‘Dos Dedos Mr Trump’ managed to donate the most money via the JustGiving page, managing an impressive £240, with a team of assorted captains called ‘Aye-Aye Captain’ came second with £185.

FOR the fourteenth time, Basingstoke hosted the A Place to be Proud of awards, showcasing the volunteers, inspirational figures and ordinary people who have been changing lives in Basingstoke.

Across 10 different categories, stories of dedicated work, new initiatives and amazing sporting feats were told to the astonished audience.

The awards were organised by Destination Basingstoke, the independent non-profit organisation which works with businesses and other partners to promote the town.

More than 50 individuals and groups were named in the ten categories - Arts and Entertainment, Young Achiever, Health and Care, Basingstoke Ambassador, Sports Hero, Community Project, Unsung Hero, Inspirational Teacher, Judges Special Award and Lifetime Achievement Award.

JUNE also saw the arrival of the much-anticipated Sitting with Jane BookBench trail.

On Thursday, June 15, the final bench was placed outside St Nicholas Church in Steventon and organisers, artists and sponsors toasted the hard work and dedication which has gone into the project.

With 24 BookBenches situated around Basingstoke and Deane, and further afield, artists have told the tale of Jane Austen through the benches.

Trail followers were encouraged to go around spotting them and taking selfies with the painted benches. Companies, schools, and organisations had many different designs and ideas of the author’s life fill the borough. This included The Gazette, who also had a BookBench, pictured with head of news Dan Whiteway and reporter Tim Birkbeck.

THOUSANDS of pounds were raised in this year’s Bed Push around the car park at Basingstoke hospital. Ten teams of hospital workers and others pushed hospital beds around the car park as quickly as they could in a bid to raise as much money and awareness as possible for the North Hampshire Medical Fund.

Teams of bananas, cartoon characters, and skeletons from x-rays raced around the car park as fast as possible, raising approximately £4,000 for the benefit of the charity that helps hospitals to purchase equipment that is needed.

This year’s winners were a team from a physio department, called the A Team, who managed to win the event for the second year in a row, shaving 30 seconds off their time last year. The team whizzed around the course in 4 minutes and 34 seconds, retaining their winning streak as they went around the car park, which contains a hill.