Oxford Terrace

Neighbours of the "new" All Saints' Church

by Allan Palmer

The present All Saints’ Church on Southern Road was dedicated in 1917*, and the Census of 1921 gives us an insight of its immediate neighbours in Oxford/Victoria Park Terrace four years after the building’s opening. On a national basis, the 1921 Census reflects a changed population following a global conflict and an influenza pandemic. Of the now 92 residents of Oxford/Victoria Park Terrace, less than one-fifth (only 17) are under the age of 13. This is a significant change from ten years previously when more than one-third of the residents of the street were children, mirroring a dramatic reduction in the national birth rate. As in the previous Census, around half the residents of the street have birthplaces outside of Basingstoke – perhaps reflecting the continued growth of the town as newcomers arrived to work in the town’s industries. [Basingstoke’s total population is reported as 12,723 in this Census.]

At this time, the Priest-in-Charge of All Saints’ was Rev James Francis Fuller. During the period he spent in this position (1915-1924) the present organ* was installed. Due to manufacturers being diverted to war duties, it had not been possible to source an organ when the church was being built. Rev Fuller, his wife and their ward lived in Beaconsfield Road, the household being completed by a housekeeper and a servant. Married Curates of the Parish lived at various addresses in the town; those unmarried priests were usually lodged in the old Rectory (now Chute House). By 1923 Rev Fuller had moved to an address in Church Square.  A “permanent” Vicarage was purchased in Beaconsfield Road in 1973 with the establishment of the Team Parish (that property was eventually sold in 2018 with the reimagination of the Team Parish).

Returning to Oxford/Victoria Park Terrace next to All Saints’ Church: as well as recording an individual’s occupation, the 1921 Census also includes details of their employer. You can see that 7 of All Saints’ immediate neighbours were employed by the Thornycroft Steam Wagon Company Ltd, whose factory had been set up on the Worting Road in 1898 and became a major Basingstoke employer. Another resident is in the employ of Wallis & Stevens Ltd, a manufacturer of agricultural equipment, traction engines and steam rollers that had been founded in the town in 1856. There were 6 employees of the Burberry tailoring factory living in the street. Additionally, Henry W Cooper of number 9 Victoria Park Terrace was the Head Gardener at The Shrubbery, the large property on Cliddesden Road owned by Thomas Burberry. Although the inventor of gaberdine did not live at The Shrubbery, his son Thomas Newman Burberry did in 1921, and his son Thomas Murray Burberry, continued to live there with his mother until the house was sold to Basingstoke District Council in 1946. The following year, the house became the Basingstoke Maternity Home.

Looking at other residents of the street - living as a boarder at number 3 Victoria Park Terrace is Constance Skerry, an Elementary School teacher employed by Hampshire County Council; she is not a teacher at the nearby Fairfields School, but at a school in Sherborne St John. Next door at number 5 is the home of sisters Ada and Annie Attwood, both a “Tailoress Raincoats etc” at Burberry’s factory. Number 7 is the home of Arthur Butler and his family; he is a Cricket groundsman at May’s Bounty - a position he held 10 years earlier in the previous Census.

One of the largest households is that of Arthur Austin (originally from Devon), who has also been a resident since at least the 1911 Census. He is a plumber employed by the ironmonger Kingdon & Co in London Street. At number 16 Oxford Terrace is the home of Police Constable Walter Henry Herage, his wife and their young son.  I believe at this time that Basingstoke Police station stood just south of the present-day entrance to Jacobs Yard car park.

John Parnell at number 20 Oxford Terrace is employed as a Groundsman in the War Memorial Park. This land was previously known as Goldings Park as it was part of the land attached to Goldings, a Georgian house now part of the Civic Offices campus. Goldings was purchased by Thomas Burberry in 1916, and the park acquired by the Basingstoke Corporation in 1921 through public subscription to become the War Memorial Park.

Oxford Terrace on extract from 1930 OS map (NLS Archive)

See these pages for more information:

📍 Neighbours of the "Iron Church" (1901-1911) 

📍 Neighbours on the Eve of War (1939)