Appendix: Live the Adventure! - The Basingstoke Historical Pub Crawl

 The purpose of this section is to bring to life those events and places described in these pages. Also it should serve as good way to get completely and utterly slaughtered nad anybody completing the whole thing will find themselves truly removed to an alternate state of conciousness.

The village of Basing. The Bolton Alms, across from Oliver's Battery where Cromwell arranged his cannons, still bears Waller's motto 'amez loyalte' which means 'love loyalty', clearly demonstrating his effete pro-establishment sensibilities. Best just to get a couple of swift ones down your neck here before heading on right through the village. As you walk down "The Street" remember to cut a lucky souvenir sprig from one of the award winning topiaries near the fork with Milkingpen Lane.

Continue down until you reach the church which still bears the scars of this 17th Century conflict.

Prostrate yourself on the ground under the yew tree here and call out to Merlin and the Earth Mother for your soul to be filled with the spirit of Baz. After this, you will probably be in need of a drink, so head on down to The Crown Inn, noticing the quaint half-timbered cottages, built from the very rubble of Basing House itself. The Crown has a classy lounge bar and a lively public bar with pool, pinball and polkies. You'll want to stop here for a few, but it'd be a good idea to move on before it gets dark. Don't take your pint with you - the pigs in Old Basing have nothing better to do than give you a hard time for it! If they do catch you, just give them some cock and bull story as they're generally pretty gullible, too.

There are three alternative routesyou could take from here. Energetic lovers of serenity can walk on round following the crumbling, ivy-covered remains of the outer perimeter wall and then turn up Swing Swang Lane (very popular with small children and Americans) until reaching the Loddon River.

 

They can then keep following the river back to the Millstone pub, if they haven't managed to get themselves lost.

 

Much quicker and far more interesting is to follow the wall round only as far as the main gate[1] and then to cut through past the "Bloody Barn", scene of a horrendous massacre of sneaky Roundheads who tried to ambush some of Sir Wally's men one misty morning.

 

Before long this path meets up with the river and soon you'll arrive thirsty for another at the Millstone.

 

Finally, if you're really in a hurry, you just cut up through 'dog-shit alley', ask locals for directions but watch your step!

 

The Millstone's a great place to go and get completely slaughtered; highly recommend is the Bishops Tipple. It's best to go there late in the day as there's always a bunch of yuppies there at lunchtimes. If the landlord tries to throw you out, tell him you're a mate of Ollie West's.

 

There's a nice restaurant at the Mill if you fancy splashing out on some posh yet tasty French food, but don't overstuff your face and forget the last leg of the tour:- The lychpit was a mass grave into which were thrown the dead and rotting bodies of soldiers massacred in the assault on Basing House. This place is still home to the un-living as it is now a development of affordable and uninspired modern housing, fine examples of Thatcherian style. It is through this chilling neighborhood that you must pass in order to reach your final destination. It can be a disturbing experience, wandering these deserted, maze-like streets at night, lost and unsure of your destination. It's natural to wonder if those sinister window panes are really all dark just because everyone around here goes to bed early. With a bit of luck, you'll find your way to the Lychpit youth center and the welcoming light of the Cromwell Inn.

 

Despite its name and the fact that it is a renovated historical barn, the Cromwell Inn is not shackled to the past and is a refreshingly modern place in the best Basingstoke tradition.

The Ground of Old Basing church are in serious need of a volunteer effort


The Crown Inn - A fine establishment


The burial site of Baz himself–well, possibly.


The ancient and murky River Loddon


The Millstone has become quite the yuppie haven recently


Inside the bloody Bloody Barn


Dogshit Alley


Some dogshit, found in dogshit alley

Index

 

[1] Basing House is worth a look, but Cromwell did a good job of levelling the place. If you're not particularly into supporting our nations' large earthy mounds, you might try sneaking in for free: walk up Crown Lane until you reach the British Legion, there's a gate next to that that says NO ENTRY or something. Open it or climb over, cross a paddock, go through some trees and up an earth bank through some bushes and you're there! Watch out for Alan who runs it though, he's a raving looney! He's one of those Sealed Knot dudes that likes to dress up as a cavalier and re-enact civil war battles at the weekend. Except that he wears his costume EVERY DAY (or at least he keeps his hair and beard like that)! Plus the guy is like 7 foot tall! I mean, he takes his work seriously. This one time, at the last minute, I had to play King Charles in the carnival parade through Basingstoke, on his way to be executed. There was no proper beard so I decided to make one out of duct tape. It look real dumb, with a scrunched up piece of tape for the mustache and a black triangle as the goatee. The rest of the costume was O.K. except for the Wellington boots which I'm sure Charles I never wore. Anyways, when Alan saw me, he gave me a look like he was going to gut me with his pike staff right there! Then I had to spend the next three hours parading round the town with him glaring down my neck. So on the whole i'd advise paying the entry fee - it's only £1.50 and you won't have to fight your way through any hedges and muddy ditches.

 

Artwork and text ©2004 Chuck Whelon
Read Chuck's comic strip 'Pewfell' every weekday at: http://www.pewfell.com