A SOCIETY, which celebrates the rich history of Basingstoke, marked its 25th anniversary with a special exhibition.

Basingstoke Heritage Society was formed in 1989 following the publication of a Gazette editorial, calling for such a group to be set up.

Membership has remained steady ever since at around 250 people, and the group has been behind a number of initiatives to preserve local heritage.

The society reviews planning applications, campaigns for the protection of historically significant areas and buildings, and lobbies on matters of concern. It also installs commemorative blue plaques to mark places of historical interest, and these can be spotted all over the borough.

To celebrate the group’s special birthday, members gathered at Basingstoke Discovery Centre last Saturday for an exhibition about the society’s work.

Members of the public were able to enjoy viewing pictures of Basingstoke down the ages, and a special cake was cut by society president Andrew Benson-Wilson.

Mr Benson-Wilson, who has been involved with the group from the very start, said members were pleased to be able to celebrate the special anniversary. He said: “We’ve been involved in many projects over the years. Basingstoke has got a fascinating history and it’s important to mark it.”

Among those at the anniversary event was Basingstoke and Deane Deputy Mayor Councillor Anne Court. She said: “It’s fantastic that we have this group in Basingstoke.”