This architectural curiosity must have an interesting history.

According to Kelly’s 1948 Directory for Basingstoke; there were two properties (numbers 12 & 14, Lower Brook Street) on the east side of the entrance to May Street and the houses resumed on the other side of the entrance with numbers 18, 20 etc.

However, this is not the missing number 16, Lower Brook Street!

The Gazette reported in July 2013 that the property had been acquired by BCOT for the purposes of training young people in the building trades and an accompanying photo of the building’s façade shows its address as 193 May Street which was, in 1948, a butcher’s shop owned by Frederick Hutchings.

It is probable that the rear parts of the present day building had been its neighbours (number 191 had been a general store run by a William Aubrey). Thus it stands as a memorial to a street that became buried beneath the re-development in the early seventies.

In 1997 local horror fiction writer Steve Harris published a novel called ‘The Devil on May Street’.

Harris, who died in 2016, said this: “…And there in a house in May Street, something is whispering across the years, promising to fulfil wildest desires and darkest yearnings.”