BASINGSTOKE Deane Rotary is using a ‘great response’ to its Calling All Janes event to launch several other Jane Austen themed competitions in the 200th anniversary year of the author’s death.

Dozens of Janes and Jaynes visited the Rotary-sponsored Sitting with Jane BookBench in Festival Place on Saturday, July 8, where they were greeted by Rotarians in period costume and a reading aloud of some of Jane Austen’s famous works.

President of Basingstoke Deane Rotary, Lindy Richardson, said: “There was an amazing turnout- 41 Janes came along to visit the bench.

“There is a terrific level of public interest in the Sitting with Jane project being organised by Destination Basingstoke, and we are proud to play our part by sponsoring a bench.

“We had a lot of fun throughout the whole day. Thank you for your support, Basingstoke!”

The Rotarians have also launched the Spot the Bench competition, where they have taken a photo of a small section of each of ten BookBenches and the challenge is to identify the BookBench from the photo.

To get involved, go to for the entry form. Donations will given to the Ark Cancer Centre Charity to support its bid to build a £5m specialist cancer treatment centre in the area.

The deadline for entries for this competition is August 31.

The final family competition being run by the Rotarians is the Rotopix competition for budding photographers, This is a simple photo and caption competition in which all the family can get involved.

The process is simple take a photo, add a caption to make it amusing, and together, the photo and caption need to fit the theme of “Anything related to Jane Austen”.

The deadline for entries is also August 31 and there will be awards for the winners.

Lindy added: “Basingstoke Deane Rotary is running all these challenges to support the local Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

“It is a wonderful project to support.

“The new state-of-the-art facility will make an enormous difference to the people of Basingstoke & Deane, and to their families”.

“To find out more details about the remaining two competitions, and how to take part in each, simply go to our Basingstoke Deane Rotary website

“We think you’ll find them fun for all the family. And it is all to support and very important project for our local community.”

For more information about the Sitting With Jane BookBench project as a whole, go to