NUMBER 51 Church Square has a lot of history.  It was intended as a residential address, but since the 1950s it has housed many shops and businesses.

The information I have sourced has come with thanks from various contributors to Basingstoke Memories. I have tried to be as accurate as possible.

Penny Barlow writes: “According to the 1939 Register a couple lived there named Huntley. Henry was born in 1910 and Edith in 1913. He was a general labourer and she is described as “unpaid domestic duties”.”

Phil Mercer advises: “In 1968 I joined Ailing and Walsh who ran their print works from 51 Mortimer Lane. They moved the printing and composing element out to Cliddesden around 1969 and finally vacated in about 1973.” 

Apparently this property was once classed as Mortimer Lane before the ring road and subway was built.

Robert Applin has told me that according to the Kelly’s Directory of 1958, it was listed as a printworks.

Most people recall it being a record shop for a long period of time, the most remembered being Timebeat Records which was run by Steve Rawlings in the 1980s and early 1990s.

I have been contacted by his children James and Tori who told me that Steve sadly passed away in May 2016.  They have very kindly let me use photos from a webpage that Steve compiled before his death. 

There will be more memories from 51 Church Square in the ensuing weeks.

With thanks to James Marshall Rawlings for use of photographs and research.

You can get involved with Flashback Thursday. Send photos to or by post to Flashback Thursday, Gazette House, Pelton Road Basingstoke RG21 6XD.