Photo Usage & Social Media

The owner of these photos was very keen to share them with the public and I am trying to facilitate these wishes. However, there are some general conditions of use. If posting on social media then please add a comment to the post, as per the bold text below. This comment will link people back to the website, so they can contribute to it:

Thanks to Andrew Watten.

These pictures are presented here to enrich the history of Basingstoke and are not to be used for commercial purposes without prior consent. Also note that the map images must not be used on social media, as it is not fully clear about the licensing. If you wish to use these photos, for anything other than personal use, then please email:

Date on
Photo Back
Aug 617 of 7Aug 61
Aug 636 of 6Aug 63
May 6794 of 404May 67
Blank82 of 185Blank
Dec 69125 of 210Dec 69
Jul 721 of 1Jul 72
TOTAL:414 of 813As of 2023-12-02

Sorting & Dating Photos

Initially I was presented with two boxes of photographs. It transpired that the original boxes were of poor quality, so the photos had been put in two new boxes. The backs of the photos had dates on them and from this it was obvious that all the photos we mixed up. There may have been an initial logical order to them, but they had been in and out of the boxes and this order was now lost. Some photos seemed to follow others, and could be ordered correctly. However, I may just have assumed they followed from the previous photo, so could have introduced a bias. For these reasons, there is no weight put on the order of the photos or the box they were in. Note that when building the galleries for this site, I added the pictures in what I considered to be an aesthetic order. However, each gallery was created in two parts, one for each box, so the order may seem mixed.

The dates on the back of the photos were not very varied, with only 5 different dates shown and the rest that were blank. It is unclear if the dates represent when the photo was taken, when it was processed, or the batch date of the photo paper. If anyone could shed any light on this it would be appreciated. The photos with nothing on the back, are referred to as Blank on this website. It is not known if these should have dates on, but they were missing on the odd sheet and thus belong to one of the other dates. It could also be that these were processed by a shop or person that didn't have dated paper or couldn't add a date. I have placed the blank-backed photos between May 67 and Dec 69, as they seem to fit in this rough time period.

I first sorted all the photos into their relevant date. I then divided them into rough groups based on the most prominent subject in the photo. Some photos contain multiple subjects, but this is not too important as this was only really done to break down the photos in to smaller sections. It would then be easier work on a smaller section at a time.

Date on
Photo Back
Example Image
of Back
Aug 61Aug 61
Aug 63Aug 63
May 67May 67
Dec 69Dec 69
Jul 72Jul 72

Map of Basingstoke

Below is the 25 inch Ordnance Survey map, from 1932. This was taken in several sections, from the NLS website, then stitched together. I have overlaid it with a toner of the modern road system, taken from the stamen website. I have also split it into 6 sections, as some web browsers may not be able to view the full map. Note that the full map is about 30MB and each section is about 5MB, so this may take a some time to download and display, especially if you have an older device or a slow connection. The full map is about A0 in size, so it should contain more than enough detail to identify a photo's location. The map area covers the rough area of the modern ring road. The long-term plan is to have a map based on the 1960s layout, with interactive spots where you can view the various photos from. However this can only be achieved when the locations of all the photographs have been identified.

Using the Map

To use the map, either click on this full map link, or click a section of the picture below. It will then display the map, after it has downloaded it, which may take some time. It has enough detail that you can zoom in if needed. If you recognise a photo, please describe where it is on the map using either the old or new road names. Any further information, like where it is on the road and its orientation to map north would be appreciated. Please email this information, along with the the picture number and any other memories to:

North West North Central North East
South West South Central South East

Historic maps from 25 inch Ordnance Survey 1932:
Hampshire and Isle of Wight XVIII.3/4/7/8/11/12
© Crown Copyright

Map tiles by Stamen Design, under CC BY 3.0.
Data by OpenStreetMap, under ODbL.

Additions & modifications:
© Andrew Watten 2023

Initial Photo Analysis

I had to go through all the photos several times to sort them. The process was quite time consuming as I initially thought there were only two different photo back dates, plus a blank. When I discovered more dates, I had to go through them all again. My knowledge of the 1960s street layout is limited, but after going through the photos it was clear that some photos were not of Basingstoke at all. This was confirmed when I saw a picture of the Cavern Club in Liverpool. There are definitely some rail and canal pictures from the Liverpool end of the country, but there is a chance some could be of Basingstoke, or related to Basingstoke somehow. For this reason I have included all the photos in the set.

There are 796 photos are in the square 3.5"x3.5" format, with the remaining 17 being in the rectangular 5"x3.5" format. Unusually for 1960s photography, they are all processed in colour, which would have been more expensive at the time. The photos can be seen to progress in time as buildings can be seen in use, derelict, then demolished. There are many old photos and postcards of Basingstoke and they all show very familiar settings. This set does show those classic views, but also an array of shots I have never seen before. There are also some warts-and-all photos of just piles of rubbish, which rarely survive into the future. Unique amongst this set seems to be pictures inside houses and industry. Some of these capture the working life at the time, which I find fascinating.

Long-term Plans

The ultimate goal is to have an interactive town map, from the 1960s. This would be similar to Google Street View but with annotations of the memories people have submitted. In order to get to this point, many stages of work need to be completed. Note that some of these stages can be worked in parallel:

  1. Get hold of all the photos
  2. Go through all the photos to sort them into categories
  3. Build a tracking sheet for the photos
  4. Build a basic website for the photos
  5. Scan the photos
  6. Edit the photos
  7. Upload the photos:
  8. Ask the public for help to identify the photos
  9. Record all the data received by the public and cross-reference
  10. Get a 1:1250 or 1:500 map, from the 1960s, as a base to construct a custom map
  11. Construct a custom map
  12. Work out a method to add photos and annotations to the map and make it interactive
  13. Train an AI on all the photos to see if more detail can be uncovered

Photo Numbering & File Names

Each photo has a specific number. This can usually be found in the corner of a photo, in black or white lettering. They will appear under the text and be in the P10nnn format. The photo numbers are in the range P10001 to P10813. I have tried to put this information in the least significant corner or area of the photo.

The filename is in the P10nnn_XX.jpg format, which can be seen in your web browser's address bar. This contains the picture number and two additional letters. These letters represent the picture size and its version. The first letter denotes the size and can be:

Note that the pixel count, in brackets, is approximate and represents the largest dimension. The file size, in square brackets, is also approximate and for JPG files only. Additionally the M size is the size the majority of photos were scanned in at, which is 600x600 dpi. This seemed the most appropriate, as it captures the vast majority of detail in the picture, while retaining a sensible file size. The second letter denotes the version, starting at A going through to Z.

Scanning & Photo Editing

There were no negatives supplied with the photos, so each photo was scanned in with a flatbed scanner. This was with the Brother MFC-J6930DW, which can scan at A3 and scan 12 of the 3.5"x3.5" photos at a time.

I have done the bare minimum of editing to the photos. This is because I want to retain as much of the original look as possible and also to cut down on the time taken to process them. I have performed no dust or noise removal, as I have found that at best they remove detail and at worst they introduce artifacts. The following points show what I have done:

Note that as I began to scan the photos, I noticed my scanner was introducing some banding lines. The best I could do was to clean the scanner regularly, as at this point I had no better or faster way to scan an image. The worst of the scanned images is still very good quality, in my opinion, although there is room for improvement. It would help if the original negatives were supplied, but these may have been lost to time. If other people wish to digitally enhance the photos, then they are welcome to.

Example of
Original Scan
Example of
Edited Photo
Original Scan Edited Photo


Due to having a young family, I have only been able to dedicate small portions of sporadic time to this project. This has meant that it is not as accurate as I would like it to be. For example at every stage, I seem to have had a different grand total for the number of photos. Until every photo is uploaded, I expect more errors will be found. If you find an error with the photos, numbering, links or any other website issues, then please email: