In the earlier photograph The White Hart public house was clearly the first building in the town that the traveller met on the road from London. In the intervening period that rural scene has been transformed, and The White Hart is now well within the built up area of the town. The signs in the earlier photograph show that the pub had a tea garden, presumably located in the position of the present car park.
The amount of pedestrian traffic on London Road in Terry Hunt’s photograph, some in the middle of the road, perhaps suggests that people are returning from an event on The Common.
The walls and trees to the north and south of the road marked the boundaries of two large houses - ‘Eastlands’ and ‘Goldings’ respectively - located on the eastern edge of the town. Both subsequently housed local government offices, ‘Eastlands’ being the home of the Basingstoke Rural District Council and ‘Goldings’ the home of the Basingstoke Borough Council. In 1974 both councils were amalgamated, together with the Kingsclere and Whitchurch Rural District Council, based in Kingsclere, to form the authority which we currently know as Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
The police station now occupies a site almost opposite The White Hart that was formerly part of the garden of ‘Eastlands’.