From our Archives: Soldier’s lucky escape - and secret cellar found in Boston

Nostalgia - from The Standard's archives
Nostalgia - from The Standard's archives

1914: A Boston man fighting on the front line wrote home about his narrow escapes from death during the war in France.

Letters were received by Mrs Rogers, of Hospital Lane, from her son Bombadier Stanley Rogers.

He wrote about getting ‘a very big surprise’ one day: “It was one I won’t forget in a hurry,” he said. “It was a very narrow escape. A few of us were sitting behind a gun wheel when we heard a shell whizzing through the air, making a terrible row and coming straight towards us. We ran for shelter but it burst about 20 paces from us.

“I hardly knew what to do as the explosion properly deafened me. I felt about me for wounds but found none, only got covered up with dirt and soil instead.”

In another letter he spoke of more escapes from death.

“A few days ago I thought it was all up. We were shelled all afternoon and evening. They burst in front of our guns. A farm house in front of us was blown up. I caught a splinter in the stomach and one in the thigh, but they did no harm.

“Even when I was milking a cow I got popped at by some sniper, but I was quicker than him and got under cover.”

He added: “The weather has been nothing but rain and snow and I have caught a bad cold in the trenches.”

2004:

A secret cellar was found beneath a Boston street by builders refurbishing a museum.

The mysterious discovery, initially thought to be prison cells, was made at the former Bed Centre, on South Street, which was being coverted into the Haven Art gallery.

Builders were removing a section of arched roof when a brick fell through the wall into an empty chamber.

Inside they discovered a dank 24ft by 9ft room with metal racking along both walls and a small ventilation grille at the topof the room.

The room was situated beneath the grounds of Fydell House and was estimated to date back to the 18th century.

A historic buildings expert said it could have been used as a wine cellar.

Boston was said to have had a bigger rate of drug deaths than deprived inner-city areas, according to a report. There had been 13 drug-related deaths in Boston and Spalding the previous year - pushing the district into third place in England and Wales.

Five hundred people turned out to a public meeting in Boston to deliver the message ‘we want a bypass, and we want one now’.

Residents packed into a hall at Haven High School to put question to MP Mark Simmonds and the director of county council highways.