REVIEW OF 2014: January to June

Boston's new footbridge being craned in in February
Boston's new footbridge being craned in in February

Here’s part one of our look through the stories that made the headlines in Boston in 2014...

January

Selfies have been a big craze in 2014 - but one Boston girl got in on the act early with claim on the best of the year.

Madison Lambe shared her ‘selfie’ picture she took with Prince William for our first edition of the year.

She told us how the heir to the throne was happy to pose and told her: “You can’t beat a good selfie.”

She went on to get attention from global media - with the story reaching America, Australia and Canada.

○ It was a case of a Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? style ‘ask the audience’ for the Boston Big Local team.

The group was asking for suggestions from the public as to how it should spend its £1 million Lottery funding.

○ Post Office bosses confirmed they would be making the move into the back of Boston’s WH Smith store despite opposition from the public.

The service moved into the shop on February 12.

○ Firefighters had to come to the rescue of an adventurous four-month old puppy called Barney (pictured above)in a cartoon-style caper.

The labrador was chasing his best friend Billy the cat when he got his head stuck in a gate in Swineshead.

○ Girls had the bragging rights after Boston High School outperformed Boston Grammar School in GCSE league tables.

February

There was mixed news for two popular shows - with the plug pulled on the community showcase but plans announced for Flood Aid.

Boston Community Showcase organisers say the event, an annual fixture since 2005, had fallen £9,000 short in raising the cash to put it on.

The disappointment was tempered by plans for a ‘party in the park’ style event to raise money for flood victims.

○ As the extent of the flood damage to Boston Stump became clear it emerged that the repair bill was likely to stretch to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Parts of the shop and cafe installed in a £250,000 re-fit had to be rebuilt while the tower remained closed.

The Stump’s new ‘director of operations’ also revealed a big plan to boost visitor numbers in the long term.

○ Boston’s new £750,000 footbridge was craned in to place on Saturday, February 22. It was fully opened to pedestrians in March.

○ Top sporting talent in the borough was honoured at the Assembly Rooms.

The Boston Sports Awards had been delayed due to the December 5 floods.

○ Boston Magistrates’ Court was told how ex-Boston borough councillor Elliott Fountain was tasered by police while on a night out in Boston.

Fountain admitted charges of being drunk and disorderly and resisting a police officer.

The judge had said an ‘element of justice was done on the night’.

March

Boston was to be sent more than £4 million in Government funding to cope with the aftermath of the flood.

The cash was the largest amount given to anywhere in the county.

○ The Standard revealed how the number of sex offenders at North Sea Camp open prison had doubled in the previous two years - making it the most common offence committed by inmates.

112 of the 404 prisoners had committed sexual offences, up from 53 in January 2012.

○ Porn was being accessed on computers in Boston library. The issue was highlighted by ‘disgusted’ members of the public who were worried that children using the facility could be exposed to adult material.

○ People in Boston hit back after a university report claimed the borough was the seventh least musical part of the country when it came to musical skills and abilities.

Mayor of Boston Paul Kenny and musicians were quick to point out the talent in the town in response.

○ A plucky emu ‘resisted arrest’ after causing a stir in Coningsby. The bolshy bird had to be cornered by officers after causing a hazard in Dogdyke Road and was taken away in a police van to an animal park.

○ A consultation gave hope of a ban on street drinking.

April

The increased cost of running Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital was revealed by The Standard.

Figures obtained by a Freedom of Information request showed how the operating budget had spiralled, jumping from just under £49 million in 2000/01 to more than £111 million in 2013/14.

A&E numbers has risen from 39,257 in 2004 to 49,030 in 2013.

○ Concerns were raised that a lack of public toilets was putting people off visiting Boston.

○ A key volunteer behind Boston’s flood recovery effort was handed a top award by Prime Minister David Cameron. Mark Whelan was just the fourth person to pick up a ‘Point of Light’ award, which he was handed personally at Number 10 Downing Street.

Mr Whelan said Mr Cameron had been ‘incredibly personable’.

○ A charity raised fears that secret dog-fighting gangs were operating in Boston after taking in a dog which had been used to fight.

○ Controversial plans that could’ve seen private landlords pay to licence homes were shelved after opposition.

○Plans to extend Tanglewood Hunters Creek care home were deferred after councillors said they looked like a prison.

○ Boston United took their fight for a play-off place to the final day of the season. However rivals Guiseley won to take fifth place and the Pilgrims lost on the last day to finish sixth.

May

Twelve suspected illegal immigrants were found hiding in the back of refrigerated Spanish lorries bound for Boston - twice in six days.

○ It was announced that Boston was to become one of the first towns in the country to ban street drinking.

○ Couples started putting ‘love locks’ on Boston’s new St Botolph footbridge.

The move mirrored romantic trends seen in other parts of the world - notably in Paris and Cologne.

○ Thrillseekers flocked to the annual May Fair in Boston - enjoying various fairground rides, attractions and games.

○ The Butterfly Hospice announced it was to admit its first in-patients some 14 years after the project got underway. The hospice had secured a three-year funding deal with Lincolnshire Community Health Services.

○ The number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance in Boston was said to have fallen this month to its lowest position since November, 2008.

○ A 70-year-old woman was injured when she was in collision with a car in Boston’s West Street. The woman was treated for an injury to her leg.

○ Vandals damaged Boston’s newly-refurbished toilets within 48 hours of them being re-opened. The door to the ladies toilet in the Cattle Market car park was forced.

June

More than 3,000 people in Boston were said to have benefited from 12-week NHS-funded Weight Watchers courses.

The scheme was part of a drive to boost the town’s health - after it was voted one of the fattest towns in the UK in previous years.

○ UKIP leader Nigel Farage told The Standard he was ‘stunned’ by the amount of votes his party won in Boston at the European Election - but revealed he was

unlikely to stand to become our MP.

○ The shocking state of housing in Boston was laid bare by The Standard - with news that a £109k grant was to flush out rogue landlords.

The Government grant shone the spotlight on 78 homes in the town centre.

○ Plans were passed for a housing development of 140 new homes in Kirton.The plan, lodged by Lindum Homes, would see new houses built on agricultural landoff London Road.

○ Boston’s own ‘Banksy’ struck - with several street art murals left around the town’s streets.

The first by the anonymous artist - an image of King Kong atop the Stump - was later turned into a postcard for sale in the church.

○ Broadcasting legend John Motson spoke to The Standard about the England team’s chances ahead of the World Cup.

He said: “I think the good thing about this squad is the majority of players are very new to it. I don’t see any reason why they should be over-awed. I think the mix (manager) Roy Hodgson has got of youth and experience promises to be quite interesting to see how they materialise as a team.”

He said he could see the team getting past the group stages, thinking Uruguay could be overcome. In reality Hodgson’s men bowed out after losing to Italy and Uruguay and drawing with Costa Rica.