Step back in time with our weekly nostalgia column - covering decades from the 1940s to the 1990s

By gum, what a nasty gnasher...Joseph Singleton and the prehistoric dinosaur tooth found in his potato patch.
By gum, what a nasty gnasher...Joseph Singleton and the prehistoric dinosaur tooth found in his potato patch.

70 years ago...1941

NEWS was received that a Frampton man, reported missing in action back in April, was safe and well.

Mr and Mrs Barnett, of Bowser’s Marsh, Frampton, were previously informed their son Gunner Arthur Barnett was missing in action on his 22nd birthday. They were relieved to find out two months later that he was alive and safe with his unit in the Middle East.

A BARBER in an eastern counties town was fined for breaching the Defense regulations and photographing buildings damaged in the air raid.

The regulations stated: “No person shall take a photograph of any building or structure, vessel or other object, damaged by enemy action, or as a result of steps taken to repel enemy action, without written consent.”

BOSTON’S ancient Guildhall was turned into a makeshift jam-making factory in a bid to provide relief during war-time rationing. The building’s old kitchens were used for the scheme, designed to help feed the nation and conserve the borough’s rations. Housewives were urged to go along with their fruit to contribute to the effort.

THE interesting point of whether a ferret should be classed as a tame and domesticated pet or a wild animal was raised at Spalding County Court over a dispute between two Donington men.

The case related to a Donington farm labourer’s one-eyed ferret which was let out by children and allegedly picked up and retained by a farmer in the village.

The farm labourer said the man would not give his ferret back which he used to catch rats and rabbits.

The judge was unable to decide if ferrets were wild animals or pets to be claimed as property – but the case was thrown out anyway when it was discovered the ferret kept by the defendant was a different one – as it had both its eyes.

40 years ago...1971

THE crew of a Dutch vessel docked at Boston after saving a two-day-old baby seal in the Wash. The seal was heard banging against the anchored ship ‘Strijbeck’ before the captain and crew hauled it aboard and made it comfortable in the sick bay. The pup was then handed over to staff at Natureland seal sanctuary in Skegness.

l NORPRINT’S new £35,000 social club, which had only been open for seven months, was closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings to curb hooliganism. In a letter to members, chairman Mr W. B. Charity wrote: “The distasteful behaviour of certain persons attending the social club has reached alarming proportions. The behaviour has consisted of malicious damage, both to the company and private property, physical assault, acts of hooliganism and abuse of club rules.”

40 years ago...1971

THE crew of a Dutch vessel docked at Boston after saving a seal pup in the Wash.

The two-day-old seal was heard banging against the anchored ship ‘Strijbeck’ before the captain and crew hauled it aboard and made it comfortable in the sick bay.

The pup was then handed over to staff at Natureland seal sanctuary in Skegness.

NORPRINT’S new £35,000 social club, which had only been open for seven months, was closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings to curb ‘hooliganism’.

In a letter to members, chairman Mr W. B. Charity wrote: “The distasteful behaviour of certain persons attending the social club has reached alarming proportions.

“The behaviour has consisted of malicious damage, both to the company and private property, physical assault, acts of hooliganism and abuse of club rules.”

30 years ago...1981

BOSTON gardener Joseph Singleton was doing some clod-breaking among his potatoes in his garden at Hessle Avenue when he saw a strange object lying on the surface of the soil.

Mr Singleton knew at once it was a fossilised tooth, but took it to the Guildhall Museum for proper identification.

There he was told it was a lower jaw tooth from the prehistoric Mastodon – a now-extinct mammal that looked like a cross between a wild boar and an elephant. “I keep saying I’ll dig extra deep next year to see if I can find anymore,” he said.

The exact age of the tooth was unknown, but it was understood that the Mastadon met its death during an Ice Age.

PRODUCTION stopped at Geest’s Material Handling factory in Boston following a strike by 75 shop floor workers over severance pay. According to a union official, the situation was in ‘deadlock’. Some 105 people were employed at the factory, in Marsh Lane, with the firm set to make 11 redundant because of the economic climate. On a Monday morning, all 75 shop floor workers walked out demanding severance pay on top of the normal redundancy pay.

THE number of jobless people in Boston rose by a whopping 565 in one month. The figure stood at 3,135 which was 12.7 per cent of the employable population. The national unemployment figure was 10.9 per cent.

A SPINE-tingling double showing was set for Boston’s Classic Cinema – with the back-to-back screening of two new horror films. George A. Romero’s zombie film Day of the Dead was to be shown alongside David Cronenberg’s The Brood, starring British actor Oliver Reed.

20 years ago...1991

KNOWN shoplifters and trouble-makers were to be blacklisted by 20 leading Boston shops in a bid to cut down on crime.

In the first scheme of its kind in the East Midlands, retailers working in cooperation with the police, declared their premises ‘exclusion zones’ for unwanted customers.

The introduction of the ban was one of the measures being used by Boston Chamber of Commerce to fight the increase in shoplifting from town centre stores. Annual losses were said to reach £1 million.

PRIDE in Boston’s environment appeared to have taken a tumble with the town’s annual Civic Pride Awards being scrapped for 1991.

That year’s awards were to be presented for recent landscaping and planting schemes in the borough but Brian Hall, chairman of the Boston Civic Group, said the quality of nominations was not high enough that year for the awards to be held.

A MEETING was called for people to air their views about a controversial plan for an East Coast Motorway at a public meeting called for by MP Sir Richard Body and The Standard.

Friends of the Earth aired concern about the scheme’s environmental impact, and said they though there was a lot of secrecy surrounding some of its details.