Take a step back into Boston’s history with our weekly nostalgia column

Smoke billowed out of the FMS (Farm Products) Ltd building ' with the blaze being seen from the swing bridge in London Road, Boston.
Smoke billowed out of the FMS (Farm Products) Ltd building ' with the blaze being seen from the swing bridge in London Road, Boston.

45 years ago...1966

POLICE were investigating an outbreak of ‘strange thefts’ in the town which started when a wheelbarrow was stolen.

This was then followed by the theft of a pile of manure, a pair of iron gates, a large plastic fish pond, a lawn mower and a garden gnome.

OUSEWIVES in the Boston borough were suffering from strange brown stains which kept appearing on their clothes after being washed.

Joyce Popple, of Springfield Hildyke, spoke to The Standard about how she was having to soak hers in bleach to get the stains out.

This left her family’s clothes off-white, or murky neutral shade.

A local washing machine service engineer said the problem was down to a high iron content of the water, and claimed to have seen around 100 cases of the problem.

A MYSTERY fire gutted the top three storeys of a Boston food processing factory. Seven women carried on working in the swede department of FMS (Farm Products), unaware that only feet away behind a screened-off section of the first floor, a fire was raging.

It was not until smoke began to pour into their workroom that they realised the factory was ablaze.

The women quickly escaped down a fire exit as the fire spread through the building where meat and vegetables were dehydrated.

As firemen arrived on the scene there were a series of small blasts as the asbestos walls exploded.

No-one was hurt, but 34 workers were laid off after the fire.

AN AMERICAN who visited Boston for the first time wrote a raving review of the town in a newspaper called The Christian Science Monitor. Alan T Band wrote: “Boston is a place full of charm and character – a town which possesses a spirit of which any community could be proud.

A small town with a big town atmosphere, bustling with activity and a variety of shop windows displaying a range of attractive merchandise.”

The article also included two photos – one of the Stump and another of a shrimp boat unloading its catch.

35 years ago...1976

BOSTON’S new music centre was given the go-ahead – to the tune of £200,000. Work on the old Lincoln’s Warehouse site at South Quay, was expected to start in a couple of months, with completion by September 1977.

COUNCILLORS complained about nuisance noise created by aircraft from RAF Coningsby flying over Boston town centre.

At a meeting of the policy and resources committee, Coun Ewart Mann said: “Why can’t these planes miss the centre of Boston? The odd ones are frightening to children and animals.”

Director of planning, Ivan Stimson, said the council had always had the utmost co-operation from RAF Coningsby when it had been asked for, but didn’t think they could do any more to alleviate the issue.

ALCIFROLIC was the latest attraction at the Bricklayers Arms at Old Leake. It was not a new drink, musical group or pub game, but a six-week-old fox cub adopted as a pet by the licensees, Mr and Mrs Gell.

The cub was given to them by a local farmer who found it with its dead mother. Jean said the cub had settled right into pub life alongside their two large Afghan hounds.

“He is already house-trained and being taught to fetch and carry,” she said. “He’s beginning to take over the pub from the two dogs but they get on very well together.” Mrs Gell was keeping a diary of the fox’s progress which she hoped to turn into children’s stories.

FARMERS said the economic lifeblood of the Boston area was literally drying up as many feared their crops would not survive if the dry spell continued.

“We are getting rapidly into a drought situation, which is bound to affect crops and grassland for the livestock,” said Aubrey Pepper, at the Boston branch of the National Farmers’ Union. “The position is getting very serious and the harvest could generally be bad.”

25 years ago...1986

OLDRIDS were seeking court action to deal with rampaging gangs who were intimidating staff and customers at their Strait Bargate Boston store.

Managing director Bob Isaac said a large group of people, aged between around 18-25, some of whom had been drinking, entered the store, threatened staff and used foul language. “It’s very upsetting and off-putting to the customers,” he said.

The company were applying to Boston Borough Council for an injunction to keep out the ‘problem people’.

BOSTON’S record-breaking pizza maker Leroy Ford – known as Dino – set himself the challenge of attempting to break his own unofficial world record for ‘throwing’ 335 pizza bases from balls of dough in one hour.

Appropriately, his bid for Guinness Book of Records recognition was to take place at the Boston High Street restaurant where he worked – Mario’s Flying Pizza.

FIREMEN were called to a blaze at a Freiston farm which caused £200,000 of damage. Fire swept through a huge store shed at Mill Farm, owned by F. W. Marshall and Son, and destroyed four tractors, two vans, a fork-lift truck and other farm machinery.

Firemen managed to stop the blaze spreading to a nearby tank containing 1,000 gallon of diesel fuel, and a small store containing flammable insecticides and herbicides – preventing a toxic explosion.

TWO Boston dock workers risked being crushed to save a woman who fell in the water between a ship and the quayside wall.

A lull in the wind or cargo being shifted would have seen maintenance workers Roy Motley and Lenny Craven, and faller Sharon Dammes, of Ingelow Avenue, Boston, mangled by the 3,000 ton ship pushing against the quay. Sharon fell into the water while walking along the gang plank.

The two men acted quickly, climbing down the rope ladder and putting a rope around her before physically dragging her to safety. Just as they did so the ship swung in and the boat nipped Lenny’s shoe!

15 years ago...1996

BOSTON Mayor Judy Cammack and her consort John visited Ten Acres Equestrian Centre, in Kirton, so meet a man on an epic horse-riding journey for charity.

Rider Roy Nunn, from Essex, stopped by the centre after having completed 450 miles of his 3,650-mile journey around England and Wales.

As Judy and John met the team, one of their horses, called Prince ‘laughed’ as the picture was taken and took everyone by surprise.

THE houses nobody wanted on the Fenside estate were to be demolished. Councillors decided to rid themselves of 30 in Ingelow Avenue and Ingram Road because they had become a magnet for vandalism and had blighted the area. The housing committee had wrestled with problems on the estate for years, but in spite of a long waiting list, had been unable to let the homes. A total of 66 were empty.

GLADIATOR champion Mark Everitt, from Boston, held a promotional day at the town’s Woolworths store for his band Tranz-fusion’s new single.

Production problems pushed back the date of the song’s release, but Mark went ahead with the promotions day anyway and signed a large number of autographs for the area’s youngsters.