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

David Coleman at the controls of the CCF's Grasshopper, watched by Robert Pickett, John Beecham, Anthony Hardy and David Wood. By the end of the summer they hoped to be hopping across the school field on it.
David Coleman at the controls of the CCF's Grasshopper, watched by Robert Pickett, John Beecham, Anthony Hardy and David Wood. By the end of the summer they hoped to be hopping across the school field on it.

50 years ago...1961

“WE MUST get rid of the idea that we are a bunch of ‘fuddy duddies’ in black stockings,” declared the Hon. Beryl Cozens Hardy, the chief commissioner for the Girl Guide Movement in England, at the first annual meeting of the South Lincs Girl Guides at Ktwood Girls’ School.

She was speaking of the ways of making the Guide movement more attractive to teenagers. “Can we do more with the opposite sex?” she asked.

“More with Scouts and other young men?” adding: “They want to do more adult things in an adult manner.”

NUCLEAR attacks and the devastating affect of fallout figured in a control and communication exercise covering south Lincolnshire.

The exercise assumed attacks in different parts of the area by airburst kiloton nuclear weapons. The groundburst 10 megaton weapons were assumed to have exploded near Hull – causing fallout over most of the county.

During the day, controllers, scientists and their staff, together with police and fire personnel, studied problems and executed their plans to deal with the situation.

“WE WANT to keep Boston up-to-date yet we don’t want to lose its old-world market town character.” This was how Coun Cyril Valentine, chairman of the Highways Committee, described the borough surveyor’s report on traffic congestion in the town and his scheme for solving it. Coun Valentine went on: “The surveyor has tried to arrange things so that the least number of people are affected by the demolition and the re-building. We can’t satisfy everyone – but we are trying to satisfy the majority. But someone will get hurt.”

40 years ago...1971

THERE were fears over the safety of pavements in Skirbeck Road and Kingsway which councillors called ‘deplorable’.

Boston Town Council was urged to make urgent improvements before someone had an accident. Coun George Julian said the pavements were in a ‘very dangerous and deplorable condition’.

The highways chairman said the issue would be dealt with as soon as possible.

PLANS for a new park in the Boston area which wouldn’t need to take up any valuable farmland were unveiled.

The new park would run along a four-mile strip on the north east bank of the River Witham between the Grand Sluice and Langrick Bridge – formally occupied by the railway track.

MEMBERS of Boston Grammar School Combined Cadet Force were looking forward to ‘grasshopping’ around their school field.

The youngsters took delivery of a Grasshopper sailplane, a primitive design of glider which literally hops along for up to 50 yards, between six and 10 feet off the ground. The Grasshopper was more then 20 feet long, with a wingspan of 39 feet.

To launch it, all they needed was a length of elastic rope and 18 cadets to provide the horsepower. The RAF’s Flt Sgt John Potter, the school’s CFF liason NCO, told The Standard the glider was developed for the Hitler youth movement.

GRAVES Park Committee and Social Club in Kirton was calling for a vigilante patrol to stop teenage ‘hooligans’ holding raves in the sports shelter.

Damage had been caused to the £500 shelter, which was constantly being left strewn with litter, broken bottles – and urine.

The committee called on everyone to keep an eye on the shelter in the hope of catching the culprits and reporting them to the police.

30 years ago...1981

NEWS that homes people had only just moved into might have to be demolished came as a bombshell for residents at Puritan Way, Boston. The houses and flats had water seeping through walls and ceilings after the weekend’s storms and it was suspected that the cavity wall insulation was faulty too and homes would have to be taken down. The news came at the borough council meeting shocked the residents, all of whom had only moved in since Christmas. They spent their weekend trying to mop up and dry out their saturated walls and ceilings. Most of the houses on the new estate were suffering with damp patches on most of the walls which were beginning to grow mould.

FARMERS were waiting and hoping that their crops had survived the weekend’s storms and deluge. Work and to be abandoned on the Friday due to the heavy rainfall, with machinery being left in fields so the work cold continue as soon as the rain stopped. But the weather continued through the weekend leaving tractors stranded in the flooded fields. Farmers had to wait to see if their crop was ruined.

TWO part-time firemen rescued a six-month-old baby from a cot in his burning Kirton home. Leading fireman John Ancliffe and fireman Barry Curtis saved the life of young Jonathan Burton after the blaze started in his King Street home. His mum, Jackie Burton was making lunch when she noticed smoke coming down the stairs. She quickly got two of her older sons out the house but couldn’t reach baby Jonathan who was upstairs. Eight minutes after the emergency call was made, the two firemen felt their way through dense smoke to rescue baby Jonathan. Praising the tow firemen, Kirton Coun Richard Upsall said: “In this case there was a matter of a minute or two between a rescue and a tragedy.”

20 years ago...1991

A RED helicopter of the Queen’s Flight turned heads in town and caused a stir when it landed unannounced in the school playing field between St Nicholas Primary and Kitwood Boy’s School.

When the crew got out and chatted to pupils and a teacher they realised they had landed in the wrong field.

The helicopter meant to land in the field at Boston Grammar School which was the planned departure point to take the Duke of Gloucester out of town after his visit to local attractions, including the Stump, Guildhall Museum and Blackfriars Theatre.

BOSTON’S traffic problems are being ‘quietly swept under the carpet’ said Coun Margaret Haworth.

She criticised Lincolnshire County Council for its attitude to the town’s road problems and said: “When Lincoln or Grantham have a problem it’s dealt with quickly. But if no-one shouts about Boston it’s swept under the carpet.”

A SON of Fenside who became a millionaire business tycoon and a ‘knight in shining armour’ to his old home town was granted Honorary Freedom of the Borough.

Leonard Medlock was one of a family of nine children brought up in Ingelow Avenue and said anyone who grew up there in the 1930s had to learn the ‘art of survival’. His proud family, including his four brothers and four sisters, were in the council chamber to see him receive his honour. Mr Medlock funded his own engineering business and his desire to help others less fortunate than himself saw him found the Medlock Trust which gave grants for community projects and new facilities in the town.

The May Fair proclamation was read from the Assembly Rooms balcony to officially open the annual festivities in the centre of Boston. Canon Peter Fluck also lead a traditional service of blessing from the merry go-round outside the Assembly Rooms.