Take a step down Boston’s memory lane with our nostaligia column

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50 years ago...1962

DETAILS of a scheme for cutting a bypass channel from the River Witham, extending for eight miles around Boston, was considered by members of the Lincolnshire River Board when it was revealed that the cost would be nearly £4 million.

A BOSTON boy appeared at Juvenile Court for firing an air rifle at a group of men along the banks of the Haven. One of the men, on holiday from Morcambe, was walking along the bank with three other men when he heard the sound of an air rifle ‘slug’ hitting the ground not far from himself and his friends. The man shouted to two youths who were on the other side of the river, where upon one of the boys turned around and fired his air rifle towards the group. The young boy told the court: “I fired the gun at them not to hit them but only to scare them, I was only larking about.” but he added: “I’m very sorry and it wont happen again.”

FIREMEN had to wear breathing apparatus to enter a smoke-filled room at the former Jolly Sailor Inn on the Haven Bank at Fishtoft. The building, converted into a home, saw the front room, once the pub’s smoking room, completely destroyed. The blaze was started by a spark from a newly-lit fire in the hearth which was airing garments on a clothes horse.

l An outstanding performance at Kitwood Boys’ School sports day was put up by Peter Dawson, of form 1D. He won every first year event except the high jump, in which he was second, and was a member of the winning relay team.

40 years ago...1972

A COUPLE claiming to be Boston’s only tin-bath-by-the-fireside family with small children living in a council house were told they could soon expect to be moved to a more suitable home.

Father Bernard Smith, of Edwin Street, said he had endured a three-year long battle with the council to get re-housed or to have a bathroom put in their existing home. He and his wife Doreen and their three children, all under the age of five, had to endure the difficulties of bath night and only getting hot water by boiling a kettle.

“It’s scandalous that we should live in these conditions in the 20th century,” he said. The council’s senior housing assistant said the family would be moved to another house in about two months.

YELLOW rain showered down in Pilley’s Lane, Boston, when a mystery helicopter flew over some of the houses spraying a fine liquid. The red ‘copter flew low over the rooftops of the houses discharging spray over windows, cars and gardens. Standard inquiries failed to trace the owners of the helicopter. Jeff Ashberry was playing cricket in the garden with his three sons when the aircraft went over. “We stopped playing and watched, as it flew by you could see this stuff pouring out so I told the boys to get ready to dash back indoors if the helicopter came back.”

BOSTON’S one-man ‘pirate’ radio station, at four months old, was continuing to dodge Post Office detection in its aim of breaking the BBC’s ‘music monopoly. But its operator was getting worried. In an effort to escape detection, programme were being broadcast less frequently, said a spokesman or a small group of young people in the know. And during broadcasting hours, lookouts were being posted to give early warning of possible Post Office detection vans in the area. He said: “We shall continue to broadcast because we believe ion our cause, but we shall have to take more care.”

TWO women and a three-year-old child had to dive for safety when a Mini came around the corner of West Street from High Street. The woman was crossing the road with her young child and her mother when the purple car came hurtling around the corner at a fast speed. There were three or four young people inside who seemed to laugh as the woman had to drop her shopping bags, grab her child and dive to the side of the road to avoid being hit. The driver made no attempt to slow down or stop.

30 years ago...1982

A TROUBLESOME headache turned into a personal miracle for 25-year-old Barry Tuplin, blind for three years.

For a fortnight he put up with a bad headache and toothache, then woke up one morning and found he could see again. Barry, who lived with his wife Jackie in Kirton had never expected to get his sight back as doctors had ruled out the possibility. When he woke up that morning and saw the wallpaper in his room he literally couldn’t believe his eyes. “I couldn’t believe it at first,” he said. “And I didn’t tell my wife straight away because I wanted to sure.”

Barry had never even seen his wife or the home they had moved to after their marriage but he said Jackie was ‘just as I expected her to be’. Barry went blind after several eye infections. His optician confirmed his condition had improved since the mystery headache but could not account for why.

A ‘chance in a million’ blaze wrecked a home in Low Road, Wyberton. The fire in the living room while Violet Smith was out shopping and her husband Fred was in their garden. Mrs Smith had fresh flowers in a glass vase in the living room window near a pile of papers and correspondence belonging to her husband. It is thought that the scorching sun shone through the vase and set the paper alight. The couple’s living room and kitchen were left blackened shells after the ire.

PUPILS at Boston’s St Mary’s School were planning how to unravel the mysteries of the computer thanks to a special teacher who visited the school from a college in Lancashire. Anne Howlett spent a week at the school teaching senior pupils how to extract information from the computer and how to access its memory banks.

20 years ago...1992

POLICE were hunting a hooded man who tried to raid Boston’s Nationwide Building Society. The man, who may have been armed, disappeared into the crowds as he fled from the office when a member of staff triggered the alarm and security screens were activated. He was described as white, but tanned, and about 6ft 6ins tall.

FIREFIGHTERS from Boston were called out when a Renault car driven by a Fishtoft man plunged into a 12ft-deep ditch after a crash in Gosberton Risegate. The man suffered cuts and grazes but the other vehicle’s driver was not hurt.

CAR crime was rising in Boston and police were asking the public to join them in their fight to beat the criminals. Over one weekend alone, 15 cars were attacked in the town. In the previous week many more had been broken into or damaged. DCI Chris Cook said: “People are still leaving property on display in their cars, especially handbags, wallets and cash and my message is ‘out of sight, out of mind’.”

There was a building ‘blitz’ on Boston’s Strait Bargate as major building works got underway. Scaffolding shrouded three permanent town centre sites and the frontages of a Strait Bargate block once housing Fosters, Preedy and Wakefields, survived but bulldozers demolished a huge area at the back in preparations for a huge redevelopment.