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

Teenager Keith holiday with his friendly pet badger Brock.
Teenager Keith holiday with his friendly pet badger Brock.

70 years ago...1941

THE BBC organised a series of greetings broadcasts from Boston, Lincolnshire to Boston, Massachusetts. Despite going out at midnight on a Sunday several local people stayed up to listen to the broadcast.

As part of the broadcast, Boston mayor Coun H. P. Clark said: “The relations existing between us have always been of a most cordial nature. Today they are strengthened by the wonderful help which we are receiving from your country in the great struggle for freedom in which we are both involved.”

A BOMB dropped by mistake from an RAF plane out practising hit and severed the water supply main in an undisclosed Lincolnshire town. The incident completely deprived 3,000 residents of their water supply from the morning until the evening. The noise of a faint explosion could be heard in a deserted stretch of countryside just outside the town. The bomb hitting the mains pipe was described as a ‘million-to-one’ chance.

SOON after enemy aircraft passed over a Lincolnshire market town late on a Sunday night four bombs were dropped in nearby farmland. Two heavy explosions were caused in a village and some shocked casualties received minor cuts from flying glass. There was no serious damage to property.

A DUEL with pitchforks in a potato field in Freiston Ings resulted in the death of one man. Two men who worked at a farm there were seen quarrelling and exchanging blows in a potato field. Then the men picked up pitchforks and one of the men was killed when a pitchfork prong penetrated his heart and lung.

50 years ago...1961

BROCK was three foot-long but only eight inches-high. His hind legs were longer than his front ones. However, his 13-year-old master Keith Holiday thought he was ‘almost human’. Pet badger Brock loved to go for a walk on a lead but when he appeared cats bolted up the nearest tree, dogs growled nervously and passers-by stopped to stare. Brock lived in a concrete house in Keith’s back yard. The badger belonged to his family’s lodger, but the boy had grown so close to it the lodger promised he could keep him when he left. Keith could take the badger up to his room, and his father would often take it to feed his chickens, but the badger never attempted to attack them. Keith’s mum Mrs Holiday said: “He’s like one of the family – he’s a tike but I don’t know where we would be without him now.”

A POLICE dog broke up a fight between two Boston brothers in a group brawl in Bargate.

The two teenagers were both sent to prison for three months after the disturbance on a Saturday night. A policeman on the scene with police dog ‘Cent’ shouted at the men to stop but they continued until Cent intervened and bit one of the brothers on the arm and dragged him out of the fight.

A BOSTON doctor described the thrilling experience of seeing family members in his native Poland for the first time in 22 years. Dr Jozef Kaleba travelled 800 miles by car with his wife and daughter to visit family, spending a month travelling to his home country.

Dr Kaleba was uprooted from his native land, like so many others, during the Second World War.

MIRACULOUSLY no-one was hurt when four lorries collided in Frampton’s London Road. The accident, involving four agricultural lorries from the borough, caused some damage to the vehicles and resulted in the road being closed off for a short time. The cause of the crash was not reported.

40 years ago...1971

THE level of tuition among the borough’s schoolchildren on survival in the water was criticised by a leading Boston scout official. Basil Brewell, assistant district commissioner for Boston, believed every child in the area should be taught to keep themselves, and possibly others, alive in water. “Many schools only seem to go so far as teaching the kids to stay afloat,” he said. “But some come to us and say they can’t even get across the pool.” One schoolboy had to be rescued from the water at Boston Swimming Pool by an instructor. Mr Brewell said there should be a national campaign to ensure all children are taught to swim properly. He added: “Water is a killer as sure as the motor car.”

IT WAS a great day for a Sibsey racing motorcyclist at Cadwell Park when he was crowned champion in the senior international race. Derek Chatterton, 26, beat off the world’s top star Giacomo Agostini in the event to receive a thunderous reception from the crowd. He described it as the best ever day in his nine years of racing.

STANDARD sub-editor Bernard Birks, of Rochford Crescent, Boston, escaped serious injury when there was an explosion on the boat he was working on. Mr Birks was attempting to start the engine on the boat, which was ashore in Red Cap Lane, when it burst into flames. The explosion threw him off the boat.

A PUBLIC meeting was being held to discuss the standards in the mass media. The meeting, at Blackfriars Theatre, had the speaker John Barnett, president of the Lincolnshire branch of the Viewers and Listeners Association, and was set up off the back of Mary Whitehouse’s national ‘Clean Up TV’ campaign.

20 years ago...1991

SEVERED fingers, gashed legs, fractures and lacerations were just some of the stomach-churning injuries suffered in an accident at Norprint. Thankfully, no lives were in danger as it was just an accident and emergency training exercise for the firm’s 21 first aiders. But the eight casualty volunteers, with the help of some make-up, made it as realistic as possible. Along with the gory injuries, the team had a heart attack victim to deal with and a hysterical patient.

ABOUT £8,000 worth of curtains and bedding were stolen from a van parked in Boston’s Elizabeth Road on a Sunday night. A Transit van parked nearby was also taken. Detectives believed they were taken by ‘travelling criminals’ who were planning to sell the items on market stalls.

Eight-year-old Kellie Smith dressed as an elephant to take part in the World Wide Fund for Nature’s annual sponsored walk around Boston’s Central Park. Kellie was joined by 40 others as they attempted to complete 28 laps of the park. One participant on the day, Paddy the Labrador, from Freiston, had an unusual claim – all his sponsors were all fellow animals – including 150 sheep!

Kitwood Boys School was visited by the mobile unit of the Household Cavalry. The cavalry spent three hours with the pupils from years 10 and 11 – showing them a variety of activities and testing their skills. Pictured, Darren Gostelow tries target shooting with the electric gun as trooper Robin Horsefield Watches.