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

Examining the bones which could be the remains of Saint Botolph in front of the church named after him, are (from left) The Rev Alan Duce, site workmen Terry Kirk, Alan MacIntyre and Sebastian Dangerfield, and Mr R. Baker, the parish church verger.
Examining the bones which could be the remains of Saint Botolph in front of the church named after him, are (from left) The Rev Alan Duce, site workmen Terry Kirk, Alan MacIntyre and Sebastian Dangerfield, and Mr R. Baker, the parish church verger.

70 years ago...1941

“IN THE next few months we shall probably come into the crisis of the war and the Home Guard can play an important part as upon how you react may depend on the decision of our enemies to take certain action or not.”

These were the words of Lt Gen T. R. Eastwood, of the northern Command of the Home Guard, as he inspected the men of the 1st Holland (Boston) Battalion.

The men were on parade at Central Park and the speech was made in front of a crowd on townspeople.

The men were asked that if an enemy came into their area, they ‘try to delay or destroy him to the best of their abilities’.

YOUNG heroine Mabel Butler was rewarded for her bravery in rescuing a six-year-old child from drowning at the South Forty Foot Drain. Mabel, 16, of Duke Street, jumped in the river to save Edna Stephenson, after she was seen struggling and being swept along the stream. Mabel was awarded by the Royal Humane Society for her bravery.

THE Standard emphasised the dangers of alerting the enemy by keeping lights on during darkness. “Everyone knows the dangers of showing light – with all too frightful possibilities,” stated the paper.

“Yet a few people still adopt a casual and apathetic attitude. Such a distorted outlook on such a grave problem is difficult to understand – but it happens night after night.” The Standard concluded: “We do not want any Gestapo business here. We don’t want any snooping. But we do want the maximum security possible in present circumstances.”

ANXIOUS relations got the news of a young Boston RAF officer, reported ‘missing in action’, was in German hands. The officer, Acting-Flying Officer Wm. Arthur Staniland, of Skirbeck Road, was reported missing after a daylight sweep of the Continent. His bride of only a month, and his parents, received telegrams from the authorities stating that Flt Officer Staniland was a prisoner of war in Germany.

50 years ago...1961

VIOLENT storms in the Boston area played havoc with the electricity supply, and many people were left without power.

The storms, which began late one Saturday night, continued until the Sunday lunchtime.

Lightning caused widespread interruption in the electricity supply, causing fuses to blow out.

District electrical engineer Mr J. W. Baillie said: “I’ve never seen anything like it – it’s been chaos.”

Three inches of rain fell and there was a layer of thick fog 100 feet up which completely ‘blotted out’ the Stump tower. Lightning also struck a barn in Quadring, setting it alight.

A BOSTON man returned safely from working on a native island in New Guinea described as ‘cannibal island’ – where the last missionary to visit was eaten alive.

Reg Briggs, of Revesby Avenue, was taking part in a working tour of Australia and New Guinea working on an oil exploration as a wireless operator. “It’s like going back 2,000 years visiting places like that,” he said, after spending nine months away from home.

A SCHEME to relieve Boston’s traffic congestion – but one that would cost £1 million, pass through a football ground and along a motorway to be built over the Maud Foster Drain – was suggested at a public enquiry. The ideas came from Boston quantity surveyor Eric Molsom, as an alternative suggestion to routes planned for a section of the town’s proposed inner relief road.

A number of people had objected to the original proposals, including Mr Molsom, who stood to see his house demolished to make way for the relief road.

40 years ago...1971

LINCOLNSHIRE half-mile grass track champion John Almond, of Boston Wheelers, won his first national cycling championship – on a veteran Penny Farthing.

Sprint cyclist John, 30, won the national Old Ordinary Challenge Trophy at the Harvey Hadden Stadium, Nottinghamshire. John, of Red Lion Street, said: “When you get a good machine, you can really make it go.”

PIGEON fanciers in the Boston area were remaining hopeful over the losses among birds released from three northern towns. The return flight was being described as ‘the worst disaster in the history of pigeon racing’ with many thousands of birds failing to return to their lofts throughout the region.

HUMAN bones believed to be the remains of Botolph, the saint who gave his name to Boston, were unearthed in the town. Workmen doing the piling for the foundations of the new footbridge over the River Witham, near the Stump, discovered the bones while drilling.

The Rev Alan Duce said: “The fact these were found 25ft down means they are very old.

“No-one is buried as deep as that so the soil level has changed a great deal since the body was put there.”

He added: “We know that Botolph was buried somewhere near the site.”

Experts were being called in to examine the bones.

AN ILLEGAL immigrants scare resulted in police road blocks being set up in the Boston area one Thursday night. Police moved after reports of light aircraft near the former USAAF base in East Kirkby and at Friskney. The aerodrome was searched but nothing was found and the roadblocks failed to produce anything.

20 years ago...1991

CAR thieves in the Boston area found a new way of disposing of stolen vehicles – rather than burning them out they had taken to dumping them in the local drains.

Insp Phil Carter, of Boston Police, said that over just three days at the end of August, three cars had been stolen from the area and left submerged in drains around Boston. Insp Carter said he believed the same culprits were behind each incident.

OLDRIDS announced it was turning all its stores into smoking-free zones after a survey showed most people would welcome the move.