Archives: Thousands answer call to National Service

1989: Centenary Playgroup children with the tractor.
1989: Centenary Playgroup children with the tractor.

1939: Thousands were answering the call to National Service – with men and women from every background coming forward to do their bit for their country.

Depite the thousands in the county taking on roles – either fighting in the forces, or filling numerous protection services or civilian roles – many more were still needed to fill the gaps in the country’s defences.

Some young men aged 20-21 arrived at Boston’s Employment Exchange to register for the Military Training Bill. The Standard described how many ‘arrived in greasy, work-stained overall, others in flannels carrying tennis rackets or swimming costumes’.

Boston Girls’ High School in Spilsby Road was opened.

The £40,000 school was set to accommodate about 350 girls.

There weas drama in the Wash when a yachtsman from Scotland was rescued by a Boston fisherman after his boat overturned in choppy waters.

Clinging to the top of the hull, the Scotsman’s plight was spotted by Boston smacksman William Coulson, of Liquorpond Street, who was on a weekend fishing trip with his family.

He secured the man’s boat, and with his son, rowed to his assistance before towing his boat back to land.

1989: An Austrialian antiques dealer was arrested by Boston CID at his luxury borough home and was facing extradition proceedings brought by the Australian Government.

The antiques dealer used young men to burgle homes for valuables for himself, and paid them with heroin, a London court heard.

Boston’s road chaos cost the town250 potential jobs when British Sugar scrapped a paper mill plan for the town after concluding its roads were not capable of supporting the project.

The Standard revealed that the firm had been looking at a 115-acre site adjacent to the Marsh Lane industrial estate for a giant pulp paper mill.

But the company abandoned the plan after deciding that the town’s poor rail and road links were not up to scratch.

Boston grandmother Connie Braime was a familiar figure as she pedalled through the town on her bike with a wicker shopping basket on the front.

That was until a mean thief stole her lifeline when she left it outside the London Road Gateway store one morning.

Her son-in-law Mick Elsom said: “She’s really upset about it. She had it for forty years.”

Raiders broke into Boston’s postal sorting office in Main Ridge and escaped with a £90,000 haul of cash due to be distributed to sub-Post Offices.

The raid was thought to have been carried out by professionals and was being linked to the Home Counties.


A young Boston boy was rescued from the roof of his home one evening by the police.

Six-year-old Bruce Docherty, of Sleaford Road, Boston, was being looked after by his babysitter while his father Peter Docherty was at work and his mother in hospital. Young Bruce went to the bathroom, locked the door and clambered out of the bathroom window onto the roof. He was rescued by Pc Sycamore.

A Freiston Ings family were left homeless after a fire ravaged their house, wrecking much of the structure of the building and destroying many of their belongings.

One of the firemen who tackled the blaze, Graham Tooley, had to go to Pilgrim Hospital after being overcome by fumes. He was detained voernight. The cause of the fire was unknown.


Lightning struck two homes miles apart from each other during a heavy thunderstorm across the county.

One was struck in Woodside, Boston - the other in Long Sutton.

For the Fletcher family of Boston it was a case of ‘bad luck comes in threes’.

A fortnight before, Robert Fletcher’s parked car was involved in a four-vehicle collision in Freiston Road. The following week his small son Ian was found face-down in a neighbour’s pond and narrowly escaped drowning. Then came the flash of lightning.

When their home was struck, their roof was damaged and the ceiling at the top of their stairs was brought down, a nearby window was smashed and cracks appeared on all the bedroom ceilings. The lightning also caused the family’s bath to move away rom the wall.

No-one was hurt in either strike, but the flashes caused damage to both homes.

Some residents in Coningsby were left ‘alarmed and frightened’ by aerobatics carried out by a Phantom jet over the village, the parish council was told.

People there had complained about the loud and sudden noise it created and claimed it left their homes shuddering. The parish council wrote to the RAF about it.