Boston Tank Week raises £170,000 in 1918 and the town gets its own website in 1998

Some of the cast of Butterwick Primary School's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1998.
Some of the cast of Butterwick Primary School's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1998.
  • Thousands turn out for Egbert the tank in 1918
  • Launch of Boston Online in 1998

This week (July 25 edition) in 1918 ...

* Thousands of people gathered in Boston town centre to meet Egbert, a Mark IV tank brought to the area to help raise funds for the war effort.

The site has been very well received and the number of people visiting it is growing all the time.

The crowd on onlookers was ‘beyond computation’, The Standard wrote, adding: “It not only filled the Market Place, but extended across the Town Bridge, right down High Street to the GNR (Great Northern Railway) goods yard.”

Anything up to 12,000 people watched Egbert arrive, the paper estimated. It came to rest in a flagged enclosure near Dodds’ shop.

Egbert had been brought to Boston via rail from Grimsby earlier that day for what was dubbed Boston Tank Week.

It would stay in the town until the following Wednesday, before making a spectacular exit.

“On its way, (the tank) mounted a bank of sand bags and rubble erected across the roadway opposite the National Provincial Bank.

“Egbert took the rather formidable obstacle in grand style, negotiating it with ease and safety, and was loudly cheered as he ambled on towards the Town Bridge,” The Standard wrote.

By this point, Egbert’s visit had raised £170,000 for the war cause.

This week in 1998

* Boston’s business had the world at their feet following the launch of Boston Online.

The town’s official presence on the ‘World Wide Web’ had been developed by Boston Town Centre Management and Otus Computers.

It held promotional materials and information about Boston as a whole, but also individuals companies, businesses, and organisations.

The aim was to promote Boston to people in the region, nationally, and in potentially lucrative tourist markets such as the USA and Australia.

This in turn, it was hoped, would extend the town’s shopping and visitor catchment area and demonstrate investment opportunities.

Businesses could get themselves a presence on the site for less than £50 a year.

In its first month, www.boston-online.co.uk attracted about 22,000 visitors.

The largest number came from the UK (37 per cent), with a further 30 per cent coming from the United States.

Other places paying a visit were France, Belgium, Australia, Canada, and Hong Kong.

“The site has been very well received and the number of people visiting it is growing all the time,” said town centre manager Steve Smith.