NOSTALGIA: Abandoned cars pile up in 1969 and strike action in 1979 sees hospital ask relatives to wash patient linen

The Boston College of Further Education were staging the Noel Coward comedy Hay Fever at Blackfriars Theatre, 50 years ago this week, recreating the 1920s.
The Boston College of Further Education were staging the Noel Coward comedy Hay Fever at Blackfriars Theatre, 50 years ago this week, recreating the 1920s.
  • Work on new hospital for Boston ahead of schedule in 1969
  • Headteachers to cut through locked gates if strike action hits in 1979

This week (February 6 edition) in 1969 ...

* Boston was struggling against the indiscriminate dumping of rubbish – everything from rusty dustbin lids to old cars.

Would a 'crusher' help solve Boston's growing scrap metal problem?

Would a 'crusher' help solve Boston's growing scrap metal problem?

Abandoned vehicles were being taken almost every day to a special dump near Broadfield Lane and local authorities were thinking about buying a ‘crusher’ (starting at £11,000) to pulverise them into small, easier-to-manage rectangles.

In one incident, nine old car bodies were found dumped in a field in Benington, along with heaps of tins, some empty drums, several prams, a mass of battery cases, buckets, tubs, wooden crates, corrugated sheeting, lavatory pans, a tangle of rusty barbed wire, a few bicycles, a mass of rotting vegetable matter, and weed killer.

* Work on Boston’s new general hospital in Sibsey Road was ahead of schedule.

Construction of what would become Pilgrim Hospital began the previous year and by spring 1969 contractors expected to be able to hand over the boiler house and the works department, followed by the occupational therapy, mortuary, pathological, outpatients, x-ray, and accident and emergency departments all before the autumn.

We shall cross other union picket lines if children are in the schools for the sake of their safety. But if the gates are locked it is not the job of my members to open them.

This would be followed by the maternity block in 1970.

This week in 1979 ...

The Winter of Discontent saw a trio of strike stories appear on the Standard’s front page:

* At Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, there was a ‘grave shortage’ of clean linen due to striking NUPE (National Union of Public Employees) laundry staff.

Abandoned cars at the special dump off Broadfield Lane in 1969.

Abandoned cars at the special dump off Broadfield Lane in 1969.

The hospital was admitting only emergency cases and the relatives of these patients were being asked to take dirty linen home with them, launder it, and bring it back.

* Headteachers had been told to cut through locked gates if their schools were hit by NUPE industrial action.

The instructions from Lincolnshire County Council – which also suggested buying tinned food for dinners – had incensed the National Union of Teachers.

Lincolnshire secretary Percy Wilson said: “We are not in the business of blacklegging on other unions. We shall cross other union picket lines if children are in the schools for the sake of their safety. But if the gates are locked it is not the job of my members to open them. Headteachers should take quick action to disperse their children to safe ares.”

Pilgrim Hospital taking shape in 1969.

Pilgrim Hospital taking shape in 1969.

* The majority of Boston’s striking lorry drivers were due to go back to work after a pay increase was agreed between their union and the Road Haulage Association.

Another view of Pilgrim Hospital in development from 1969.

Another view of Pilgrim Hospital in development from 1969.