NOSTALGIA: Boston co-workers caught up in Hillsborough disaster in 1989, progress in Pescod Square Shopping Centre plan in 1999, plus gallery of school netball teams

The annual Boston-area schools netball tournament was won by Boston West in 1999. Its A-team is pictured above. Runner-up was Kirton, while Carlton Road took top prize in the B-team competition.
The annual Boston-area schools netball tournament was won by Boston West in 1999. Its A-team is pictured above. Runner-up was Kirton, while Carlton Road took top prize in the B-team competition.
  • 1989: Friends escape death at Hillsborough disaster, and Victorian school demolished to make way for car park
  • 1999: Progress on town shopping centre, Aldi to open store, cannabis factory found, and minimum wage introduced

Thirty years ago ... 1989:

* Two Boston co-workers narrowly escaped being crushed to death in the Hillsborough disaster.

I managed to get on to the pitch by getting through into one of the side sections, and it was devastating. The fans were jammed tight against the fence and couldn’t move arms or legs.

Liverpool supporters Mick Woods and Gary Oyitch, who both worked at Norprint, were among those to attend the FA Cup semi-final football match in Sheffield.

Gary, 21, of Coningsby, was crushed against the perimeter fence by the weight of thousands of other fans. He was later told by doctors he had been minutes from death.

Friend Mick, 18, of Kirton End, had been further back in the stand and spent half-an hour searching for his Gary as the horror unfolded.

He said: “I managed to get on to the pitch by getting through into one of the side sections, and it was devastating. The fans were jammed tight against the fence and couldn’t move arms or legs.”

* The walls of Staniland school came tumbling down when a bulldozer cleared the way for a new Boston car park.

The building, opened in 1896, closed in 1984 after the county council decided to re-locate pupils from the Fydell Street-George Street premises to its Peck Avenue annexe.

Former pupil Mary Dennick said: “It’s a tragedy for Boston that our heritage is being ransacked in this way.”

Twenty years ago ... 1999:

* Boston had come several steps closer to getting the eagerly awaited Pescod Square Shopping Centre.

It was believed developers Centros Miller had secured a deal for the purchase of What Everyone Wants, in Wide Bargate, to help pave the way for the £18 million project.

A major retailer was also said to be on board, one which would act as a ‘magnet’ to attract other big names.

* Supermarket chain Aldi had signed a contract confirming its intention to move on to Boston Borough Council’s Queen Street shopping centre.

* Police smashed a potential drugs deluge when they rumbled a cannabis factory near Boston.

Almost 1,000 marijuana plants were seized in a raid on a property in the Bicker area.

The plants ranged from seedlings to one monster measuring 8ft-plus.

* Boston’s Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) had been inundated with calls from workers adversely affected by the new national minimum wage.

Callers to the office had told of employers refusing to comply with the regulations, introduced on April 1 of that year.

Some employees had even been laid off, the CAB reported,