NOSTALGIA: Lioness in Wide Bargate in 1974 and bomb scare closes town centre in 1994

Pupils at Haven High, in Boston, were snap-happy after they received cameras as part of a special sponsorship deal between the school and Lloyds Bank 25 years ago. The group were all winners in the school's weekly code of conduct raffle.
Pupils at Haven High, in Boston, were snap-happy after they received cameras as part of a special sponsorship deal between the school and Lloyds Bank 25 years ago. The group were all winners in the school's weekly code of conduct raffle.
  • Miners strike (inadvertently) causes school closure in 1974
  • Pop star Midge Ure plays intimate gig in Boston in 1994

This week (March 6 edition) in 1974 ...

* Were you there when Sheba, the one-year-old lioness, visited Boston?

Businesses and shops were evacuated as a result of the suspicious package found in a Boston town centre shop in 1994.

Businesses and shops were evacuated as a result of the suspicious package found in a Boston town centre shop in 1994.

The animal had been brought to the town from her home at Jungle Exotica, Skegness, to be photographed near a traffic warden and a parking meter. This formed part of plans for a book about her life with owner Royston Clarke, also of Skegness.

At one point, Sheba skipped her lead and launched herself at Standard photographer Gary Atkinson, scattering a small group of people who had gathered in Wide Bargate to see what was going on.

* Five hundred pupils at a school near Boston got an unexpected break from lessons as an indirect result of the miners strike.

Coal supplies to Kirton Secondary School amid the industrial action were of a lower standard than its boiler could take. The works became blocked which prevented air getting through the pipes and cooling the system, leading to a breakdown.

Midge Ure during a performance at Blackfriars Arts Centre, in Boston, 25 years ago.

Midge Ure during a performance at Blackfriars Arts Centre, in Boston, 25 years ago.

With temperatures about 40F (4-5oC), most of the children were told to stay away from the school for the week while a conversion to oil fuel central heating took place.

The only ones present were a group of 70 taking GCE and GSE examinations.

This week in 1994 ...

* Businesses closed down and shops were evacuated during a Friday afternoon when a bomb scare meant the centre of Boston had to be sealed off.

A scene from the bomb scare in 1994.

A scene from the bomb scare in 1994.

The major operation began when staff in the Mackays store found a holdall.

Their suspicions were roused because their firm’s parent company had received a bomb threat.

Police cordoned off Strait Bargate and moved out shoppers and staff from the stores.

The bomb disposal squad from RAF Wittering was called in, but its examination of the holdall found to it be innocuous.

The bag which had sparked off the huge operation contained only a lunch box and flask.

Insp Malc Marlow, of Boston police station, said Mackays had done the right thing in alerting police.

* Pop star Midge Ure played an intimate gig at Blackfriars Arts Centre, in Boston.

The audience were treated to a setlist which spanned the decades and included the likes of The Small Faces, the Chieftans, and the band fronted by Midge, Ultravox.

Attendees also had the chance to ask questions, ranging from the profound to the ridiculous, receiving often ‘side-splitting replies’.