NOSTALGIA: No to women police officers in 1918 and breakthrough on Pescod Shopping Centre in 1998

Pupils collect their awards in a handwriting competition at Hawthorn Tree Primary School in 1998.
Pupils collect their awards in a handwriting competition at Hawthorn Tree Primary School in 1998.

This week (August 8) edition in 1918 ...

* Should women be allowed to join Boston’s police force?

A request had gone before the Watch Committee – the body which oversaw policing in the area – to appoint two women to the town’s police force.

Members decided, however, that for the time being no police women should be appointed. They did say, though, they would welcome the appointment of ‘Voluntary Women Patrols’ to take on the duties of Special Constables.

These decisions were this week, 100 years ago, facing debate among town councillors.

Calling for Boston to follow in the footsteps of the 19 boroughs or towns that already had police women was Ald Skinner.

Summing up his position, The Standard wrote: “He thought the appointment of police women would be a great boon to the town. As the Mayor had reported, people sat at their front windows and saw scenes which were abominable beyond description.

“The present force was smaller than usual and the men could not be all over the town at once, and if the force would be increased by two women there was not the slightest doubt it would produce a greater amount of purity in the town.”

This week in 1998 ...

* A major breakthrough in talks had secured the land needed for Boston’s proposed Pescod Square Shopping Centre.

The £18m scheme hit the rocks when developers Centros ran into difficulties getting all the land it needed.

A major stumbling block had been the site of the GPO sorting office, in Main Ridge, which threatened to derail plans until the threat of a Compulsory Purchase Order from the borough council.

A desperate bid to find the sorting office a home seemed to be solved when the old B&Q site, in John Adams Way, passed a Royal Mail feasibility study ... but then fashion retailers Matalan stepped in and took the freehold.

However, it was announced this week in 1998 that an alternative site had been found for the sorting office and it was full steam ahead for Pescod.

* Plans were also being discussed for a £6m shopping centre on the Red Lion Street car park in Boston.

Developers had unveiled an image of the new complex, which would be known as Church Walk.

The centre was scheduled to be open for business before Christmas the following year and would comprise 14 larger shops and some smaller kiosks.