NOSTALGIA: Plans for major out-of-town shopping complex in 1989 and Star Wars coup and snapshot from 1999

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  • 1989: Plans for out-of-town shopping centre and celebrations over new-look Boots
  • 1999: Phantom Menace confirmed for Boston and lightning strike disrupts council

Thirty years ago, 1989 ...

* Plans had been submitted for a major new shopping complex on a 20-acre site in Hammond Beck Road on the outskirts of Boston.

Five planning applications had been filed with Boston Borough Council over the scheme, which would also give rise to a new £500,000 roundabout and road connecting the area to Swineshead Road.

“The multi-million pound project would mean a major change to Boston’s current shopping policy, as it could bring a supermarket to the land behind Oldrids Downtown,” the Standard wrote.

The paper noted, though, a trend towards the area by major retailers, with Texas, MFI, and a major garden centre all expected to locate opposite the Downtown site.

Developers hoped to attract a fairly substantial ‘name’ food retailer to the Hammond Beck Road site, the paper added.

I’m hoping to keep it [The Phantom Menace] for seven weeks, and I’ll be putting it on as many times as the public wants. I’m going to make sure the public are satisfied. That’s what the game is all about

* A gala day was held at Boots, in Market Place, Boston, to mark a comprehensive refurbishment of the store.

Changes included new lighting, fixtures, and fittings; the re-location of the Foodcentre to the front of the store; and the creation of two ‘islands’ in the beauty department to provide better browsing facilities.

Twenty years ago, 1999 ...

* One of the most anticipated films of all time was coming to Boston.

Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace had created such fervour in the States fanatics queued outside cinemas for months to be among the first to see it.

The prequel, which had only been released in America three weeks earlier, was due to be released in the UK on July 16, but lucky Regal patrons could see it from Thursday, July 15, the Standard wrote.

Proprietor Jack Judd said: “It’s not been easy to get hold of it. But I told them my situation here was ideal. The Regal is the only cinema in Lincolnshire that’s got the right equipment – I’ve got stereo prologue sound with seven channels.

“I’m hoping to keep it for seven weeks, and I’ll be putting it on as many times as the public wants. I’m going to make sure the public are satisfied. That’s what the game is all about.”

* A lightning strike at a BT telephone exchange cut off Boston Borough Council’s computer system for two days.

A backlog of work built up when the computers were not working, and even though extra staff had been brought in, it was anticipated that it would be two weeks before things were back to normal.