NOSTALGIA: This week in 1917 and 1982

The tanker in the North Forty Foot Drain, near Boston, in 1982. EMN-171213-143017001
The tanker in the North Forty Foot Drain, near Boston, in 1982. EMN-171213-143017001
  • Working model French 75mm field gun yours to own in 1917
  • Christmas card in 1982 turned up three years after it was posted

This week (December 20th edition) in 1917 ...

* Businesses in Boston had taken to the pages of the Standard in a bid to attract to Christmas shoppers.

You can also purchase at the same shop pretty, useful and inexpensive gifts for your friends.

“Although it is war-time we want the children to have a happy Christmas and there are plenty of toys to make them happy at Wilson’s Civet Cat, Boston,” declared one advert, adding: “You can also purchase at the same shop pretty, useful and inexpensive gifts for your friends.”

J. Oldrid & Co ran an advert which proclaimed in large, underlined capital letters ‘give useful presents!’

It then offered a ‘few suggestions’ (actually more than 40), including: furs, aprons, caps, hose socks, underskirts, travelling rugs, ‘fancy linens’, tea cloths, tray cloths, brush and comb bags, and – for churchgoers looking to take the discomfort out of kneeling – hassocks.

Currys’, in Strait Bargate, laid claim to ‘this season’s sensation’ – double-sided records.

It offered a wide range of other gifts, including: ‘new animated novel toys, affording unlimited amusement’, Meccano, electrical goods, mouth organs, and fountain pens.

Perhaps the most unusual gift on offer, though, was a working model (‘British made’) of the famous French 75mm field gun.

This week in 1982 ...

* Disaster was averted when a tanker carrying 2,500 gallons of diesel oil plunged into the North Forty Foot Drain on the outskirts of Boston.

The driver was almost at his destination – Dovecote Farm, in Boston West on the bank of the drain beyond the end of Langrick Road – when his tanker slid off the narrow lane, rolled over twice, and finished upright in the water.

However, the driver escaped with only minor facial injuries and, from the tanker, just two gallons of oil escaped.

The vehicle was owned by William Cory and Son, of Peterborough, and incorporated a safety device of double-locking of the lids of its three tank compartments.

* Butterwick housewife Elsie Kirk had received a Christmas card from a long-lost, wartime friend – just three years after it was posted to her.

Joan Pike, of Grimsby, initially sent the greeting to the wrong address, having forgotten the correct one.

It was returned to her and 12 months later she tried sending it to Mrs Kirk’s brother in Friskney, but he had moved away five years earlier.

The card then arrived at Mrs Kirk’s home in Upsall Road, Butterwick, two years letter, but how it got there exactly was a mystery.