NOSTALGIA: This week in 1987 and 1997

New Leake School before a sponsored walk in 1987.
New Leake School before a sponsored walk in 1987.
  • Brothertoft lays claim to country’s biggest pumpkin in 1987
  • Public enquiry begins over £35m development for Boston in 1997

This week (from October 18) in 1987 ...

* Brothertoft’s Linda Withers had grown the biggest pumpkin in the country, winning a dream-trip to America.

Linda Withers and her all-conquering pumpkin in 1987.

Linda Withers and her all-conquering pumpkin in 1987.

Linda, 29, created the 284lb monster at her home along with another pumpkin which took third prize (257lb) in the national pumpkin competition held in Leicestershire.

The biggest of the two looked set to become pumpkin pie as it was to be shipped over to the States for a Halloween festival that Linda and her husband Bryan were to attend.

Linda credited the pumpkins’ size on cow muck and hard work, adding: “Contrary to belief I don’t play rock music to them or talk to them, but I do curse as we haven’t been able to go away all summer. They need about 40 gallons of water a day or they tend to split, but now this had made up for all the hard work.”

* A request by Scotney’s garage and show rooms, in West Street, to fell a large conker tree on its site had been turned down by the council.

Contrary to belief I don’t play rock music to them or talk to them, but I do curse as we haven’t been able to go away all summer.

Scotney’s, which had bought neighbouring property to expand, had asked the council for permission to fell the tree because it wanted to build a wall and Tarmac the site. It added that children ‘conkering’ were damaging cars on its forecourt.

This week in 1997 ...

* A public enquiry had begun over whether Albany Development could build a huge

£35 million complex of supermarket, shops, garden centre, DIY store, family pub, and fast food restaurant on the west side of Boston.

The scheme was to be sited on nearly eight hectares of old British Rail property and the former gas works at West Street, Sleaford Road, and Fydell Street.

An outline planning application had been submitted to Boston Borough Council in the summer of 1996, but by Christmas last year Albany had taken its case to the Government, accusing the council of delay tactics over the plan.

The council argued then that progress on the development had slowed down after it had to ask Albany for more information on the effect it was likely to have on the town’s shopping and traffic and the council had still not made a judgment on whether the project was suitable for Boston.

Representing Albany at the enquiry, which was held at the Municipal Buildings, QC David Mole said the site was substantially contaminated and would be difficult and costly to develop. He said retail was the only realistic use within the foreseeable future.