NOSTALGIA: This week in 1917 and 1962

Pilgrim's Progress at Boston High School, March, 1962.
Pilgrim's Progress at Boston High School, March, 1962.
  • Legal first for Boston as court considers whether loaf is bread or cake
  • Runaway horse crashes through barber shop window
  • Postie who cycled 126,000 miles (on bike with one pedal) retires

Two court cases were given special attention in The Standard this week in 1917 ...

In a first for the district, a Boston baker had been prosecuted for selling currant bread.

This loaf is made as a cake and sold as a cake and not made as bread at all. It is yeast cake.

The act was in breach of an order introduced seven days earlier under the Defence of the Realm Act amid a shortage of sugar and a drive to stop the importation of currants.

It observed: “No currant bread, sultana bread, or milk bread shall be sold, or offered, or exposed for sale.”

The prosecution hinged on the definition of bread, however, with the defendant arguing that the currant bread was in fact currant yeast cake.

“This loaf is made as a cake and sold as a cake and not made as bread at all. It is yeast cake,” they said.

The case saw the offending loaf produced in court and cut in half for examination and passages read from a dictionary to establish the difference between bread and cake.

The bench ruled unanimously that the loaf was cake and, in light of it being the first offence of its kind for the area, issued a nominal fine only.

The second court case involved a runaway horse colliding with two horses and a wagon, before crashing through a barber shop window at Bargate Bridge.

It came before Boston County Court was as part of a compensation claim.

The animal was spooked by a motorcycle, the court was told.

This week in 1962, The Standard featured John Manning who despite suffering a shattered leg during the First World War cycled 30 miles a day, six days a week, 50 weeks a year, as a postman.

Stretched over the 14 years that John had been Freiston’s postman, this added up to about 126,000 miles - or the equivalent of more than five times round the world.

This week, in 1962, John was to take out his bike for the last time as, at the age of 69, he had decided to retire.

“I’m only doing it because I’ve got to,” he said. “This winter I’ve been blown off my bike twice.”

Freiston-born John had not missed a day through illness. He completed his round on his ‘special’ bike – special in that it only had one pedal and to that pedal was fixed a toe strap.

Of the job, he said: “It’s the most interesting job anybody could ask for. You’re always meeting new faces and seeing old friends.”

The Standard noted for the people of Freiston the sight of the postman’s bike worming its way along the country roads may be radically changed.

“They’ll probably mechanise it now,” said John. “And you know what that’ll mean – a van.”