PAGES FROM THE PAST: A cultural compass opens in town and a gran chops her thumb off


35 Years Ago... 1978 - New studios completing the Blackfriars arts complex, were opened by secretary general of the Arts Council of Great Britain Roy Shaw.

Mr Shaw, whose predecessor Nigel Abercrombie, opened the theatre in October 1966, said he was impressed with Boston’s ‘cultural campus’.

He said that he thought there was no town of comparable size which could rival Boston’s cultural ameneties.

These included the theatre, the arts centre, a music centre, and an adult education college, which he said were an ‘example to the rest of the country’.

○ Boston’s new inner relief road, which was on the verge of being handed over to the County Council, hit a snag regarding access to property between it and South Street.

Plans had originally been to widen Craythorne Lane, however there had been ‘staunch opposition’ to those plans and alternatives were being looked at.

These included access to the area from the new road, although the details were not known.

The snag meant the road would have to remain closed for some time.

○ Lincolnshire County Council was accused of ignoring the town following it’s planning sub-committee refusing to do what the borough’s committee had asked regarding an application.

The application was for three houses on land the county council owned in School Lane, Old Leake.

The borough planning committee had recommended there be no more than two houses there.

However, the county council had declined to take action to modify the plans.

Coun John Wright called the move ‘another example of the County Council taking no notice of this committee’.

45 Years Ago... 1968

Kirton Postmaster Arthur Walker retired after 29 years behind the village post offices counter.

Mr Walker had run the post office with his wife Ellen since January 1939 and had previously had a sub-office in Nottingham for eight years.

He had received an MBE in 1967 for his services to the National Federation of Sub Postmasters, of which he had been a member for 20 years, national president and chairman of the Federation’s Benevolent fund.

He and his wife had spent 12 years after taking over Kirton manning the telephone switchboard on night calls.

Mr Walker also served on the parish and rural councils.

Hopes for a youth centre in Boston were quashed when the matter was raised at a town council meeting.

Deputy Mayor Coun Martin Middlebrook asked the council to declare it ‘deplored the delay by Holland County Council in providing a Youth Centre in Boston’.

However, opposition came on grounds that there was no need for a youth centre and that it would be wrong for the council to ‘dictate’ to Holland council.

○ Improvements to the Queen Street junction with West Street to prepare for it to become part of the A52 were branded ‘dangerous’.

At a meeting of the Borough Road Safety Committee, Mr R. V. Marriott said he had borrowed a 24 foot lorry to navigate the corner and had found it ‘dangerous’, adding that cyclists on the near side were in ‘great peril’.

The main issue was a line of kerb stones which bulged into the road. However, traffic engineer Mr R. Jarvis, disagreed and said the object was to slow down traffic.

○ A disused Methodist chapel in West Stret, Boston, was not to be a car showroom due to recommendations the plans were ‘unsatisfactory’.

Ministry of housing and local government inspector Mr A. D. Hawkins said the site was cramped, close to a main road junction and frontied a busy road.

25 Years Ago... 1988

Granny Dorothy Scarborough accidentally chopped off a chunk of her thumb with an axe, but took a neighbour dinner instead of going to hospital

The 67-year-old, from Kirton, was chopping sticks at home when the accident happened, she said she didn’t realise it had happened until she was washing her hands.

However, after collecting the thumb-piece from among the sticks, she put it in a plastic bag with ice to sew on later, and took her disabled neighbour her dinner.

She said: “I had to get the lady her dinner as she was expecting me so I put the piece of thumb in a plastic bag on the draining board and surrounded with ice.

“I thought I might have to go to hospital but would see to it later. It was painful and I didn’t realise how bad it was.”

Fortunately, while Mrs Scarborough was at her neighbour’s Ivy Woods, the doctor visited and persuaded her to show him the wound.

After being rushed to hospital, she had ten stitches, but her thumb couldn’t be reattached.

○ A £20 million development - to rival plans for Pescod Square - was planned for Boston. The plan was to put a two storey centre with 115,000 square feet of sales space and roof-top parking between Red Lion Street and Strait Bargate.

15 Years Ago... 1998

‘We’re all doomed’ proclaimed the headline of the Lincolnshire Standard after fears about the millenium blug were reported to Lincolnshire County Council.

Potential catastrophies that could hit Boston and the world when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999 included a supertanker oil spillage, a plane crash, floods and powercuts.

The potential disasters were realised when it was discovered many ‘modern’ appliances might not be able to handle the new millenim because of their chips clock/date facilities.

○ Two rugby youths were preparing for a trip down under after earning three counties selection to represent Notts, Lincs and Derby in a six match tour.

Boston Rugby Club youth members Andy Rush and Graham Minards, both 16, were looking for sponsorship of £1,500 to ensure they could go to represent their town and county down under.

Adidas and Next were already providing kits and blazers and ties respectively.

Andy was doing sports science at Boston College and Giles Sixth Form, while Graham was in his last year of Kirton Middlecott School at the time.

The pair played for the Boston Under 17s rugby club.