Take a step back in time to the news of days gone by with the Standard’s weekly nostalgia column

Two-year-old Martin Norton shares his sandwich with Sandy his cheeky pet rabbit.
Two-year-old Martin Norton shares his sandwich with Sandy his cheeky pet rabbit.

45 years ago...1966

A FAMILIAR sight to residents of Field Street, Boston, was a large rabbit romping through their gardens. The creature named Sandy was the pet of Martin and Tracey Norton, of Field Street.

Their rabbit was allowed to leave its hutch in warmer weather and roam their garden. But the family found out the creature, which seemed to disappear for some hours before returning, had been sneaking out the garden to run free in the street. It had been escaping by scaling boxes and jumping over the family’s 4ft 6ins wall. Sandy also developed a sweet tooth and regularly knocked lollipops out Martin’s hand to devour itself.

THE rowboat ‘Puffin’ – in which former Standard reporter John Hoare, and David Johnstone were trying to row the Atlantic – was found upturned 600 miles south east of Newfoundland. There was no sign of either 29-year-old Mr Hoare, or 35-year-old Mr Johnstone, who set off from Virginia, US, 114 days before the boat was found. The ship’s log reported winds of gale force 2 under the final entry, dated September 3. The following day Hurricane Faith crossed the boat’s path.

MORE than 100 mothers of children at Boston’s Conway School were angry over parking restrictions which made picking up youngsters after school very difficult. The school occupied the whole of one side of Norman Avenue – yet that side of the road was a no waiting area. The greater part of the other side of the road was a bus park – only used on market days. The mothers set up a petition to get something done about it.

AN EX-mayor of Boston and former chairman of Fisher Clark and Co collapsed and died at the keyboard of the organ he had given to Boston Unitarian Church. George Vernon Clark, who was 71, agreed to play during a service but when the first hymn was announced there was no introductory music and he was found collapsed. Described as ‘an exemplary citizen’ Mr Clark’s funeral at the Stump saw hundreds turn out to pay their respects.

35 years ago...1976

THERE was a safety hazard alert following a chemical leak at a Boston factory. Men at J and J Beaulahs Ltd, the Norfolk Street canning factory, worked through the night to empty a storage tank containing a highly-corrosive liquid caustic soda which developed a leak. The acid-like liquid was used to clean carrots. Boston fire brigade were called to wash the spilt liquid away. The leak was due to a crack in the weld of the tank.

HOLLAND with Boston MPRichard Body called for a ‘pornography tax’ to pour money into the country’s coffers and increase revenue. Mr Body said: “Most of our vices are now taxed and I see no reason why we should not try to curb the enormous growth in pornography.”

25 years ago...1986

FIREMEN risked their lives twice in two days to tackle two major blazes in the borough that cost more than £100,000. Ironically, a local fire safety campaign had begun that same week. Crowds of shoppers watched firefighters battle against intense flames in the roof of the TSB bank in Wide Bargate. The crew had, only one day before, risked being blown up at a burning workshop in Wyberton’s Slippery Gowt Lane. Seven cylinders of gas at the site had to be quickly removed to avoid disaster.

BOSTON dock committee was considering closing off the entire dock area to the public. The 102-year-old municipally-owned dock had never restricted access before but the committee said it needed to discuss a letter received from the Health and Safety Executive at Nottingham, pointing out the dangers of the site.

A MAN was admitted to Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital after eating several spoons. The man, of no fixed abode, swallowed the teaspoons at a Skegness bed and breakfast where he had been staying. He was recovering from an operation to remove the cutlery items.

15 years ago...1996

A BOSTON couple’s holiday to Cyprus turned to terror as the island was rocked by an earthquake. One moment Gerald and Judy Hull, of London Road, were relaxing on their sunbeds, the next day they were left shocked as a quake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale hit the holiday isle. Back home safely, postman Gerald and hairdresser Judy told of their ‘terrifying’ experience and described hearing the rumbling sounds and seeing the ground ‘waving’.

FISHERIES experts were called in after scores of dead fish were found floating on the surface of the Forty Foot Drain. The area had recently been dammed for repairs.

POLICE were alerted to a suspected arson attack after a £20,000 explosion on an electrical sub-station off Spilsby Road, Boston. Parents and children ran for cover as the compound erupted with smoke and flames. It was believed to have been started deliberately as a can of lighter fuel was found at the scene.

FREISTON craftsman Robert Owen created a popular way for people to keep their desks tidy. The 34-year-old was putting pictures and caricatures of celebrities like Madonna, Michael Jackson, Jarvis Cockers and Coronation Street characters into paperweights and selling them. His idea was catching on so well he even had demand from TV stars. One of his clients was the Channel 4’s The Word presenter Jasmine Dotiwala who wanted pictures of herself in the weights to give to friends.