Take a step back into Boston’s history with our weekly nostalgia column

People took to ice-skating and playing on the frozen drain at Cowbridge despite the dangers of the ice breaking.
People took to ice-skating and playing on the frozen drain at Cowbridge despite the dangers of the ice breaking.

70 years ago...1941

70 years ago...1941

CIVILIANS on their way home from a cinema saw an enemy plane flash overhead on a Saturday evening in an east coast town.

When the incendiary bombs began to burst in the streets, they immediately ran to help the wardens and other workers who put them out. One man tore off his coat, flung it onto a burning bomb then heaped material from the road on top of it.

BOMBS fell in almost a straight line about a quarter of a mile long prompting a café store owner to spring into action and save his budgerigars.

Mr J. C. Howsam saw flames flaring from the roof of his warehouse in which he had an aviary. He rushed inside to retrieve the four birds and witnesses said when he emerged with them unharmed, he was covered in black soot and looked like a chimney sweep.

AN URGENT appeal was made calling upon every citizen to play his part in the formation of fire parties to deal with flames from dropped German bombs.

This followed a widespread campaign to recruit at least one member of every family to the Home Guard. The Standard wrote: “The fire services are continuing to do their usual splendid work, but we must leave them free to fight the big fires.”

A LETTER of thanks from Iceland was sent by Maj Jack Staniland of Boston, who was out serving in the country. The letter was received by the secretary of the Spilsby and Hundleby comforts fund who sent out dart boards and arrows to a platoon made up of soldiers from the area.

50 years ago...1961

FIRE gutted the fibres wing of E. Fogarty and Co Ltd Mount Bridge factory at Boston. It broke out at about 6.50am when four employees were in the building. They managed to get out unhurt as 25 firemen battled to contain the blaze.

Dense smoke, some of it toxic from the burning polythene, billowed out over the Witham nearby.

Within a couple of hours the 250 foot-long building was a smouldering wreck.

A STICKFORD man had a narrow escape after his car collided and overturned on the icy roads from Spilsby to Boston.

James Semper, was trapped inside his overturned car which ended up on a grass verge. A policeman and passing motorists came to his aid by lifting and turning the car on its side so Mr Semper could escape – which he did without a single scratch.

CRIME was on the increase in Holland – and particularly in Boston.

The assistant chief constable of Lincolnshire said: “There has been an increase of 47 offences, most of them being in the Boston area.”

Figures were taken over the course of three months at the end of 1960, and compared with the same time in 1959.

NEW Year’s Eve damage to Boston’s Five Lamps by ‘a milling crowd’ was deplored at a meeting of the Town Council where it was suggested that a fire hose be used on the crowd in future.

Ald Chester said the episode had caused considerable disquiet in the town.

Coun Valentine said: “I was there myself and it was sheer wanton destruction.

“This sort of thing must be stamped out from the start.”

He added: “Last year they started with it and this year it is much worse.”

40 years ago...1971

BECAUSE of the flat countryside in the Boston area, the joys of tobogganing down hills were denied to many children in 1971.

But these youngsters enjoyed themselves playing on the frozen drain at Cowbridge, despite the obvious dangers. Many ice-skaters also took to the frozen drain, towing along children on sledges as they went across the ice.

LOCAL authorities in Lincolnshire were being asked by the county chief constable to do all they could to discourage the holding of marathon runs, sponsored walks, races, bed-pushing stunts and the like along public roads.

Mr G. W. Terry said that even if the events were for charities and good causes, they were often a danger to public safety.

THE president of Bicker WI, Miss Mary Sharpe went all out to shake off the ‘jam and Jerusalem’ image of WI ladies when she turned up at her institute’s New Year’s Eve party in this ‘stunning outfit’ – an art nouveau design dress.

Mary, believed to be the youngest WI president in Holland, said: “Some people have got the impression that we are a load of fuddy-duddies, and I mean to prove that we are not.” The Standard said the dress was ‘just the thing to induce younger women to become WI members’.

30 years ago...1981

THE Standard revealed 90 council officials were on a secret survival list selected for shelter in the event of a nuclear war.

While up to 40 per cent of Lincolnshire’s civilian population was expected to die in such a disaster, the bureaucrats were among a group of 90 selected to take shelter underneath County Hall. The officials were nominated by each other to join the chosen few and would be joined underground by government officials and top scientists. The Standard revealed the emergency plans by Lincolnshire County Council for the first time. It was also revealed the chosen few may have the agonising decision of leaving their loved ones behind as the council hadn’t decided if the officers would be allowed to bring their families with them.

ALL 96 people employed at Fisons Ltd at Boston were set to lose their jobs when the plant in Skirbeck Road closed in April.

The branch was one of four being shut down by the agro-chemicals and fertiliser giant in what it called a ‘fundamental restructuring’.

The move was also expected to hit Boston dock, with the loss of 60,000 tons of trade a year.

FOUR girls from Boston High School gained places at Cambridge University – and a fifth was set for Oxford University. The school’s deputy head teacher David Ganderton said the ‘exceptionally-talented’ upper sixth form girls had achieved excellent results.

A NEW year and a new life for Sara Clarke who gave birth to her baby daughter Tracy on New Year’s Day. Weighing 6lb 15oz, little Tracy was more than a fortnight late arriving at Pilgrim Hospital, but Sara and dad Mick, who lived at Sydney Street, both agreed she was worth the wait.