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

Ferdinand the bull got stuck in mud at Haven bank.
Ferdinand the bull got stuck in mud at Haven bank.

55 years ago…1966

A BULL at Boston dock went on the run and jumped into the river Haven leading to a frantic rescue mission.

The animal, dubbed Ferdinand, was at the docks awaiting shipment to Holland for meat suppliers Frans Buitelaar when he jumped the fence of his enclosure. There was chaos as people gave chase and tried to catch him.

He was in the river for about two hours before getting stuck in the mud along the banks near Marsh Lane. The fire brigade was called out and pulled the bull out with a rope. It was checked by a vet before being fed and loaded onto the cattle truck.

A LORRY ploughed off the main A16 road at Stickford and partly demolished the storage buildings of Mr and Mrs G Baker.

Mrs Baker who was indoors at the time, said: “I was playing with my little girl when I heard a bang. I dashed out and saw bricks scattered all over the yard. “Then I saw this lorry with its cab embedded in our store shed.” She checked on the driver then invited him inside for a cup of tea.

Other than being shaken, he had just received a scratch. The collision destroyed stored fruit and vegetables, two bicycles and a lawnmower.

BOSTON College was given a sombre warning about its finances by Coun C. F. Ford, chairman of the Holland County estimates sub-committee.

Coun Ford warned the county education officer and college governor to watch carefully ‘where they were going financially’. He said: “It might mean they may have to consider limiting courses, expansion and the provision certain items of equipment.” Coun Ford was presenting the college expenditures and estimates for expenses in the coming year.

THE question was asked if Boston council house tenants who go on continental holidays, have expensive cars and well-paid jobs should give up their homes.

Coun N. M. Middlebrook made the suggestion at a meeting of the town council. He said a small percentage of council house tenants could afford to buy their own homes, which would free up council accommodation for people in greater need.

35 years ago…1976

FIGHTING for their lives as their boat began to sink in the Wash – three Boston fishermen struggled to safety on the Old South Middle Beacon and clambered onto its supports minutes before their vessel disappeared beneath the sea. Skipper Keith Revell, 34, of Kyme Road, and his crew of two – Gerald Yateman, of Church Road, and 16-year-old Jamie Lee, of Peck Avenue, were on the boat ‘The Emma’ working on the mussel bed when they noticed a leak above the engine. The men were eventually picked up by another fishing boat after clinging to the beacon for half an hour.

THE crime rate in Boston was reported to have risen during the last few months. A total of 762 crimes were reported in the Boston police division – 26 more than the previous year. Of the 762, reported crimes, 687 turned out to be actual crimes, but only 390 of those were detected.

MORE than £500,000 worth of insurance claims were made in the Boston area after the storms. The claims varied from broken TV aerials and chimney stacks, to damaged buildings and personal injury claims.

25 years ago…1986

BOSTON Magistrates said safety precautions at the town’s West Street level crossing were not adequate and instructed the town clerk to write to the railway authorities to draw their attention to the fact that drivers have no warning of when the gates will close. The move followed a case where a local man was accused of driving without due care and attention at the crossing. He pleaded not guilty and the case was dismissed by the magistrates.

THERE were plans to improve living conditions at Boston’s Fenside by developing a ‘neighbourhood approach’ to crime prevention.

The scheme formed part of a ‘package’ that was set to bring almost 40 new jobs to the town. The National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO), was to sponsor a 60-place community programme for Boston and Skegness. They aimed to provide work for the long-term unemployed and ex-offenders. The jobs were in energy conservation – insulating homes for needy people in the area.

TWO girls got back to their desks after Giles School, Old Leake, suspended them from lessons because their hairstyles were ‘unacceptable’.

Parents of the two fourth-year pupils were furious with headmaster Donald Vincent for the decision.

Mr Vincent said he was clamping down on ‘more exotic hairstyles’ at the school. Several girls were spoken to about their ‘punky and two-tone’ hair and two – Zoe Lucas, 14, of Leverton, and Sharon Gray, 15, of Fishtoft – were suspended.

15 years ago…1996

BOSTON’S Pilgrim Hospital was named as among those having to go on the defensive against so-called superbugs.

Experts allayed the fears of anxious callers after a Kettering doctor said on the BBC Panorama programme that Pilgrim had seen cases of the most serious strains which had become ‘almost untreatable’. EMRSA (epidemic methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) was a common cause of skin boils, pus wounds and bloodstream infections. A consultant microbiologist at Pilgrim said half the hospitals in the country had now been infected, that Pilgrim had a good infection control team, and such publicity had been ‘over the top’.

BOSTON-based seed specialists Johnsons introduced a new and exclusive carrot for their 1996 catalogue – the Boston carrot! The vegetable was described as an F1 hybrid and an exceptionally high-yielding maincrop variety.

‘YOU don’t need to be Steven Spielberg to work wonders with a camera’ claimed members of Spalding Video and Filmmakers Club – many of whom were from the Boston area. The club started four years previously and boasted 24 members who tried to make videos of anything from short film dramas to parody adverts and holiday documentaries. The club held an open day in Pinchbeck to show off their high-tech equipment and skills. Club secretary Ivy Roberts said: “There’s no limit on subjects for films – except pornography.”

A TWO-foot long machete and a pair of ornamental sabres were among the fearsome armoury collected at Boston Police Station during the national knives amnesty. The month-long campaign, which followed the fatal stabbing of a London headmaster, gathered a total of 644 swords and knives from special bins at police stations around the country.