Take a step down Boston’s memory lane with The Standard’s weekly nostalgia column.

The world's smallest man David Jones meets The Standard's tallest man Eric Spencer to talk about his leprechaun act at Boston May Fair.
The world's smallest man David Jones meets The Standard's tallest man Eric Spencer to talk about his leprechaun act at Boston May Fair.

l 45 years ago: 1967

A GIPSY Bridge grocer had a lucky escape when his car crashed through the concrete and iron bridge at Antons Gowt and finished up in Castledyke Drain. John William Sallabanks was unhurt and able to wade to the bank for help. The accident happened as Mr Sallabank was returning from Boston. “As I touched my brakes it was as if I was on a sheet of ice.” he said.

l THE smallest man in the world visited The Standard to talk about his planned visit to Boston’s May Fair. David Jones, from Northern Ireland, stood several feet shorter than The Standard’s tallest member of staff – photographer Eric Spencer. Mr Jones was a mere 25 inches high, more than two inches shorter than the Guiness Book of records’ previous ‘smallest man’. Mr Jones suffered glandular upset at the age of two and stopped growing. Both his parents were normal size. Mr Jones, 64, was to dress as a leprechaun complete with green suit and beard, at the town’s annual May fair.

l FOUR local people were awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Testimonial on Parchment certificates for trying in vain to save a man from drowning near Sluice Bridge.

Det con Michael Baumber, Boston Rowing Club members John Vere and Colin Davy, and Julie Mableson, of Horncastle Road, all spent hours diving under the water in an attempt to save a local man who’s boat capsized. The man’s 10-year-old son, who was in the boat with him, was wearing a lifejacket and made it safely to shore.

l THERE was an appeal made to help to provide guide dogs for the blind in Boston. Residents were asked to save silver paper and bottle tops was these would be converted into funds to help fund new trained dogs.

l 35 years ago: 1977

PARENTS were urged by police to check lights on their children’s bikes to ‘save a youngster from death or serious injury’. Insp Dennis Gurnhill said: “Although mornings and evenings are getting a little brighter, it can still be very hard to see a cycle at any distance if the weather is overcast and the bike has no lights.”

l A FOURTEEN year old Boston schoolboy started a £10,000 fire after smoking in his wood yard ‘den’ with friends. A juvenile court heard how the boy tried to beat the fire out but eventually panicked and ran away. About 45 tons of wood was destroyed at the site, off Fishtoft Road.

l WOOLWORTHS store in Strait Bargate was evacuated twice in two days when someone made a phone call to say there was a bomb in the building. Police searched the store but found nothing, so turned their attentions towards investigating who was behind the call.

l Housewife Cheryl Durrant caught the eye of many people during her career on the football field – including the national ladies’ selectors. The skills the 21-year-old displayed as centre forward for Fishtoft ladies did not go unnoticed in the Nottingham Ladies League and led to her preparing to go for trials which it was hoped would land her a place in the national side.

l 25 years ago: 1987

BOSTON was in the grip of ‘The Big Freeze’ with the town completely cut off as roads out of town and all rail routes were blocked by snow. High winds had been whipping up more than 12 inches of snow, producing drifts up to five feet high. In some cases, even snow ploughs were getting stuck as temperatures reached as low as -12C. Boston-based WASP Engineering, who were the UK’s only manufacturers of all-terrain buggies, used one of their vehicles to help deliver essentials to elderly people.

l THERE was panic buying at Boston’s supermarkets with shoppers eager to stock up on groceries as the town was cut off by the freezing weather. Keymarkets in Wide Bargate began rationing its bread and 400 pints of milk delivered to the store were all snapped up within five minutes.

l QUICK-thinking pensioner Irene Sharp, 79, prevented a blaze at the home she shared with her brother. Miss Sharp threw buckets of water on clothing that burst into flames as it was being aired too close to a gas fire. Her brother Eric, 66, who had been warming his winter woollies by the fire at their Norfolk Street home, needed treatment for smoke inhalation.

l ABSOLUTELY nothing was going to stop Wrangle man Stuart Pawson from taking his holiday - not even a fire which half destroyed his home hours before he was due to depart. Philosophical Stuart decided there was nothing to be gained by staying in his boarded-up bungalow during Britain’s coldest snap for years, and set off for the sun, ready to deal with the damage when he returned.

l WASP Engineering duo Dennis McAvoy and Carl Goldspink, help to deliver essentials to pensioners on their all-terrain buggy during Boston’s big freeze.

l 15 years ago: 1997

FED-UP residents were calling for drastic action by Boston Borough Council after ‘problem’ families were rehomed in their village, bringing with them a spate of thefts and vandalism, they claimed.

The villagers said the problems started when the council embarked on a policy of moving ‘problem families’ to the three council estates in Old Leake. The problem got so bad that the local parish council called in MP Sir Richard Body.

Residents claimed crime had more than doubled. However, crime figures from the police didn’t tally with the claims from concerned residents.

l THE cold snap claimed perhaps the unluckiest victim in Boston when a lottery fortune slipped away from a pensioner’s grasp. Icy winds and slippery pavements prevented the unnamed 82-year-old woman from taking her usual trip to the Eastwood Road post office to buy her ticket. But all six of her regular numbers, made up from important dates, came up in the TV draw. “It was a bit of a fluke, but what you never had you never miss.” she said.

l ENVIRONMENTAL health officers in the borough were set to get new powers to deal with noisy neighbours. The Noise Act was about to come into force which would allow them to confiscate equipment from homes making too much noise and issue a £1,000 fine to repeat offenders.

l PUPILS at Thomas Cowley High School in Donington learnt how to act according to the expressions on their faces. A representative from the Trestle Theatre Company in Bedfordshire visited the school to hold a workshop for year nine pupils.