Take a walk down memory lane with our weekly nostalgia column

David Brocklesby was reunited with his pet crow in Boston.
David Brocklesby was reunited with his pet crow in Boston.

50 years ago...1961

RESIDENTS in Kingsway, Boston, woke up to a cawing sound and looked out their windows to see their milkman having a conversation – with a crow.

The bird was the unusual passenger on top of the milkfloat and seemed very friendly. It decided to take up temporary residence with nearby retired farmer Fred Barton and his wife for a few days – before flying ‘home’ to 11-year-old David Brocklesby, of Woad Farm Road. The youngster had been looking after the bird for six weeks and it was given complete freedom, only being put in a box in the garden at night if it rained. “I think it will be flying away for good soon,” said David. “When I was feeding it recently another bird cawed and my crow flew away and wouldn’t come back for a long time.”

“TOO many Christians go around with long, miserable faces these days when they really ought to look happy,” the Rev G. W. Sails told his congregation at Centenary Methodist Church in Boston. He said: “We, of all people, who should be filled with joy, are a poor advertisement for that which we represent,” and added: “If our hope is set in earthly and material things, on possessions, on pleasures, on prosperity, then we are vulnerable at every moment of our lives.”

POLICE appealed for more assistance from the public in providing information after reports showed there had been a sharp increase in crime and accidents in the borough. Lincolnshire chief constable Mr J. Barnett said: “Unfortunately 1960 saw further increases in the amount of crime committed and accidents involving death and injury on the roads.” There had been a 7.4 per cent rise since 1959. The county itself saw a rise of more than 50 per cent over the last 10 years.

ICE cream vendors operating in the Elizabeth Road area of Boston were to be issued with a warning about noise nuisance from their vans’ chimes. Boston Town Council agreed at a meeting they would instruct the town clerk to warn the offenders that legal action would be taken against them if a repetition occurred.

40 years ago...1971

JOBS were said to be in danger as the spread of fowlpest was affecting the game bird trade. Thousands of pheasants had already been killed by the virus and there were fears if there were many more it would mean the loss of 40 jobs at Boston-based Frans Buitelaar (Game) Ltd. The company’s managing director, George Hull, said: “Our overseas market has been virtually stopped during the outbreak.”

EAGLE-eyed housewife Bessie Jackson got a bit of a fright when she spotted something six-inches long and ‘tacky to the touch’ while going about her household duties. The item was sticking out of a shovelful of coal and it was found to be a stick of dynamite! Forty-two-year-old Mrs Jackson, of Cotton Road, Boston, contacted police who called a science expert to identify it. Thankfully, the stick, believed to have originated from the coal face, was not live.

A BATTLE between the forces of good and evil was brought with enthusiasm by Boston schoolchildren at the Stump. The children depicted the story of St Botolph’s work in bringing Christianity to the Fens as part of the Stump Week celebrations in 1971.

Eighteen young women took part in a beauty contest at the Assembly Rooms to compete for the title of Miss Boston. Nine were selected to go through to the final – the winner of which would then compete in the annual Miss Anglia competition, to be screened on television in Norwich. The women arrived on the day complete with swimsuits and were inspected by a panel of three judges.

30 years ago...1981

THERE was excitement for a new shopping precinct in Boston after a local businessman bought the Regal Theatre and planned to convert the building’s ground floor. The 28 new shops were expected to be ready by late September. The second stage of the £50,000 development project – a 182-seat cinema on the first floor – was hoped to begin the following year.

YEARS of hard work came to a climax for villagers when the Old Leake community centre was finally opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Cpt H. N. Nevile. Fundraising for the £100,000 centre even continued on the day, with stalls and sideshows being held. The centre project began in the Jubilee Year with a committee of volunteers being set up to carry it through.

There was nothing that Sam, Tom Coupland’s seven-year-old collie, enjoyed more than pretending to smoke an occasional pipe – and he was caught doing just that in Boston’s carnival parade. The pipe ‘smoking’ was one of Sam’s little tricks, said Mr Coupland, assuring The Standard that the pipe, of course, was not lit.

Fifties sex symbol Diana Dors entertained an audience at Blackfriars Theatre with reminiscences of her 35 years in show business. Miss Dors answered a number of questions from the audience before her 1955 film Yield to the Night was shown.