It’s very rare that I complain publicly about Boston and its failings, but in this case I feel I have to, especially as comments from other members of the Boston public make me feel I am not alone in having these views.
This last month, around Lincolnshire and the whole country, we have been graced with the presence of not just one flying Lancaster bomber, but two – with the visit of Vera from Canada joining Thumper of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
My question to the people in authority in Boston is - why have we not been treated to a flypast over the town itself?
The nearest they came was when accompanying the last flying Vulcan bomber on its way to RAF Marham in Norfolk.
On that occasion they flew to the east of Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital around the Johnsons Garden Centre area and south towards the Pilgrim Fathers Memorial and the Wash, a flight path that the majority of people in the town would have missed unless, like myself, you were standing on the first floor balcony of the Boston Stump to view such a spectacle.
What I find concerning is that Boston supposedly has close ties with RAF Coningsby who, incidentally, have the freedom of the borough of Boston, allowing them to march through the town with fixed bayonets.
The BBMF based at RAF Coningsby, along with the Canadian Lancaster, are only ten miles away and, unless you travelled to Coningsby, East Kirby or further afield, the majority of Boston reisdents will have missed this iconic partnership.
Why, in the months leading up to the arrival of the Candian Lancaster, did our Mayor Coun Alison Austin and Boston Borough Council not pull out all the stops to make sure Boston was included in the itinerary so not to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime historical visit?
After all there had been enough publicity well in advance to inform us that Vera was on her way.
The two crews and other appropriate personnel could have been welcomed officially to the town, shown the mayor’s historic regalia and even given tea and biscuits, which wouldn’t have been too costly for the Boston public and more importantly improved public relations with RAF Coningsby and the BBMF.
As it is, once again Boston appears not to exist on the Lincolnshire map to a lot of people, especially those in authority a little further north in the county.
On this occasion I do feel that we have missed the boat, yet again as a town, on a high profile and publicised visit and, as such, scored an own goal.