Sunday, 30 June 2013

End of June round up.

A plate belonging to Loveley's who once had dining rooms in Boston Market Place.
An old garden roller made by Gratton and Sons of Boston.
Top: The Odeon cinema being demolished and below it the East Midlands Electricity buildings which is now The Fitness First Gym.
The caption reads, The Park Lake, Boston. I can only guess that this is in the Old Bath Gardens near the Old Corporation Swimming Baths.
Sanders Ignition Coil Works. Does anyone know where this was?
UPDATE: Thank you to Robin for the information in the comment at the end of this article.
Strait Bargate.
Thomas Kitwood and Sons Whiskey flask

Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Chesman Family Shops.

Thank you to Pat Edwards for sending me these photo's to share. They are of businesses run in Boston by her family, the Chesman's. She says The Pram Co. was running in the 1940's and as you can see by the reflection of the war memorial in the window it was in Wide Bargate.
The ladies in the doorway L to R are Kath Carrington, Joan Townsend and Joyce Chesman (nee Steward).
The Army and Navy Store was not far down the street. It is Jack Chesman in the doorway. This shop would have been running well into the 1950s and possibly longer she says.
It is also Jack Chesman standing beside one of the vans run by his father Anthony Chesman.
Thank you once more Pat.

Friday, 28 June 2013

The old "Privateer"

The Privateer was owned by the Boston Steam Tug Company Limited and ran pleasure trips from Doughty Quay in Boston to Skegness and Hunstanton piers and also down the River Haven to The Wash and back.
Above: Doughty Quay, Boston.
Above and below:The Privateer, going past The ferryman, heading out on one of its trips.
After the Titanic disaster the Board of Trade brought in strict measures and new certificates for Passenger Carrying. Consequently the Privateer's new certificate cut numbers drastically and the trips did not pay, and the vessel resorted to towing.

The company sold her and she was sunk by the Germans off the French coast in 1914.
Incidentally The Privateer pulled down the old Town Bridge in 1912/13.

Above: The Privateer demolishing the old Town Bridge.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Spraying the land.

People complain today of all the chemicals being sprayed on the fields around Boston but not so long ago it was much worse than it is today. I well remember working on the land in the 1960's and 70's when all of a sudden from nowhere would come an aeroplane and spray the field next to the one we were working in!! There was no warning, nothing.

Just how close the spraying could get!!
Boston Aerodrome, on the western outskirts of Boston, has been in use as an airfield since the 1930s and was the home to the Lincs Aerial Spraying Company between 1966 and 1984 who operated Piper Pawnees and Austers.

Lincs Aerial Spraying Company at Boston Aerodrome in 1967. 
Imagine working outdoors in the fresh air when all of a sudden this happens about 100 yards or so away from you. Health and Safety would have something to say about this today!!
This is the flag man who would show the pilot which strip to spray next, note the lack of protective clothing and breathing gear.
I'm more than sure that aerial spraying is banned now but the chemicals are still being put in by tractor.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Holland Brothers in Wide Bargate.

This building, right of centre, in Wide Bargate, is today (2013) the premises of Heron Foods.

It was acquired by local garage firm "Holland Brothers" in 1900 and has undergone extensive changes over the years.
Holland Brothers, just after the turn of the twentieth century.

It had major rebuilding around 1930 but was wrecked by German bombs in 1941 and it was ten years before it was rebuilt again.

The scene after the German bombs dropped. The car in the picture was owned by the former chairman of Fisher Clark (a local label manufacturers) Mr. Vernon Clark.
In the 1980's Holland Brothers leased the site to the national chain of hardware stores Wilkinsons and Heron Foods moved in when Wilkinsons moved to premises in Pescod Square. Even on the modern building old features (original?) like the two thin pillars at the front can still be seen.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Carriers Carts and Omnibuses.

Carriers formed a vital link between scattered communities prior to the coming of the railways in the late nineteenth century and even later in isolated rural communities, providing transport for goods and people between the various locations. They continued to trundle into Boston on market days - albeit in gradually diminishing numbers - throughout most of the 1920's and as late as 1932. They were to be found (amongst other places) parked for the day in that part of West Street near the end of Emery Lane, the old White Horse Hotel was in that area and some owners parked in the Hotel yard.

This picture, taken in West Street, Boston in February 1932, shows the Perseverance which was one of the horsedrawn carrier carts in Boston. The owner, Lawrence Richardson, is sat on it driving the horses Betsy and Daisy.
These carts, as E.P. Jenkinson remembered them were smallish (perhaps 10 ft. by 7 ft.)  horsedrawn, four wheeled, flat bottomed canvas canopied vehicles designed chiefly for the carriage of parcels and other packages, but which had a wooden form along each side to accommodate some seven or eight passengers.
A photo taken outside the main Post Office in Wide Bargate.
They really, I suppose, represented a kind of rudimentary rural bus service in the days before motor buses came to the town, which was (Mr. Jenkinson thought) in about 1922.
Boston's first Bus service was operated by a company called the Underwood Omnibus Company, replaced some three or four years later by the United Omnibus Company. Very soon afterwards, local enterprise in the person of a Mr. Smith augmented the area bus network with his "Smith's Safety Services" comprising two double decker buses proudly named "Lion" and "Lioness". By the late 1920's there was a reasonably adequate bus network throughout South Lincolnshire, although some of the more rustic routes only saw a bus on a couple of days a week, hence the continued existence of a few, at any rate, of the carrier carts well into the late 1920's.
Some of Boston's early buses, again outside the Post Office.
The late Harry Fountain, an old Bostonian, said fifteen public houses catered for the carriers and their horses by providing a big yard or frontage and stables. He recalled that the Corn Exchange Hotel (that once stood on the Marks and Spencer site) had six carriers on the frontage and put up 12 horses in 3 stables.
Some of the other public houses concerned were:
The Axe and Cleaver
The Cross keys
The Falcon
The Globe
The Kings Arms
The Peacock and Royal
The Ram
The Red Lion
The Red Cow
The Waggon and Horses
The White Hart and the
White Horse.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Nellie and Leslie, a Boston fishing smack.

The Nellie & Leslie story begins back in 1911 when a Boston fisherman, Mr Norris, known affectionately by the locals as ‘Sweet Tea’, commissioned a fishing smack from the Kings Lynn based shipyard of Wolfords, run by Gerald and William Wolford. The ship was completed and made its maiden voyage down to Boston in 1911 to serve Sweet Tea, who named the craft after his two children, Nellie & Leslie.

The Nellie and Leslie, moored up on the river down London Road, with the swing bridge in the background.
The boat was used for fishing anything from sprat to shrimp, and made regular trips into the Wash, and up the East Coast towards Grimsby on occasion too, serving Sweet Tea faithfully for over 20 years. Disaster struck the boat when it collided with another vessel in heavy fog in the Wash, and eventually sank. Fellow fisherman Albert Bagley heard about the wreck and decided to rescue the boat, returning her to Boston to patch her up. Albert used the boat from 1932, even equipping her with a Sherman tank engine sourced from GM, used in some of the earliest tanks during the war. “She was the fastest thing on the Wash at the time.” recalled Albert’s son, Ken, who worked on the boat alongside brother Steven until 1979. “She would achieve over 30 knots and was really well-known both in Boston and further up the East Coast at Grimsby docks.”

Her career on the Wash nearing its end, Nellie & Leslie was sold to a businessman from Lowestoft for just £250, and was eventually purchased by a trio of German marine engineers who were looking for an excuse to keep in touch following their engineering studies and were looking for a project on which they could work during their spare time.
As part of their fact-finding mission, the German engineers visited Boston, and met up with both Ken and Steven who remembered their workshop contained a few of the boat’s original elements, including the original sails.
“They went absolutely wild!” said Ken. “They were really keen that lots of reclaimed materials should be used, and the idea that their new engine could be supplemented by its original sails delighted them!”
The Germans took the sails back to Bremerhaven and made a final promise to Ken and Steven; they’d return to Boston to celebrate its centenary in exactly the same year that Ken and Steven Bagley’s father, Albert, would also have celebrated his 100th birthday.
The sailors kept their promise and sailed into Boston in 2011 with a much transformed Nellie & Leslie — the boat’s sale being made on the condition that its name would remain. Nellie & Leslie now boasted a brand new deck crafted in African teak, and a new Mercedes engine with 80hp.
It’s a dedicated pleasure craft, sailing at around 10 knots with seven tonnes of lead replacing the previous 10 tonne iron ballast. Inside, a 10 berth cabin replaced the previous 11 tonne fish hold, and now features a lounge area, galley and bathroom.
“It’s a beautiful craft.” said Müller. “We wanted to create a craft from which we could see the world, it’s a pre-retirement project but also something we can pass on to our children.”
The trio left Bremerhaven and sailed to England over the course of three days, being led into the Wash by Ken and Steven to celebrate the craft’s anniversary by spending five days in Boston.
“We fell in love with her!” said Alexander, who made the voyage with sons Vincent & Martin, and Max & Johannes Dellman. “Since buying her and restoring her, we’ve spent time sailing around the Baltic during our summer vacations.
We really didn’t expect such a warm welcome, and we had some really gorgeous weather with beautiful blue skies during the journey, so it really was a pleasure to bring the boat back to its home!”
The sailors were presented with a picture of Nellie & Leslie in her earlier incarnation, and were treated to a tour of Boston including some of the favourite pubs of the 23 fishermen then based in Boston, as well as a trip to the top of Boston Stump to enjoy a panoramic view of the Wash’s market town.
"We can’t believe how many came to see the boat, and some were even in tears as they’d worked on it or seen it in their youth.” said Alexander.