Thursday, 10 May 2012

Boston celebrates the relief of Mafekin

Lord Baden-Powell

Lord Baden-Powell, although outnumbered, defended Mafeking for 218 days during the Boer War and when the town was finally relieved in May 1900 by a British force the whole of Britain, including Boston, went wild with rejoicing...........

The Royal Standard floated from the Municipal Buildings, a Union Jack was hoisted on the tower of the Stump and flags were raised on other public buildings. Men, Women and Children donned red, white and blue rosettes and ribbons, horses, carts and carriages were adorned with smaller editions of the national flag. Children marched through the street bearing banners and singing patriotic songs, men congregated in public places and indulged in much hand shaking and the bells of the Stump rang out all day. In the evening the band of the Artillery Volunteers paraded the town playing patriotic music.

The Market Place, High Street, Bargate and West Street were all adorned, one of the premises in the Market Place being literally covered in Union Jacks, the letters "V R" were formed in fairy lights on the front of the building and illuminated at night.

The news formed the one topic of conversation, Near the Town Bridge, Mr. Fred Parker sang the National Anthem with band accompaniment, and the incident roused the hundreds of spectators.

The following Thursday was Queen Victoria's birthday and the two events were celebrated together on this day. Proceedings opened at 10.54 a.m. when the band of the 1st. Lincolnshire Voluntary Artillery played The National Anthem, Rule Britannia and Soldiers of the Queen from the Stump tower. In the Market Place later in the afternoon was an Orchestral Band and a parade of the Artillery and Rifle Volunteers and a grand parade of cyclists, motor cars, pony traps, ponies, riders in costume and machines and traps artistically decorated. A concert and variety entertainment in the Market Place were followed by the ascent of fire balloons from Bargate Green. The cattle market was illuminated and there were fireworks and rockets followed by a huge bonfire on Bargate Green. And the memorable day concluded with three ringing cheers for the Queen and three for Baden-Powell.

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