Saturday, 9 June 2012

Odds and ends

This picture of Bostons former SD Gully Emptier was sent to me by Robin Smith and he tells me that it was driven for 29 years by Bert Scoot of Argyle Street, who in all that time was its only driver, Bert named it "Lizzie". Many older Bostonians will remember Bert as one side of his face was totally covered with a red stain birth mark. Although no longer in its Boston "Corporation Green" colour the Gully emptier still has the same reg JL 4881. It had tiller steering and as a kid it always used to fascinate Robin how he could steer it without a steering wheel. Lizzie had a top speed of 20 mph and had done over 200,000 miles when it was sold to a collector.

Below you’ll see a drawing of Richard Hammond on his own bicycle.
Richard Hammond was born in Boston, and later moved to Gainsborough with his parents, his father being an established Coach Builder.

It was in the early 1860s that Hammond worked on his designs for his first bicycle and by January 1868 he had a machine on the roads of Lincolnshire !
Despite much local derision when he trialled the machine Hammond persisted and refined the design into a type II version, lighter and more refined than the first.
He set out to demonstrate the capability of his bike by riding the 50 miles from Gainsborough to Boston which was no mean feat on wooden wheels shod with iron bands.

So did he build the first ever bicycle in England - can a Bostonian lay claim to that crown ?
During his own lifetime Richard Hammond himself laid claim to being the maker of the first pedal and crank bicycle in England.

In any case he is a Bostonian who deserves to be remembered.

Gary Halliday sent me the picture below of a sign that was found under some floorboards on a demolition site in Boston.

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