Sunday, 24 April 2011

Red Lion demolition

June 1959 saw the demolition of the Red Lion in Strait Bargate, one of the towns oldest Pubs.

As is usual in Boston this lovely old building with so much character was replaced by what can only be described as a box, in this case a new Woolworths store.

Above: The back view of the Red Lion as it was being demolished.
Below: The same scene as it looked in 2010.

Below: Customers at the Red Lion in the 1950's.
On a plaque inside the new Woolworth's was put the following inscription.

On this site once stood THE RED LION TAVERN recorded in the compotus of Saint Mary’s Guild 1515 as “the Hospitium of the Red Lion in Bargate” It then belonged to that Guild, as it also did in 1524. In 1640 it was said to have formerly belonged to the Sibsey family, having been sold by Ralph Poole to Richard Sibsey and Johan his wife in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

The site is now (in 2011) a QD store.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

M & S Corner

In the far corner of the Market Place, next to Petticoat Lane is Marks and Spencer’s modern shop which takes up three sites (see inside blue square of picture below) of Boston’s past.

The Corn Exchange Hotel was on the first site, a nice old building with Mr. Fountain’s tobacconist shop incorporated into it.

Next door, and occupying site two was Hildred’s piano shop who boasted that they had the “best selection in the Eastern Counties”

The Green Dragon public house (no known pictures and dating from at least 1590) occupied the third site and this was demolished in the 1850’s. On its site was built the Athenaeum Rooms, pictured below.

 The first floor contained a reading-room, library, etc. and the second floor a lecture room, apparatus, and instruments. The Athenaeum building occupied an area of sixty feet by thirty-six feet, with a height of fifty-three feet. Twenty-six feet of the ground-floor was occupied as a shop, and the remaining ten feet formed an entrance which can still be seen today. Later on in time this building became the New Theatre.

Above: The New Theatre.
Below: Mark's and Spencers today, covering the three sites.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

White Horse found !!

In a previous blog entry ( March 2011) entitled "Keightleys / White horse" I didn't know what happened to the statuette of the White Horse that was on the front of the White Horse Hotel in West Street for many, many years so was delighted to receive an e-mail from Ashley Groombridge who works at Fydell House to inform me that the horse was, in fact, in the gardens of Fydell House. I paid a visit to Fydell house a few days later and took the following picture of the horse and would once again like to thank Ashley for getting in touch with me. What a sight it must have been on the old building.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Fydell Street

Many thanks to Rob Smith for sending me these two pictures of old Fydell Street. The first is the men only bar at the Castle pub with landlord Samuel Reynolds behind the bar with his beer jug, and the second shows a very young Les Farrow with long hair and wearing a dress with his mother outside their off licence (opposite the Castle pub) which is now Johns TV repair shop.


Thursday, 7 April 2011

Monday, 4 April 2011

St. James's Church

Thank you to Heidi Chester for this photo of St. James’s Church in George Street. Heidi thinks the 3 storey house on the left is still there (No.9?). It is from a postcard and the post mark indicates a date of 1924.
St. James’s church was a chapel of ease to the Parish Church. The foundation stone was laid on St. James’s Day 1861 and it occupied two years building. It was opened for public worship on 24th August 1864. It was built in the Gothic style and was designed by Mr. G. Hackford, Westminster, hon. Architect.
I remember during the 1960’s little dances were held there called “Bob hops” due to the fact that it cost a shilling (a Bob) to get in, I also remember a Youth Club being held there where I first heard “Come on” (the Rolling Stones first ever record) which made me a life-long fan of the Stones!! Happy days. I think it was demolished in 1969 but am not certain.
The same view today, looking from Fydell Crescent toward the old Wickes's store.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

More Re-creations by Paul Hudson

Thanks again to Paul Hudson for some more old re-created scenes of Boston

The old footbridge, erected in 1913 as a temporary measure while the old cast iron bridge was demolished and the new one built in its place.

The old Cast iron bridge, demolished in 1913.

The Market Place, showing the old seed huts.

Friday, 1 April 2011

The Volunteer

Description of The Volunteer, 1953.

In 1953 the bar of the Volunteer was a replica of the bows of a ship, complete with lights, lifebuoys and other trimmings. Made from teak, the wood from the top of the bar to the floor was curved and, according to the landlord Mr. Albert Bosnell, was made in the clinker style with the planks overlapping. The two sides of the bar met at the “prow” of the ship and on either side of it was the name “Volunteer.” Between the deck and the bows was a cabinet, also of teak, with a glass front containing spirits.
On the wall hung a ship’s barometer and a ship’s clock, and on either side was a light - one red, one green. In the evening, with all the lights out except the coloured ones and one inside the “ship” the impression of a sea going vessel was even stronger. Even the room furniture matched the bows, it was of plain limed oak and all the doors had “portholes” in them.
But this was no new idea, it was a link with the pub’s past. Generations before seamen had called regularly at the Volunteer, in fact it was one of the most popular inns for sailors in the town. There used to be two rooms (the larger one was the one described above) while the smaller one was the Captain’s room which only captain’s and officers of the Merchant Navy used, while the crew always used the larger room. Even in 1953 some of the old salts could remember those days. Today the “Vol” as I remember it being affectionately called (pictured below in 2011) is in a bad state with cracked windows and peeling paintwork, a far cry from this 1953 description.