Lights, camera, action

Words by:
Melanie Burton
Featured in:
December 2018

2018 has proven to be an interesting year for the bustling market town of Boston in the heart of Fenland Lincolnshire. Melanie Burton finds heralds of the festivities to come.
Hollywood sensation Rob Lowe caused a stir when he came to town at the beginning of November in preparation for his role in a new ITV drama series, Wild Bill, which is set in Lincolnshire.

The West Wing star and 80s heartthrob plays Bill Hixon – a high-flying American police officer who has been appointed Chief Constable of the East Lincolnshire Police Force. In the six-part series, produced by 42, Shiver and Anonymous Content, Lowe’s character will arrive in Boston with his 14-year-old daughter in the hope of fleeing a “painful recent past”. However, the unfamiliar, unimpressed community will force Bill to question everything about himself and leave him asking whether it is ‘Boston that needs Bill, or Bill that needs Boston’.

“As an actor, Wild Bill is a larger than life character who is outrageously articulate, has nothing to lose and revels in being an American fish out of water,” said Rob Lowe.

“As an executive producer, I’m excited to work with such talented partners and to come back to work in the UK, which I always love.”

The series has been commissioned by ITV’s Polly Hill and will be directed by lead director Charles Martin, who has worked on shows such as Skins. It will be produced by Chris Thompson, who has been involved with dramas such as The Fear.

The excitement continued with the town coming together to herald the start of the festive season at the official lights switch-on ceremony, which included the fourth big Illuminate parade by arts organisation Transported, live entertainment in the Market Place and a Christmas Market organised by Boston Borough Council extending from the Market Place to Wide Bargate.

Boston’s Christmas in Boston community team aimed to make the town’s festive lights display even bigger and better than ever this year and an army of electricians and supporters were busy behind the scenes throughout the summer months, making and preparing the lights and festive displays. And their hard work paid off. In addition to two community Christmas trees in the town, there are other festive features on the roundabout on the Boardsides near Ringrose Solicitors and on the roundabout sponsored by Johnsons Garden Centre at the Bargate end of town.

Baubles decorated by the children of the town hang on the community trees and 500 flashing LED light wands were handed out to the children on the switch-on night. The festivities didn’t end there.

An army of Father Christmases are about to flood through Boston on Sunday 16th December as the town’s Santa Run, Jog or Walk event takes place organised by Boston Community Runners.

The event is being sponsored by Forceshift Skip Hire, Jakemans’ Confectioners, Calders and Grandidge, Bruce Mather Estate Agents, South Lincs Foodservice and Total Sports and Supplements. It coincides with one of the festive markets running in the Market Place and Pescod Square and there are also craft and gift fairs in the Market Place on Thursdays up until Christmas, as well as late night shopping, free festive entertainment and free parking in all Borough Council-run car parks on all three days from 4.30pm to 8.30pm.

Businesses have also strived hard this year to make Boston a friendlier and more integrated place not only at their own back door but as a town. They were encouraged to take part in a special day to make shopping more inclusive and accessible for customers with a disability.

Purple Tuesday was promoted by MP Sarah Newton, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work.

“The aim was to enable and encourage retailers across the country and online to introduce new measures to make the shopping experience more inclusive and accessible for disabled customers,” she said.

“The initiative was co-ordinated by the disability organisation Purple and has been endorsed by the Government.

“We know that some disabled shoppers can be worried by overcrowding in shops, and they will walk away from a shop that is not accessible, or the customer service is poor.

“We need to improve the disabled customer experience, not only because it is the right thing to do but because there is a commercial reason for making sure that shops, restaurants, pubs and clubs are inclusive and accessible.

“Disabled people are vital contributors to the economy and businesses need to understand that they don’t just lose the custom of the disabled person if they don’t cater for disabled customers. They will also lose their families and their friends as well.”

Nearly one in every five people in the UK has a disability or impairment, and more than half of households have a connection to someone with a disability. Their collective spending power – the Purple Pound – is worth £249 billion to the UK economy.

However, this potential is not being fully realised. There are still real (and perceived) barriers that make it harder for disabled people to find work, spend money online and in store, and enjoy a drink or meal out.

Even pupils in the town are having an input in making improvements to the town.Boston Borough Council’s Markets Review Task & Finish Group requested pupils from Boston Grammar School, Boston High School, Giles Academy and Haven High Academy to review the market.

One of their suggestions – for a “welcome” arch at the entrance to Boston Market Place from Narrow Bargate, is to be investigated further.

The students also recommended that street performers should be encouraged to “create an atmosphere”, local theatre and dance groups and musicians should be allowed to perform on market days and specific cultural events should be staged during the summer.

Boston Borough Council’s Cabinet agreed to the introduction of a cultural offer supporting the markets and also agreed other recommendations from the students, including bigger and better signage, stalls for students during school holidays, new rubbish bins and advice to traders about better use of trader bins provided on market days, new seats for the public and a large notice board in the Market Place.

The review had involved all market traders, the public, businesses and the schools. Boston’s famous Wednesday and Saturday open-air markets are the largest in Lincolnshire and have been held for hundreds of years.

The Wednesday market also boasts an open air auction and additional market stalls on Bargate Green.

The historic market place – a large part of which is traffic free – is surrounded by a variety of independent shops and many favourite High Street stores can be found in Pescod Square, the town’s main shopping area.

An eclectic mix of English and European restaurants and cafes mean there are plenty of places to eat too.

Retail developments including Pescod Square and Boston Shopping Park add to the vibrant retail offer of the town and ensure that there is something for everyone on a visit to Boston.

In fact, HMV has returned to the town taking over the same shop in Pescod Square that it vacated in 2013. Clive Gibbon, Boston Borough Council’s economic development manager, welcomed the good news: “This reflects the growing confidence in Boston as a place to do business.”

And three of the borough’s newest food establishments, and another which has been around since 1936, have passed the latest Boston Borough Council environmental health food hygiene inspections with flying colours.

Newcomers Sutterton Greggs, Sutterton Subway and Sutterton Burger King all achieved the highest five rating, and are joined by Skinners Ice Cream in Kingsway, Boston, which has been in business for eighty-two years.

If you experience pain and discomfort in your lower back, shoulders and joints or with general mobility, there is help at hand.

The team at Bridge View Osteopaths in Frampton Fen, Boston are well qualified and experienced to find a technique and treatment to help you.

Jenny Briley BSc (hons) Ost qualified in 1997 from the European School of Osteopathy. Since then she has enjoyed working with people trying to help them get more mobile, in less pain and back out there doing the things they love.

Phoebe Smith MOst qualified from the College of Osteopaths in 2016 and in February this year joined Jenny at Bridge View. Phoebe has a special interest in treating mothers-to-be, babies and children.

Jenny explained: “I love the fact that osteopathy has different techniques that can be used on all ages. These techniques can be tailored to the most appropriated for the patient. We would use very different techniques on a 24-year-old sportsperson with a sports injury to a baby with digestive issues, for example.”

So if you are having trouble, call for a chat and find out if Bridge View Osteopaths can help you.

Bridge View Osteopaths, Tranmead, Swineshead Rd, Frampton Fen, Boston, Lincolnshire PE20 1SG

Tel: 01205 290944

Festivities have already begun at Oldrids & Downtown with the windows wonderfully dressed for all to see. Be welcomed by an enchanting entrance; tall trees accompanied with beautiful baubles, fabulous fragrances and flavoursome foods; delicious dining arrangements and tempting toys; favourite fashion brands galore!

The Ground Floor’s aroma of Lancôme’s La Vie Est Belle brings you closer to Benefit Cosmetic’s master-class in “the Perfect Party Pout” whilst from the corner of your eye you are mesmerised by the selection of food and drinks on offer. Hampers, heavenly hampers – a one-stop station, handmade packages filled with moreish Christmas chocolates and chutneys and perhaps a personal touch with a colourful Chilly’s bottle. Whilst you’re down there, pick up a Barbour scarf for Uncle Brian and maybe a pair of Fair Isle socks to really get into the festive spirit.

Make your way up the escalator and let the First Floor lure you into the loveable brands such as Masai, Pomodoro and Joe Browns – perfect for your Christmas party; tis the season to be jolly! After eyeing up your potential outfit for next week’s Christmas drinks, feast your eyes on the delightful decorations and illuminating lights on the Second Floor. Within two steps, you’ll be amazed by the array of toys; from Lego to Playmobil, TY to LOL Surprise and Fur Real to Polly Pocket.

And, there’s more…

The annual Christmas Lights Switch-On, held on Thursday 29th November, brings you the first of Oldrids Department Store’s late night shopping hours. To accompany this, Peter Rabbit will be visiting the store for supper and a special reading – Christmas is truly here and we simply cannot wait! And just when you think you’ve got it all, Santa Claus himself will be making an appearance at both Oldrids Department Store and Downtown Superstore over the festive period.

For more information on these exciting events, please visit and stay tuned to our Facebook page, @oldridsdowntownofficial

Helping to promote a feeling of pride in the town is Boston Preservation Trust’s Civic Group through its Pride of Boston Award – for premises in Boston which are an asset to the town.

The group has already been out looking at premises which show a high level of presentation and each month one or more premises are nominated and a certificate is presented.

Then early next year all nominees will be invited to The Pride of Boston Award ceremony at Fydell House and the overall winner for 2018 will be announced.

Dudley Bryant, chairman of The Civic Group, said: “We are all very proud of our heritage, and understand that a warm, inviting and friendly environment in our town centre is vital to the future economic success of Boston, and all its varied businesses.

“One of the key elements to this is the improvement and regular maintenance of our buildings which give a first impression to business customers, whether they be local or visitors to the town.”

Last year’s winner was Pen Street – all of it.

Gill Burns, of Cherry Tree Shoes in Pen Street, said: “We are all independent traders and take pride in our businesses. Kerb appeal is important and it’s good to know that has been recognised.

“We are a little bit on the edge of the town centre, but customers who find us are pleasantly surprised. We have a real business community here and customers find it’s worth the effort coming here.”

Duckworth began trading as a Land Rover retailer in Market Rasen in 1980, and then took over the Parkside Land Rover site on London Road, Kirton in 2007 before investing £7m in their prodigious facility just off the A16 and bringing the iconic British brand, Jaguar, back to Boston after a 12-year absence. Currently employing around 75 local staff, Duckworth is a well-established and major employer within Boston.

Duckworth Jaguar Land Rover has been settled in its phenomenal new home in Kirton, Boston for over 18 months now. The facility displays 18 of the latest Jaguars and Land Rovers along with Lincolnshire’s largest selection of Approved-Used models.Vehicle servicing, MOTs and free vehicle health checks by Jaguar Land Rover trained technicians are undertaken in the state-of-the-art 18-bay workshop.

Lincolnshire based, family-owned and run, Duckworth is unrivalled in knowledge and you can expect a premium Jaguar Land Rover experience when you visit.

“Our team is passionate about each and every one of our vehicles, so you will be benefitting from the expertise of trained sales executives, technicians and advisers.

“Our parts department stock and our service department can fit a full range of genuine manufacturer components and accessories to complement your vehicle whilst also aiming to enhance your overall enjoyment. These items are all covered by a two-year warranty and have been designed, tested and manufactured in accordance with brand safety standards.”

Duckworth are still based at London Road, Kirton now known as Duckworth Select, trading the premium used vehicles that come into the company through part exchange from its two other retail sites. The site also runs the Duckworth Isuzu franchise, as well as offering a full service and parts facility with knowledge across a range of marques.

Growing vegetables in their fields and delivering food to the fork through their bistro restaurant and catering businesses, the Loweth family are champions of Lincolnshire produce.

Nick and Ros Loweth and their children Sophie and Harry, have an excellent knowledge of what it means to deliver home grown goodness and delicious dishes from their farm and deli. Abbey Parks is located alongside the A17 at East Heckington and is a favourite lunch and refreshment stop for locals and those passing through. The bistro restaurant serves a wide choice of meals and light bites, while the deli is stocked with plenty of tempting, locally made, artisan foods from meats, to cheeses; chutneys and jams.

For the perfect gift this Christmas their hampers are full of local produce presented in a bespoke box. There is also an outside catering business which can help you with menus for weddings, family celebrations and private dining.

To find out more about delicious tastes from Abbey Parks call: 01205 821610 or visit:

All of Tanglewood’s care homes are unique to their area, and Hunters Creek care home in Boston is no different. The high-quality, established care home on London Road features several unique murals throughout the facility to make residents feel at home.

In a nod to its Boston roots, the Hunters Creek’s Forget-Me-Not café features a stunning mural of the famous Boston Market Place for residents to enjoy when taking time for a coffee.

Dupe Adewuyi, Hunters Creek’s manager, said: “Hunters Creek is a care community and that’s why we make sure our home looks and feels like a home-away-from-home for all of our residents.

“Life doesn’t stop when you enter a Tanglewood home – in fact, it’s just beginning!”

Hunters Creek is one of Tanglewood’s flagship care homes and delivers nursing, residential and dementia care at its location in the heart of Boston.

Boston, as a lively historic port and market town, has a rich and colourful heritage worth preserving and, thanks to a group of enthusiastic volunteers called the Boston Hanse Group, that is exactly what is happening.

Its position on the edge of the North Sea and its river connection with the city of Lincoln allowed the town to develop as an important trading centre.

In the early medieval period, only London was richer and more important than Boston as a port and Boston’s wealth was based on wool during the time when wool was England’s main export.

The town was sending three million fleeces a year abroad, making a significant profit.

Boston Hanse Group aims to discover more of the town’s medieval past when Boston’s importance as a port was second only to London.

And thanks to National Lottery players, it has received £66,600 National Lottery support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to carry out archaeological excavations to establish the exact location of Boston’s medieval warehouse or “steelyard”.

Professional archaeologists will lead the project, and volunteers from local communities and schools will have the opportunity to participate in the dig and to undertake training in basic archaeological techniques.

Preparations will soon get underway and the dig is planned for next April.

Interest in the town’s past has been revived both by its successful application in 2015 to join the New Hanseatic League and by the recent arrival in the town of many people from those same Baltic states that were linked to the town in the past.

The Hanse group aims to boost further interest in Boston’s heritage and to bring local communities together by rediscovering the town’s shared history.

Commenting on the award Mike Peberdy, archaeology lead for the Boston Hanse Group, said: “We’re delighted to receive this award which will bring our communities together and further our knowledge of Boston’s history. We hope to make some exciting finds.”

Boston became part of the New Hanse organisation back in June 2015, joining Kings Lynn and Hull to form a trio of English Hanseatic towns. Ipswich joined in 2017.

The New Hanse is an organisation of more than 197 towns and cities across northern Europe seeking better economic, social and cultural ties in the spirit of the original Hanseatic League, which brought great prosperity to Boston in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The Stickney & New Leake Primary Schools Federation teacher Kirstyn Brennan has been awarded Lincolnshire Primary Teacher of the Year 2018. An outstanding amount of nominations were received for the worthy winner. The Federation’s Executive Headteacher, Rowena Thompson reported: “Kirstyn is an inspirational teacher and school leader with the most outstanding work ethic and determination to do the very best for all of our pupils. Children in her class have made the most amazing progress not just on an academic level but also with their personal and social development.

“Our Federation prides itself on making a difference to the lives and experiences of all the children in our schools, where the children are the centre of everything we do. Kirstyn and the whole Federation team are the most caring, dedicated and wonderful staff – why not come and meet us all.”

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