Boston, Lincolnshire, England and yes my North American friends founded before “The Boston Tea Party” it is a farming community sitting as it does on reclaimed fenland, similar to what can be found across the Channel in Holland. It was occupied by the Romans at the height of their empire and we owe some of our raised roads and perfectly straight dykes to them.
It was strange being back somewhere so familiar and yet so different!
Dad still lives in the council house that we moved too when I was three years old,
most of my younger siblings were born here. I remember coming home from school to be greeted by the midwife holding my squalling younger sister and being amazed at how tiny and perfect she was.
The house feels smaller……. Partly because my Mum is no longer there (she passed away a few years ago) and partly because I have grown used to the space we use in North America. Regardless it is home and always will be.
I grew up with my siblings on a council estate, the houses were all 3 bedroomed and built in blocks of 4, we had a middle house, neighbours to either side and a small hedged garden front and back. The neighbourhood has not really changed, just a few houses which were purchased from the Council and renovated in a variety of styles.
Saturday dawned overcast, in need of exercise we walked into town, landmarks
coming back to ne as we went. One of the biggest changes was the market; it no longer fills the town centre and overflows into the upper part of town. The main market is now a depleted shadow of its former self huddling into a small area in what I call the upper part. There are still marketers hustling their wares, not blankets, pot and pans but the fruit and vegetable stalls…….extorting us to buy “a bowl full for a pound” said “bowls” contain everything from parsnips to grapes!
Another big change came with the UK joining the EU; you hear a lot more than the Lincolnshire accent these days. The town has seen an influx of Portuguese who appear to have been recently replaced mostly by Polish with the occasional Hungarian thrown in. It lends itself to a much more cosmopolitan mix in this town dominated by its farming and small port.
We went out to see my sisters new place, new is relevant, new to her but built in the 18th century, it has been charmingly renovated and sits in its own little English garden surrounded by fields and lost down a tiny lane. The local pub is a little easier to find, not by much….. and watch out for those Roman inspired dykes that run parallel to those narrow roads, the curse of those dark journeys home after a night of conviviality at the pub!
Our final day at home (for now) dawned bright and sunny! Mike was itching to
explore and very trigger happy as we strolled along the Witham snapping shots of anything that moved including the very unusual 5 sailed windmill that still operates today.
We ended our stroll in the town park snapping pictures of the “Stump” St. Botolph’s Church to be precise. The story goes that the money to build the church was mainly provided by the local wool merchants…….. when it came time to
finish the Spire the money had “Dried” up, no graceful tower just a “stump”. I remember climbing all 365 steps to reach the top and peering down through the slatted wood floor at the big bells mounted below. A memory few can claim now as visitors are no longer allowed all the way to the top! It is well worth a visit if you ever visit the “original” Boston!
My hometown……. Yvonne