Experience 600 years of history at Boston Guildhall Museum

I once heard a story that a visitor to Lincolnshire, on discovering that there is a town in our county called Boston, said how nice it was that we named our towns after cities in the USA. Of course it’s the other way round. In 1612 John Cotton, non-conformist Vicar of St Botolph’s Church (aka “The Stump”) in Boston Lincolnshire encouraged his flock to join the Massachusetts Bay Company, and he later helped to found the city of Boston, Massachusetts (1630).

This is a rather basic example of the kind of historical fact about Boston Lincolnshire that makes it a town well worth visiting if you are on our patch, and there are lots more. Did you know that earlier, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Boston was a major trading port, second only to London?  Or that by the opening of the thirteenth century, Boston ranked as a port of the Hanseatic League, the commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns dominating Baltic maritime trade along the coast of Northern Europe?

There’s no better place to get the feel of Boston’s distant and recent past than its ancient Guildhall in South Street. Continue reading

“The Gunby Sisters” – a ghost tale told by local school children

Earlier this month a group of students from  Burgh-Le-Marsh primary school wrote, filmed, directed and edited a short film about Gunby Hall, inspired by the belief that it is haunted. The film will be submitted to the ‘LAFTAS’, the Lincolnshire film-making competition for primary and secondary schools headed up by Lincolnshire born and bred actor Jim Broadbent.

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A new Magna Carta video

Picture credit: Guy Fox (R)Just come across another Magna Carta animation, this time from Guy Fox, an educational charity based in London. It’s a bit long perhaps, but the story is told with imagination and humour. At least one viewer is critical of some of the “editorial content”, and recommends challenging “….every tacit presumption on which assertions are based.” What do you think? (Comments always welcome.)

By the way, if you haven’t yet visited the Lincoln Magna Carta in its new home in Lincoln Castle, best to get up there before the school holidays…………

Murder at the Mansion

Astrid Gatenby, who runs National Trust property Gunby Hall, brought my attention to a very nice film on a Cluedo whodunnit theme, by Horncastle photographer Vicki Head. It was shot at Gunby Hall, Belton House and the Avenue Club in Skegness, and it features some well known Horncastle actors in appropriate costumes and settings!

Do let Vicki know what you think!

Christmas treats in and around Woodhall Spa (2014!)

Only a few weeks to go, so here are some suggestions for things to do in or near Woodhall Spa this Christmas.

Woodhall Spa: This year’s Christmas Fayre is on Friday 5th December. Once again Station Road and The Broadway will be closed to traffic between 5.00pm and 9.00pm to make way for about 100 stalls and street entertainers. We expect that all the shops will be open, joining in the Christmas spirit. The Millennium Garden and The Broadway trees will be illuminated by The Rotary Club of Woodhall Spa, and shopkeepers may also add their own Christmas lighting to their window displays. The popular Sleaford Ukele Orchestra are coming along too!

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Woodhall’s Fallen exhibition opens here today

wartime_woodhall_poster_fbThe Petwood Hotel is hosting the ‘Woodhall’s Fallen’ exhibition from today, through to Sunday November 7, 10am to 8pm. The free exhibition is one outcome of the Wartime Woodhall initiative, organised by a group of village residents who have asked the Woodhall Spa community to come forward with their stories of the village’s fallen in both the Great War and 2nd World War. In association with our award-winning Cottage Museum, the aim of Wartime Woodhall is to raise awareness among the community of the village’s historic and important role in both conflicts.

Visitors can find out about the reality of wartime life through memorabilia and biographies of servicemen from Woodhall Spa who lost their lives during Word War One and World War Two, captured by pupils from St Andrew’s School, who filmed interviews with senior members of the community in which they reflect on their own wartime experiences, such as 92 year-old army veteran Guy Newton:

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