Sunday, 3 August 2014

Boston and an artist comes to call!

Wednesday 30th to Thursday 31st July

After the ‘rigours’ of the Wash we awarded ourselves 2 days of R & R and some time to explore Boston where the moorings are excellent.  We knew there were 8 boats going off across the Wash on the 30th.  We watched them leave mid morning.

We then moved onto the pontoons next to Chouette. 

With this as the view

First job as always for us was to walk Monty.  A good mooring for him – straight along the river bank – miles of good walking country.  On the opposite bank by the Boston Rowing Club we spotted one of the tame Boston seals (apparently there are three of them).  This one was so tame it was not in the least bit bothered by people standing really close to it.  We heard that it loves to splash children when they swim in the river and then gets out to bask in the sun!

And so to Boston itself.  The general feeling we all got was that it has not fared quite so well with the recession as Kings Lynn.  Nevertheless there was quite a bit to see and do.

St Botolph’s  Church (aka The Stump) is the largest Parish Church in England.  The tower is 272 feet tall, however, Chris and I did not go up to the top.  Chris is not happy about heights and I do not like enclosed spaces.  The Captain and Boatwif from nb Cleddau did and I am sure there will be pictures on their blog in due course.  (  The church is definitely worth a visit.

The Font is enormous and quite magnificent

I am sure that many rousing sermons have been given from this pulpit. 

In fact I wonder if these were left over props that I spotted at the base of the pulpit, or where they there for some other reason?

I was particularly taken by the kneelers around the altar rail.

Then at the back of the church we spotted a map – this is a copy of the ‘Gough Map’ kept in the Bodleian Library.  The modern day outline has been added and you can see how accurate the map was considering it was done around 1360. 

I had to take 3 photos to get the entire map and have combined them – not perfectly, but I hope well enough to get the idea?

Then we went off outside to check the high water marks.  When we were in Boston last March they were still making repairs from the very high water in December 2013 (top arrow).  The other two arrows are from 1978 and 1953 – each time the water gets higher.

This pub, the Boston Still, down a side street looked interesting

Until you got to the main street and found it was boarded up and for sale – a sign of the times all over the place I am afraid.

The Stump and Candle is doing better.

No one using the river out to sea at low tide!

The War Memorial is definitely worth a visit 

We walked past Maud Foster Mill – a preserved windmill that was built in 1819.  They still sell organic stoneground flour and there is a shop and holiday let (according to Nicholsons) in the mill.

On one of the footbridges we crossed we spotted something new to me – padlocks attached to the wires which, I have been informed, are tokens of love.  Chris told me that on one bridge in Cologne there were so many that the local council went out one night with bolt cutters, removed the lot (several tons worth), erected CCTV and made the leaving of padlocks an offence! 

We timed our exploration well as this is what happened when we returned to the boat

It did, however, soon clear and we were treated to the sight of small sailing boats out for an evening sail.  By the time they returned, however, there was no wind, so ‘paddle power’ had to be used.

Now to the artist!  When we were near here in March of this year we stopped for lunch in a pub that had a lot of work displayed and for sale by a local artist called Debbie Mitchell.  We all loved her slightly quirky style, so much so that the Captain (of Cleddau) bought one.  It causes him to smile each time he visits their downstairs cloakroom.  Most of the pictures have a black lab in them, no good for us, so I wrote to Debbie and asked if I could commission her to do a picture of a narrow boat with a border collie loosely based on our boat and dog.  Yes came the reply.  Photos of the boat and dog were emailed and the picture was delivered to us when we went home in July.  We loved it, but horror of horrors we noticed that Tentatrice had the second ‘T’ missing!!  No problem said Debbie – when you come to Boston I will bring my paints (acrylic) and correct the error.  So that is what happened and the picture is now in pride of place above the TV cabinet in the boat.  There seems to be more and more to see every time I look at it.  Thanks for coming over Debbie, especially as you were preparing for a busy open studio weekend for charity – I hope you did well with many visitors to make it all worthwhile.  Debbie has a website if you are interested -  She does a lot of different things.

So that rounded off our stay in Boston – onwards to Lincoln.

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