Buildings and sites that bring 'pride' to Boston are recognised at awards night
Boston Preservation Trust held its annual ‘Pride of Boston Awards’ at Fydell House on Monday evening.
Opening the event, Dudley Bryant, Trustee and Chairman of the trust, said: “Every year the Civic Group of Boston Preservation Trust keeps an eye on what is happening in and around Boston so that we can recognize some of those who we believe have made a positive difference to the fabric, reputation, or well-being of Boston.
“We aim to highlight the best of Boston’s historic town centre and others in the Borough of Boston.”
One of the key things the trust looked for is the improvement and regular maintenance of Boston’s historic buildings, which Mr Bryant says “give a first impression to visitors and business customers as well as enhancing the town centre for local residents”.
The Civic Group surveyed the frontages of town centre shops, offices, and leisure premises to identify the best. They considered individual properties, small parades, and overall street scenes to nominate a series of premises to be nominated for “Pride of Boston 2023”.
There were 16 nominations this year with independent judges choosing the winners.
The new mayor, Coun David Brown presented certificates to the following winners, and a shield to the overall winner:
The first place prize went to Dion’s Wood Nature Reserve, located off Willoughby Road. This 34-acre newly planted woodland features 17,000 trees planted last autumn by Boston Woods Trust and volunteers.
My Bryant said the trust has “extended the natural habitat around the perimeter of Boston with a variety of trees, a lake, walks and a place for wildlife to flourish creating a peaceful environment for the public to enjoy”.
Adrian Isaac and Steve Ellwood, collecting the award, said the woodland would not have been possible without the generosity of Richard Dion who donated this 34-acre field to Boston Woods.
Mr Dion was given a certificate in recognition of his generosity.
Second place went to Boston College’s Engineering, Manufacturing and Technology Department. “Modern architecture reflects its use and providing great educational facilities for the benefit of future generations of students,” said Mr Bryant.
Joint third place winners were Blenkin Memorial Hall and Maud Foster Windmill.
Blenkin Memorial Hall, in Wormgate, is part of the St Botolph’s Church estate and was opened in 1893 to commemorate Canon Blenkin and has been used as a community asset ever since. Mr Bryant said: “Recent full refurbishment of this typical Fenland architectural treasure has ensured its place as a jewel in the town centre.”
Maud Foster Windmill was built in 1818 and is one of the largest windmills in the country. Mt Brant described it as “a Grade I-listed building, carefully and lovingly maintained in working order by the present owners”. He added: “This unique windmill in the heart of Boston is one of the most photographed buildings in the town. It is still operating as a working mill. An amazing tourist attraction for Boston.”
Highly Commended certificates were given to the following:
• Portobello Row, in High Street, with its frontage display advertising kitchenalia and antiques. Mr Byrant said: “What appears to be a traditional shop in High Street, but when you look behind what a surprise to find a gem reflecting Boston’s heritage”.
• Dolphin Lane Mosaics. An original artwork displaying elements of Boston’s heritage and social history enhancing the unique fabric of Dolphin Lane.
• 16 Market Place. Another Grade II-listed building, which was recently restored by Shane Gray, including the traditional number 16 on the front elevation.
The first runner-up commended on the night was Willoughby Road Almshouses, owned by St. Leonard’s Hospital Trust. Built in 1874 for 10 poor men and wives, these Grade II-listed buildings were said to be “providing a vital service for the community” and are “well-maintained with attractive flower beds”.
The second runner-up was Pelo Hair, in Wormgate. Judges said the business was “a credit to the Wormgate street scene”, with “attractive frontage, nicely painted and clean choice of colours with traditional windows and flower boxes”.
Boston Mayor, Coun David Brown, concluded the night, by saying: “This evening has been a great opportunity to celebrate excellence in Boston. All the nominees are to be congratulated in being nominated.
“We also hope that your successes will encourage others to follow your example so that Boston, its residents, businesses and all our visitors can enjoy what you have achieved.”