An early Christmas present for Boston as volunteers create new town signs

Boston now has a fresh set of carefully-crafted, colourful town signs thanks to the dedicated work of volunteers.

Dmitry and Natalia Buravlev at work on the new town signs for Boston.
Dmitry and Natalia Buravlev at work on the new town signs for Boston.

Three new signs will welcome those entering the town via Boston’s Sleaford Road, London Road, Wyberton and the A16 at Wyberton.

Resident Mike Gilbert came up with the idea of creating new welcome signs last year after noticing the state of four of the old ones, which had become worn and faded with flaking paintwork.

Volunteer Dmitry Buravlev, supply chain manager at MetsaWood UK, volunteered to help and sponsored sheets of marine ply, while ply and paint was also supplied by Boston Borough Council.

The fresh new town signs will welcome people to Boston.

Dmitry’s wife Natalia Buravlev then came onboard, mixing matching colours and hand-painting the signs - which feature the Stump, the Maud Foster Windmill, a market stall and the Guildhall Museum.

Two further old signs have been renovated which will be located on Spilsby Road and Horncastle Road. One of these was renovated by Mike and Boston Men’s Shed.

Posting photos of the finished work to social media, Natalia wrote: “I hope it will be a wonderful Christmas present for our Boston. It’s honor for me to participate in such a project.”

The finished signs have received praise online, with residents calling them ‘stunning’ and ‘wonderful’ and thanking Natalia and the team for providing these for their town. Comments even came from as far away as South Africa with a former Bostonian praising their ‘beautiful work’.

Natalia at work mixing paint for the town signs.

Dmitry and Natalia gave over their home to working on the project when a Covid lockdown last December meant they could no longer work from the work shed with Mike. Over the course of a month they put up with sawdust and their living spaces being used as a temporary studio.

Together, they have spent a whopping 350 hours on the project between them.

When the weather improved they were able to use their back yard to work, dedicating most of their free time over spring and summer to the project.

Dmitry said: “Although we missed lots of sunny days when we could go somewhere and have a rest after a busy week, we knew that the town needed these signs, and we owe it to finish this job.

Dmitry and Natalia Buravlev at work on the new town signs for Boston.

“When Natalia finished painting the Stump we were speechless - we have never seen anything similar before - a new colour, transparent windows, shadows - all the details that told us this is Boston’s Stump.

She posted her work on Facebook and in a few hours got more than 500 likes. She is very pleased to know that people appreciated her job.”

Mike added: “I am really happy with the way the project has developed with real expert skill from Dmitry and Natalia. It’s been a real team work effort involving the community, men’s shed and the borough council.”

The new signs are currently being varnished, and will be erected after Christmas.

The faded old sign on the A16 before it was renovated.
Work in progress.