Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Hello Boston – and goodbye

Once upon a time Boston was a proud and prosperous place - one of the busiest ports in England, wealthy enough to build the biggest parish church in the country and in later years plenty of those handsomely proportioned big Georgian houses.
The impressive Stump
Old Boston charm here in Wormgate (!)
Oh look at it now! A sad, depressing place spelling our poverty, depression and lack of enterprise on the grey faces and shabby clothes of so many of its local population.
The view from the Stump
The locals but not the East Europeans who throng the town. There are so many that every other voice seems to be speaking some sort of Slavic tongue. Latvians are the majority but there are Poles, Romanians and others. You don't need to hear them speak – the men are universally young, lean and tough looking. They're not here to scrounge benefits but to work (and work hard) in the region's agricultural industries.
The resident Brits seem to have been swept away on the tide. Those we saw on the streets seemed to fit every negative stereotype: heavily pregnant girls smoking, heavily overweight men and women topping up on more fried calories, mouth-breathing, dead-eyed youths. What future is there for them I wonder?
I'm afraid we couldn't wait to leave – though I did manage the lung bursting climb up the 200+ spiral steps of the Stump to gasp – literally – at the immense views of the flat Fen world all around.
And the barnowl
It was with no regrets that we said goodbye to Boston and to our moorings there. They're decent enough; pretty new I'd guess but you share with the long term residents and as they're in the majority you feel you have to accept their ways. It's a bit like being allowed to park your camper van on a stranger's drive: you have to accept them playing their music to all hours or their dog peeing up your shopping bag. Or, in our case, running engines until 11 pm and a resident dog waking you at 6.30am by walking noisily about on the tug deck above where you're lying in bed.
Grumpy with the drone of engines we went for a long walk the previous evening, back up to Anton's Gowt where the Witham Navigable Drains lead off and then following a couple of these on a triangular route back to the town - six brisk miles. On the way we spotted another barn owl patrolling the bank and I managed a hasty snap before the camera shy bird veered away.
More wildlife fun: today on the run out of Boston we spotted a line of five young mink picking their way carefully across the rocks at the water's edge. Nasty creatures but a good spot all the same.


Anonymous said...

You are doing well for Barn Owl...great shot. Your social commentary does make you wonder. It appears to be repeated all over the country. Some blame the death of the High Street, but perhaps it is the death of the British working man that is to blame. All over the country East Europeans seem to pick up the work.... and work hard. Most seem very proud of what they achieve.

Nancy and Max said...

Good rant and even better owl photo!

007 said...

There's not even a Lidl to add a silver lining to the visit! I don't think we'll be visiting for our summer holiday.