After being back at work for a full two days it was time for a break, so taking a break from work and birding, Leigh and I set off for Boston late morning. Bore alert! I had decided to take the A47 and then the new A16… as a way of getting into South Lincolnshire it has to be the future but why oh why, are lorries restricted to 40mph on single carriageways? It’s not for our safety as everyone tries recklessly to overtake… Enough of that though, we did get a year tick on the way with a Red Kite at Wardley Hill.
Our initial plan for the day had been to take the train and have a look at St Botolph’s Church, otherwise known as Boston Stump, then have a few beers and finally end up at the football. The excessive cost of rail travel though meant we drove. St Botolph’s is a magnificent church and well worth it’s 5* rating in England’s Thousand Best Churches by Simon Jenkins. The tower is a beacon across the fens and close up is pretty damned impressive. The tower is reported to have a step for every day of the year but the Verger was unsure if they’d added this year’s extra step… it certainly felt like it as we paid our £3 and started the climb. I have to admit but I LOVE heights. I love being able to look down on the world and watch it go by.
One reason I wanted to climb the tower was to photograph Boston United’s ground York Street from the air. York St. has always been a favourite but until yesterday I have never had the chance to get up high and see it.
Not to be overshadowed by the tower the interior of St Botolph’s is very beautiful. It was described by Pevsner as ‘a giant among English parish churches.’ The high altar being particularly impressive.
Before everyone thinks I’ve gone all religious, you couldn’t be further away. I’m a committed atheist but I can admire the architecture of churches for what they are… fantastic buildings. Heading through town we were soon at York St. and into the land of over officious stewarding. Come on Boston, you’re playing at Conference North level, let’s get back to non-league values. One jobsworth would only allow me to take the following photograph if he ‘escorted me for my own safety’ to my chosen viewpoint.
Not happy with this the steward refuse to allow the two Blyth flags to be be unfurled until Mark told him he was putting it against a wall and if he wanted to take it down he could. The argument from the steward was it was a safety issue… there were 16 Blyth fans! Safety does not appear a concern over in the Boston ‘end.’
Blyth Spartans have to date endured a torrid season but yesterday it seems that things may just have turned a corner. After a first half where Blyth dominated those bits of luck that you need just don’t go your way when you’re at the bottom of the league and The Pilgrim’s goal miraculously stayed intact.
Blyth scored on 52 minutes through as Graeme Armstrong headed past the evergreen Paul Bastock in the Boston goal. Boston really started to turn the screw with Jason (Pineapple On His Head) Lee leading his line and leading with his elbows. Blyth defended doggedly but as time went on a goal for The Pilgrim’s seemed likely and it came in the 80th minute when the Spartans defence failed to clear and Ryan Semple headed the equaliser. It looked like Boston would go on to win such is Blyth’s ill-fortune this season but if anything the Spartans finished the stronger as Hodgson fired narrowly wide and Bastock had to save well from Jamie Mole with the last touch of the game.
It seems there is still some light for the Spartans as they would be gutted to not be taking three points back to Northumberland.