A group of wood carvers in Boston, who have just completed an ambitious memorial project, are about to start a new work to mark the 400th anniversary next year of the area’s connections with the Pilgrim Fathers.
The Boston and South Holland Wood Carvers, who meet to work together at Shodfriar’s Hall in Boston, have been commissioned to make a carving for Fishtoft Parish Council using 70-year-old timber from pilings and wrecks dredged from the river during the Boston Barrier works.
Carver Jane Kay explained that the group will be starting work soon on a piece of wood retrieved from The Haven which is ten feet long and about 18 inches square. The initial plan is to make it into a totem pole, marking the pact made between the early New World settlers and native American Indians from the Wampanoag tribe.
She said it will also incorporate carved panels for children to walk and sit on and will be located close to the Pilgrim Fathers’ Memorial close to the river at Fishtoft. Its height will make it a landmark for visitors to the site and those passing by on the water.
Talented Jane has already completed a bas-relief ceramic plaque in two parts measuring 26 inches by 18.5 inches for the Fishtoft project which depicts Pilgrims on a Hansa cog (a type of ship used by Hanseatic traders and specially constructed to deal with shallow waters in The Wash and Haven). It features the landmark Boston Stump (pictured).
The wood carvers have completed their work on their major project – a memorial to all of Boston’s lost fishermen. Five oak panels have been carved with Boston fishing industry imagery such as a trawler on the waves, an anchor, ship’s wheel, seagulls, fish and sea shells. A supporting and connecting galvanised metal framework has been constructed by DS Engineering on the Riverside Industrial Estate in Boston. It includes a finial with rope work and fishing net in metal at its peak.
The tribute will stand on a hexagonal base and a hexagonal illustrated concrete plinth making a total height of nine feet and will be sited close to the river near St Botolph’s Footbridge for an official unveiling next month (September).
The original inspiration for the tribute was the fishermen who sailed from Boston at the outbreak of the First World War and were killed or taken prisoner.
Some of the fishermen put to sea unaware that war had been declared and ten of 16 deep-sea trawlers from the port were sunk in the first month of the conflict. At least 51 fishermen lost their lives and 53 more were held prisoners of war.
After work began it was decided to extend the tribute to include all fishermen from Boston who have been lost at sea.