Transported and Boston Borough Council worked together on Boston Hero, a project which celebrates our community’s unsung heroes in artwork on the side of Boston Borough Council’s fleet of refuse collection trucks.
The artwork – and the stories behind them, by the artist Sarah Brown
Horseshoe Lane, Kirton
This piece features the refuse collectors gathering the bins on their round through Horseshoe Lane. I spent a whole day with the team on the refuse lorry, doing their rounds. It was a real eye opener, seeing how hard they work, how dangerous it can be working on the roads all the time. They have a great camaraderie and I came away with a new respect for this vital service! Spending this time with the refuse collectors was part of the inspiration behind the whole project – celebrating and illustrating the hard, behind the scenes jobs that make our day-to-day lives so much better.
Centenary Church and Fountain Lane, Boston
When I met the litter pickers who meet up on a regular basis to clear Boston’s streets of rubbish there was such passion about what they do, trying to improve the area for the residents and also getting involved in other initiatives throughout the town. This piece also features the Soup Kitchen that provides vital assistance to the members of the community who have unfortunately found themselves with nowhere to live. It is next to Centenary Church where the vicar was nominated for his great work and the help he gives to members of the community.
Pilgrim Hospital and Maud Foster Windmill
I visited the hospital to meet with a volunteer to find out more about the roles within the hospital and the difference they make to the service given at the hospital. It was great to see the interaction they have both with the staff and patients and how without them the nurses and doctors would struggle. I spoke with Don, who volunteers on the Discharge Ward and he showed me round and also told me how another volunteer puts out bird feed to encourage the birds to the trees outside the window to give the patients something to look at. I also met with the Hospital Radio and the service they provide every evening is fantastic, they have a many, many records from all eras and try to cater for the broad range of patients in the hospital, they also take requests from patients and do their best to brighten the atmosphere with their evening entertainment.
I was also touched by a nomination for the Butterfly Hospice and how someone had planted 30,000 daffodils nearby – I have added daffodils to this image to reference to these volunteers.
Market Place, Swineshead
Meeting with Jody was an inspiration. He works tirelessly alongside a team of volunteers to improve Boston – they have even reclaimed a disused toilet block and made a community shed to keep their equipment for the work they do. Also, the work put in by the council’s parks department was great – it’s not only a job – it’s a passion of theirs.
Thanks to: Parks watering team, Swineshead volunteer Phil Boseley and Jody Raggo – a member of Boston Big Local and High Street South and Boston East Neighbourhood Action Group – Keeping Boston and the Borough Tidy.
Wrangle and Butterwick Coffee Morning
Providing a place where the elderly can socialise together and have support is much needed in any area – the volunteers at Age UK take it in turns to make cake for their coffee morning and also have groups such as knitting. This is not only something that is a social activity but it also keeps people active and helps to keep their hands in good working order! Age UK would love more elderly people to join them, whatever their interests as they have someone who can teach you to use a computer and even do a spot of gardening as well as many more activities.
Fisherman’s Quay, High Street, Boston
I visited the Fisherman’s Quay on the High Street to meet the cockle pickers when they returned with their catch. It is something unique to the area and I was amazed at how many cockles they can pick in a day! The season is short and there are many boats that go out each day to collect the local produce. Landing the catch works like clockwork with someone checking the catch in and the transporters hauling the massive bags onto lorries to be taken for the next process.
Wigtoft Road, Sutterton
Visiting the vibrant Gateway Club, run by Mencap was fun. I met with the people that run the group and was amazed by the number of activities and members they have each week. From craft projects to singing, darts to rounders and a quiet game of dominoes or a cup of tea and a puzzle. Everyone is included and when I spoke to some of the people who come to the club, they said it is a place they feel they can be themselves and meet with friends. It was inspiring speaking with the volunteers and to discover that some of them only came to see what it was like for a week and are still helping 10 years on!
Witham Way Country Park and The Stump
The work that has been put into Witham Way County Park by the local volunteers is simply wonderful. They have been working hard and developing different areas of interest in the park including the bug area, butterfly garden and a picnic area. It is such a massive task but one that has created a fantastic space for residents in Boston. I really enjoyed meeting and chatting with them.
Market Place, Boston
This image includes council workers and volunteer gardeners. I spent some time with the Environmental Crime Enforcement team – this was a completely new experience for me as I did not know about the vast lengths they have to go to, to improve the area. Checking through bins and bags of rubbish that have been dumped for evidence of who has dumped it and arranging ways to prevent it happening again. Sometimes as simple as letting the people know what days the bin is collected or providing a bin if they do not have one.
Church View, Freiston
The people encouraging Boston to stay active are motivating and committed to all ages. The leaders from the walking group I met with were originally members of the first group, but as there are now 12 groups running every week around Boston, some of those original walkers are now giving back to the community and running groups themselves. This provides not only a place to get back to health or get fitter but a social occasion looked forward to by all the members of the group.
The Boston Youth Football Club meets every week of the year training the youngsters to improve their football techniques. They do not actually train where I’ve drawn them – but I felt I just had to fit them into the artwork, to represent the valuable work they do here.
The allotments around Boston have volunteers who help to keep the allotments and try to encourage young families and people new to the area to come and grow their own produce.
This image includes features Paul, who encourages young families and people new to the area to have an allotment and encourages children to grow edibles as well as Jenny, working alongside a family who have an allotment there.
I spent some time with the parks department to see the work they do to maintain and improve the green spaces in the area. It was really interesting to see the team working together to keep these vast areas beautiful. Their knowledge of the plants and the wildlife that needed extra care was inspiring, as although it is their job to keep the green spaces – they go above and beyond to nurture the environment for others and protect unusual flowers that are growing in the area.
The litter pickers I met in Central Park spend their days removing rubbish that is dumped in the park. One of them – Joe, is a volunteer who joined over 10 years ago to do some community work and learn about the job and has continued to help ever since. He goes to help everyday rain or shine.
The image shows work such as lawn mowing and litter picking – including Joe, voluntary member of the team. Also depicted is a CCTV camera – another vital service and one of the toilet cleaning team.
The story behind the project
The response to the nomination process was overwhelming. Nearly fifty nominations were received and were wide ranging, including individuals, committees and groups, and with varying roles from cleaners to health care workers, and teachers to performers. Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate someone. Reading all the nominations was an amazing experience, and it clearly showed how much we have to be proud of in Boston!
Artist Sarah Brown was planning to use nominations as inspiration for the twelve artworks, each showing a person doing the role or activity they had been nominated for; but due to the fantastic response, she has had to rethink her original strategy of focusing on one role per artwork. She met with as many of the nominated people as possible, to find out more details about what they do and different ways they could be represented. The finished artworks now have Boston Borough backdrops with multiple roles depicted within that backdrop as appropriate.
Sarah said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting with as many of the nominees as I have been able to in the time I have spent in Boston. It was lovely to meet with people who have such a passion for making the borough a better place to live. Whilst I spent time with each of the groups of people I got a great sense of community spirit and effort put into the keeping the place clean and tidy as well as including sections of the community that may otherwise become isolated. I have also spent some time with a small section of the many council departments and had not until now appreciated how many of them go above and beyond what is expected to assist the community and how many cross overs there are between voluntary roles within the area and the council.
The huge number of nominations has been overwhelming and I have tried to incorporate as many of the different sectors as I can. It has been impossible to meet with and include everybody but each role has been very much in mind whilst I have been gathering inspiration and drawing.”