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Grand day out

Boston's waterways heritage was the focus when more than 60 people gathered alongside the River Witham to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Grand Sluice on Monday.

A new information board commissioned for the anniversary was unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Mr Toby Dennis, before guests boarded the Boston Belle for a ceremonial passage through Grand Sluice.

They were taken down the river to view the site of the planned Boston Barrier, before returning on the tide to Grand Sluice to disembark.

The event was championed by Boston Borough Councillor Richard Austin who said: "We celebrated the anniversary in style. The event brought together the key people concerned with river drainage and heritage.  There were some very good discussions about ways to increase and expand Boston and its waterways' attractiveness to visits and tourists."

Cllr Austin told guests he had been amazed to discover the huge influence Grand Sluice has had on the development of Boston and beyond. He said it enabled 111,000 acres of fertile land to be reclaimed for food production and turned Boston into the largest town in Lincolnshire.

He praised partnership working across nine organisations for the preparations for the day.

The Lord Lieutenant also unveiled a plaque provided by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Grand Sluice  was the Boston Barrier of its day, designed and built by the foremost engineers of the age.

Unveiling at Grand Sluice Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Delight from Cllr Richard Austin as the Lord Lieutenant unveils the new Grand Sluice interpretation board

All aboard Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
All aboard the Boston Belle for the ceremonial passage through Grand Sluice

Blue plaque Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
The new blue plaque - a tribute to the engineers of 250 years ago