Skip to content

Hold the front page!

Boston Borough Council made the front and inside pages of last week's Boston Standard... for a good reason.

Three members of staff, a former staff member and a councillor were featured for their involvement in a gruelling charity challenge - swimming the River Witham from Lincoln to Boston. A photograph of the five swimmers in the shadow of the Stump dominated the front page with more pictures and an uplifting article on pages 8 and 9.

The Spire2Stump challenge saw the five swimmers and their support crew swim and paddle the 31 miles to raise funds for the Butterfly Hospice Trust.

One of the organisers and swimmers was Kathryn Sperring, who works for Lincolnshire County Council, but out of Boston Borough Council's West Street offices, focusing on adult care and community wellbeing in Boston and South Holland.

She and her four swimming colleagues, Steve Roberts, Daniel Pearson (who formerly worked at the council's Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex), Tom Marsters  and Jemma Tointon (Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex), were supported by Boston Rowing Club and Boston Canoe Club, with Cllr Paul Skinner and Lewis Belton, from the council's ICT services, on the oars and paddles.

The swimmers are all members of Boston Swimming Club and took it in turns to swim in relays, each completing a 30-minute shift over a total time of 14 hours and 57 minutes - more than an hour inside their estimate of 16 hours.

They expect to have raised £2,000 and it's not too late to donate - go to

Kathryn said: "It was such a fantastic day and really couldn't have gone any better. The support along the route and at the finish was absolutely amazing and we are so grateful to everyone who has donated so far."

Cllr Skinner said: "Although it was a very hot day, and there was no shelter out on the river, the swimmers body temperature still cooled after half an hour in the water. Some sections were tough, with lots of surface weed to plough through. But they all kept going."

Group picture spire2stump Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Phew, we made it. Swimmers and support beside the river in Boston after their almost 15-hour swim. From left: John Chapman, Paul Skinner, Lewis Belton, Steve Roberts, Daniel Pearson, Jemma Tointon, Kathryn Sperring, Tom Marsters, David Flynn and Simon Jackson

Spire2stump on river Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
All five swimmers' heads bob just above the surface as, flanked by support canoes, they complete the final 800 metres together towards Boston Stump

swimmers Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window