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Big buoy lift

A delicate early-morning operation to lift a two-tonne former Wash navigation buoy into place on Boston's Custom House Quay went without a hitch on Monday.

Buoy daybreak and alone Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window 
In the almost complete darkness at 6am crane driver Paul Walden lifted the brightly-painted buoy over a wall and railings and gently lowered it into place on a concrete plinth where once a small dock crane used to be positioned.

Buoy Rodney's last-minute check Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window Buoy here comes the crane Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Buoy up she goes Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window Buoy Rodney checks position Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Greenscaper and skipper of the Boston Belle, Rodney Bowles, gave instruction for final positioning, calling for a second small lift to reposition by just three inches. Rodney is familiar with the buoy having sailed past it many times when it was at sea.

The buoy now sits proudly on the recently-revamped quay to reflect the area's maritime heritage. It can be seen from the town bridge and forms part of improvements to the town made by volunteer group Boston Greenscapers and the Boston in Bloom team.

The former Trinity House buoy dates back to the 1950s and was used in The Wash, within the Port of Boston's jurisdiction waters. Its last position was to mark the deep-water Parlour Channel which was used by commercial shipping up until the 1980s and more recently by fishing and leisure craft.

The buoy has been made available at a substantial discount by Mr Richard Walker, Harbour Master at the Port of Boston, who has also had it repainted in its traditional Trinity House colours. Funding for the navigation buoy has been provided by Boston BID.

Buoy full team Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
From left: Boston Greenscaper Rachel Lauberts, Cllr Yvonne Gunter, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for leisure services, parks and open spaces and a member of Boston in Bloom, the council's partnerships and sustainability manager Ian Farmer, Greenscapers Rodney Bowles and Rob Lauberts and crane driver Paul Walden

Buoy daybreak Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Safely in position and dawn breaks. From left: Cllr Yvonne Gunter, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for leisure services, parks and open spaces and a member of Boston in Bloom, Greenscapers Rodney Bowles, Rachel and Rob Lauberts and the council's partnerships and sustainability manager Ian Farmer

Hear Leigh Milner's report for BBC Radio Lincolnshire: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01j9wrb