American visitors are Mayor's guests at Stump
Visitors from America have taken home memories of a "breathtaking" holiday in Boston.
And their host for their stay in the town has been inspired to launch a campaign to better promote the original Boston in the States as a holiday destination.
Brian Rawsthorne arranged a VIP tour of Boston Stump for sisters Lydia and Frances Smith, from Chicago, introduced them to British fish and chips at Tates fish and chip restaurant and took them on a walk across the marsh to the Pilgrim Fathers memorial at Fishtoft. They also visited the Guildhall and Fydell House and had first experience of an English-style curry at Massala Zone Indian restaurant in the town.
American visitors Lydia (right) and Frances outside the Stump at the Puritan Pathway, dedicated to the "Boston Men" who sailed for the New World to found Boston, Massachusetts in the 1600s. Also pictured, Brian Rawsthorne and Mayor Cllr Alison Austin
Lydia (20) and Frances (18) are descendants of the Ingalls family, who left Skirbeck in 1626 for the New World. They visited St Nicholas's Church at Skirbeck, where their forefathers were congregation members. Their father is a priest and Lydia said: "It was just a great feeling to be in that space - to tread in the footsteps of our forefathers."
At the Stump they were treated to more authentic tradition and heritage when they met Boston Mayor, Cllr Alison Austin, and the Rev Canon Alyson Buxton, and were in awe of the history of the building and the area.
Brian used to live in America - Boston, Massachusetts and then California - and has business interest and friends over there. He also runs a business in which medical teams on cruise ships cater for holidaymakers who require dialysis when away from home.
He said: "Lydia and Frances were put in touch with me and I wanted to treat them to a real-life experience of England and not a sanitised theme-park version. It confirmed for me that what we can offer, just in terms of history and heritage is very special. Americans are really blown away by what we have when they arrive here and we undersell ourselves over there."
Brian is now planning to set up a small group to better promote Boston as a destination and has launched a website www.bostontoboston.com
Anyone interested in helping can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07523 063 222. He especially wants to hear from anyone with suitable accommodation to host guests or guide visitors.
Lydia, an art student at university in Houston, Texas, received a travel grant to come to England, her sister joining her for company.
She said: "We went on a five-mile hike out to the memorial. The landscape is breathtaking - so wide and open and green. It was a beautiful walk."
They also had a week in London and said they had been able to experience the contrast between a busy and exciting city and the more relaxed pace of a rural country area. But in both places they were overwhelmed by a sense of history.
Boston Mayor, Cllr Alison Austin, said connections with America were being revived and it would be nice to return to the period prior to the Second World War when groups used to make annual pilgrimages to Boston.
Beneath the stained-glass window commemorating the visit by the American Ambassador in 1857 to the reopening of the Cotton Chapel in the Stump. This was named after the Rev John Cotton who went to American in 1633, was a leader of settlers there and was instrumental in the naming of Boston, Massachusetts. From left, Boston Mayor Cllr Alison Austin, Lydia, Frances and the Rev Canon Alyson Buxton