Princess Diana's sister opens memorial
Ten pure-white doves soared into the powder blue sky above Boston's Westgate Woods on Saturday, marking the opening by Princess Diana's sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, of the Lincolnshire Road Victims Memorial.
The event signalled the conclusion of two years' fundraising by a small group led by Anne Bourne, of Boston, who lost her daughter in a horrendous crash in which four people died and five children were left without their mothers. Her other daughter, who attended Saturday's opening, had been seriously injured in the crash.
Lady Sarah congratulated all involved in the endeavour as she officially declared open the area in the woods set aside for remembering loved ones and marked by a specially-carved memorial stone crafted by sculptor James Sutton, with a dedication and symbolic footsteps.
Mayor of Boston, Cllr Bernard Rush, said a beautiful space had been created for reflection and remembrance. But he said it should also be a place of celebration and of "laughing, living and loving - don't be afraid to smile a little", he said.
Matt Warman MP told how he had lost his own father, dying alone in the street from a heart attack ten years ago, followed six weeks later by his mother's death from cancer. He said he knew how valuable and important it was to remember. He said something positive had come out of tragedy.
John Rose, of Churches Together in Lincolnshire, welcomed all, which included representatives from the county council and almost every district council in Lincolnshire families who had lost loved ones in road accidents. He said: "This site is especially for you and we feel and care for you." Neal Mugglestone, a churches together minister and fundraising committee member, led prayers.
Barbara Blatherwick, treasurer of the fundraising group, thanked everyone who had helped raise funds, saying more than £50,000 had been gathered in two years. She said they had been led from the front from day one by Anne, "the most single-minded person you could wish to meet".
Laynee Louise Crozier (6) and Effie Hubbert (2) presented Lady Sarah and Anne Bourne with bouquets.
Members of the committee each released a dove supplied by Dream Doves of Donington.
The Salvation Army band played and children from Butterwick Pinchbeck's CofE Endowed Primary School sang, including the poignant song Somewhere Only We Know.
The Bishop of Grantham, the Rt Rev Dr Nicholas Chamberlain, dedicated the memorial.
The flower-lined path through the woods to the memorial space will later have the addition of a oak-built shelter.
Boston Woods Trust, which owns and manages the woodland on the outskirts of Boston, made the area available, alongside one of the avenues which all point towards Boston Stump in the distance.
Anne said: "It has been a long, hard slog and I couldn't have done it without all the support I have had from group members. We have been bowled over by the generosity we have received from those who have made donations and supported the fundraising events. We are all very grateful."
You can still make a donation by paying in to the Louise and Sarah Memorial Fund at Lloyds Bank, account number 01303486, sort code 30-91-04.
The campaign has been supported by Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership and Churches Together In All Lincolnshire.