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Boston proves a Hanseatic hit

Article by Maggie Peberdy and Richard Austin

The flags have been flown for Boston and England at an international event. Well, flags for Boston, and T-shirts - and they got noticed.

Members of the Boston Hanse Group were attending the Rostock Hansetag. The 38th International Hanseatic Day was held in the German city last month (June) and attracted delegates from 119 member cities and towns spread across 16 European countries. It was also the 800th jubilee of Rostock.

International Hanseatic Day offers opportunities for members to market themselves, both for commerce and tourism. Rostock first hosted the event in 1358.

Promoting Boston were 13 members of the Hanse Group and four 13 BHG members and four members of Boston Youth Hanse.

Boston  made a big impact in the Hanse Market. Boston and King's Lynn were the only British representatives and Boston's fabulous new flags and banners were much admired. Members were continuously busy every day at the Boston market stand, explaining  the importance of medieval Boston and all that Boston has to offer today, by way both of tourism and of business opportunities. 

Members wore Boston Marathon R-shirts, together with "Think Boston" lanyards . They actually ran out of stock of information leaflets in  German and English. Typical of the deluge of questions asked were: An English Hanse?  Where is Boston?  Isn't it in the USA ?  How easy is it to travel there? What activities are there?

During the closing parade the English flags were pointed out, cheered and applauded by numerous people in the large crowd. It is estimated that more than 400,000 people attended the Festival. 

Hanse members all self-finance these visits, and the amount of goodwill and favourable interest generated towards Boston is immeasurable. They also made many personal and potential business contacts and are now following these up. 

The four young people, chosen after a rigorous selection procedure, followed a separate Youth Hanse programme. They lived aboard tall ships with others from a dozen participating nations.  They  learnt ships crafts, such as knot making, some sailed, they visited a nautical museum as well as attending Hanse functions.  They were worthy ambassadors and a credit to Boston.

Hollie Vear said: " I've had such an amazing time and I'll never forget this trip. I've made so many new friends and I feel very lucky to have experienced such a trip and I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity."

Those attending the Festival were: Alison Fairman, Chairman; Martin Fairman, Trustee; Lindsey McBarron, Treasurer; John McBarron; Mike Peberdy, Trustee; Jane Robson, Trustee and Youth Hanse;  Sue Fidler, Trustee; Richard and Alison Austin, BHG Members; Rachel and Julien Kirby, BHG Members; Mike and Rosemary Sharp, BHG Members.

Youth Hanse: Michael Dore and James Smart, the Scouting Association; Hollie Vear and Laiba Imran, Boston High School.

Richard Austin said: "Boston traded with these places in the period when the Stump was being built and became a very wealthy place. The trade was at its peak for about 450 years. Today's Hanseatic gathering is a great cultural event with colourful displays abounding. It was a great cultural exchange and a great promotion for Boston's tourism and its visitor economy."

Alison Austin presents Rostock Mayor Roland Methling with a Boston Borough plaque Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Alison Austin presents Rostock Mayor Roland Methling with a Boston Borough plaque

The grand parade of flags and banners in Rostock Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
The grand parade of flags and banners in Rostock, with Boston's in evidence

Assembling at the end of parade Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
No mistaking the Boston group at the end of the parade

Boston Marathon T shorts in Rostock Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Boston Marathon T-shirts on show at Rostock

Members of Boston Hanse with a Hanseatic Cogg Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Members of Boston Hanse Group with a replica of a Hanseatic cog. These cargo ships were especially developed with low-profiled hulls to be able to navigate the shallow waters of The Wash and The Haven as they plied trade between Boston Port and Continental Hanseatic trading partners.