At Midday on Thursday 1st May it was very obvious that an unusual arrival was due at the port of Boston in Lincolnshire for the banks of the River Witham, which flows into The Wash, were lined with many people, more and more of whom gathered as the clock moved on toward two o’clock.
This was the appointed time of arrival of the famous replica of Cook’s Endeavour and eventually as the topgallant sails became visible in the distance and then loomed larger and larger as the vessel progressed slowly up river, the noisy hum of the expectant crowd grew.
As the ship entered the dock the cheers of the crowd were drowned by the sirens of the flotilla of small ships, some of which had accompanied the vessel from the North Sea. Thus the town of Boston, with its long association with Sir Joseph Banks, greeted the Endeavour and became the third port of call of its visit to the U.K.
Several members of the CCSU were among the crowd, including Ian Boreham and myself, but we were not among those who during the next four days queued for some considerable time in order to board the vessel, for we were both fortunate enough to have been aboard some weeks earlier at Greenwich.
We were also occupied in manning the new CCSU display, which was ideally situated in the large exhibition hall adjacent to the moored ship.
During the evening of the ship’s arrival we both attended an interesting, illustrated lecture on “Joseph Banks as a Lincolnshire boy”, given by David Richardson. It was held at a different venue to that planned due to the unexpected large demand for tickets. This linked very well to the National Geographic Society exhibition, “The Greening of the Empire”, on the discoveries made by Joseph Banks in Australia and elsewhere, held in the Guildhall Museum during the period of Endeavour’s stay.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 1416, volume 20, number 3 (1997).
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