I met Elaine on the 30th November 2012 to talk about what she knew about Mrs Lucia Mary Boston, the Benfleet film star.
Elaine’s family had been long term tenants at No. 25 Clarence Road. From time to time she was asked by her mother to take the rent up to the Boston’s house. This was between about 1960 and 1963 when Elaine was a young girl.
Elaine said that they were a kindly couple. She believed Mr Boston was blind and he sat in a corner strumming a banjo or mandolin. Mrs Boston was not very tall and was slight. She was eccentric in the way she dressed, had long hair and wore glasses. She was a kindly lady and one time gave Elaine a silver crucifix which she has to this day. She stated that neither of them had a strong accent of any kind.
The usual procedure for paying the rent was to be admitted to the front room and then go into the kitchen at the back of the house to pay it.
The front room where they lived reminded Elaine of always being decorated for Christmas, something which a friend of hers independently corroborated to her a few days after our meeting. This might have been the scenery and other cinema items they had kept.
23 – Tweed
25 – Clyde
27 – Beauly
29 – Teviot
31 – Don
33 – Tora
35 – Spean
37 – Garry
39 – Nairn
41 – Girvan
43 – Tay
45 – Boston House
One time Mrs Boston took her upstairs and in one of the bedrooms she saw a movie camera on a tripod with rolls of films around it.
Elaine stated that eventually her parents bought the house from the Boston’s but she is not certain when.
She gave me two clues to further my research. The first was she confirmed that the obituary I was seeking was published in the Evening Echo. The second was the houses were all but one named after Scottish rivers. This second part suggests that one or both of them had a strong Scottish connection.
Elaine is the only person I have had contact with who actually met Mr and Mrs Boston.