John Oldrid and his brother George Gilbert, Sir George Gilbert Scott’s sons, had already collaborated in 1873 when they sent in an unsuccessful design in a competition for a Town Hall at Leicester and in the same year they were commissioned to design a new Conservative Club at Boston. It is not clear why they were jointly appointed to carry out this work but their second cousin John Oldrid, who had inherited the family drapery business, was prominent in local politics and was probably a member of the Conservative Party. The scheme involved converting and radically restoring a fifteenth century timber-framed house with projecting upper floors and adding a large hall to its rear. This is a strange brick structure with tall pointed windows set in crow-stepped gables and is completely out of character with the old house at the front. When the work was completed in 1874, the Conservatives occupied the old house while the hall, known as Shodfriars Hall, became a non-political social club. The old house is only a few yards north of the Oldrid family home in South Place, Boston, and must have been well known to the Scott brothers long before they received the commission.
Stamp, G., An Architect of Promise, George Gilbert Scott Junior (1839-1897) and the Late Gothic Revival (Shaun Tyas, Donnington, 2002), pp. 189-92, 367, 384.
Isaac, A., The Oldrids of Boston Story, Celebrating 200 years of Trading (A. Isaac, Boston, 2004), pp. 3-4.
Wright, N., Boston, A Pictorial History (Phillimore and Co. Ltd, Chichester, 1994), plate 156.