Colours find sparks Brigade reunion

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A SURPRISE find will bring together old friends this weekend to celebrate a past chapter in life of the town’s young people.

The colours of the now disbanded 1st Montrose Boys’ Brigade Company lay forgotten in a cupboard for decades but were found earlier this year.

The company went into decline in the 1960s due to a lack of leaders and last functioned as a Junior Section in 1994 but the discovery of the colours - the company’s standard - sparked recollections of the worthwhile work of the Boys’ Brigade and of happy associations with Melville South Parish Church, its last home.

They were presented to the congregational board in the spring and the church has organised a special commemorative service for this Sunday at 10am. The event is expected to draw old boys from across the area and beyond to watch their colours paraded for the last time, which will then be laid up in the church as a permanent reminder of the movement’s and company’s long association with the church.

The Company began in 1887 at Melville Parish Church and, at various times, met at the YMCA, Murray Lane Mission, Ferryden and Logie UF church and, finally, at Melville South.

There were gaps during war years and a note from former Captain Alexander Valentine to the brigade’s Scottish HQ explains: “Sorry, hall has been used as a Soldier’s Club during past session and no other hall available.”

The Boys’ Brigade movement began in 1883 when William Smith, a Sunday school teacher, felt the need for a more challenging and exciting way of keeping the attention of teenage boys.

Within three years, the movement had grown to 2,000 members, mostly in the Glasgow area. The BB is now an international organisation with more members overseas than in the UK.

The service at Melville South is open to all and tea will be served afterwards. There will also be a chance to view a small exhibition of BB memorabilia.