Colours paraded for the last time

20110619- Boys Brigade Commemoration Service. 'Earlier this year a surprise turned up at a Congregational Board meeting. It was a bag, and in it were the colours of the 1st Montrose B.B. Company! They had lain hidden away in a cupboard somewhere for years. The 1st Montrose Company started at Melville Parish Church in 1888, only five years after the first company began in Glasgow under the founder, William Smith. The Company had a chequered history, meeting variously at the YMCA, the Murray Lane Mission, Ferryden and Logie UF and Knox's UF, before finding its home at Melville South in 1956. There were some gaps, for example during war times when meetings were suspended. The Life Boys began in 1955 and were absorbed into the Company as its junior section in 1964. The colours were presented to the Company by Mr. and Mrs. J. Stevenson in 1960. Gradually numbers fell, until only the Junior Section was left. Ken Linton was the last Captain, with the help of Aileen Murray and Linda Stewart. It finally closed in 1994
20110619- Boys Brigade Commemoration Service. 'Earlier this year a surprise turned up at a Congregational Board meeting. It was a bag, and in it were the colours of the 1st Montrose B.B. Company! They had lain hidden away in a cupboard somewhere for years. The 1st Montrose Company started at Melville Parish Church in 1888, only five years after the first company began in Glasgow under the founder, William Smith. The Company had a chequered history, meeting variously at the YMCA, the Murray Lane Mission, Ferryden and Logie UF and Knox's UF, before finding its home at Melville South in 1956. There were some gaps, for example during war times when meetings were suspended. The Life Boys began in 1955 and were absorbed into the Company as its junior section in 1964. The colours were presented to the Company by Mr. and Mrs. J. Stevenson in 1960. Gradually numbers fell, until only the Junior Section was left. Ken Linton was the last Captain, with the help of Aileen Murray and Linda Stewart. It finally closed in 1994

A DIGNIFIED service in Melville South on Sunday marked the formal laying-up of the 1st Montrose Boys’ Brigade company colours, which have found a permanent home in the church.

The service, conducted by the Rev David Dixon, was attended by former brigade members and those associated with the now disbanded company as well as the church’s regular congregation.

It also presented an opportunity for old friends to reunite and reminisce about their time in the company, which met latterly at Melville South, with former members attending from Fife and Aberdeenshire as well as the local area.

Mr Dixon said the event, which was also attended by Angus and Dundee Battalion president Colonel Jake Hensman, had been enjoyed by those present.

He said: “I think there was a good feeling about it. People enjoyed the memories and we had a loop showing old photographs of the BB camps going before the service and there were a lot of old faces there.

“The colours were presented with dignity and laid up in the church, perhaps with the challenge of reviving a BB company or some other way of presenting the Gospel to young people.

“Refreshments were served afterwards and quite a lot of people took the opportunity to go through for that as well as view an exhibition of BB memorabilia. There was a lot of reminiscing, I think, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.”

The colours - the company’s standard - were discovered earlier this year in a cupboard where they had lain for decades and were handed over to the church’s congregation board in the spring.

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. The company went into decline in the 1960s due to a lack of leaders and last functioned as a Junior Section in 1994.

There were gaps in its activities during war years when many of the local public halls were being used either for military or other purposes.

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.

Mr Dixon added: “The service sparked a lot of interest among the congregation because the BB was big in years gone by and there were some who had been involved, so it brought back a lot of memories for people who had been busy in the church.”