History of the BB in Anderston .
John N Cooper BB Officer.......I
first met John in the late 1970s when he was involved in Boys' Brigade
Bands at Glasgow Battalion level. He was in charge of the Glasgow
Battalion Brass Band and the Bandmaster of the 32nd BB Company Brass Band.
At our first meeting his love for the BB and his
love of music was very evident.
BB bands are and were very difficult to maintain, for the simple reason
that Boys grow-up, leave the company, putting the band back to basics as
you continually strive to bring new boys through to keep the band
My BB company ( 219th
Glasgow ) was working very hard to keep our flute band 'on the
road' and John was a great inspiration to me by encouraging me to bring my
Boys along to various local and Battalion events. This stimulated great
interest with the Boys and from 1978 to 1983 my band was ever present with
The Glasgow Battalion Brass Band....and John.
John N Cooper, Oct.2005.
photograph by webmaister
I have thanked him for all his help in those days,
he really was and is a
Now through GlescaPals we have been reunited
and I am delighted to
have the opportunity to tell the
world about this book/CD he has written.
was a member or friend of a
Boys' Brigade Company will love his book/CD,
the full history is chronicled from 1883 and the life
and workings of the
movement is seen through the
activities and photographs of the
Anderston BB companies. .......
Part of the Story
A CONCISE HISTORY of THE BOYS’ BRIGADE
ANDERSTON DISTRICT of
John N Cooper
Photograph - Sergeants
of the 32nd
have been written recounting the story of The Boys’ Brigade (BB), indeed
a number of BB Companies have produced localised versions of their own
history. To date, no attempt has been made to record the collective
presence and work of the various BB Companies who were active in the Anderston
. With the invaluable collaboration of Jim MacKenzie, current Captain of
the 231st Glasgow Company (a former Anderston Company), and
contributions from a number of other ‘BB people’, I am taking this
opportunity to bring together our collective knowledge of The Boys’
Brigade in the area in which we grew up - Anderston.
Wherever friends gather, thoughts and conversation often turn to the
‘old days’. Few take time to consider that unless such reminiscences
are recorded, they simply disappear. The very mention of the BB will
invoke memories of time spent in the Organisation among every ex-member,
who will have recollections particular to specific interests be it,
Football, Camp, Band etc..
Thinking back to
the days of our lost youth is what makes memories, or nostalgia, so
potent. Those days cannot be brought back, but memories can be
revisited. That is partly the reason why this history has been written
but, perhaps more importantly, it is an account that will be available to
future generations. This record of the BB in Anderston will provide not
only documentary evidence, but will offer insight into how the
Organisation worked and what it meant to be a member.
Every BB Company had to have a Church connection and, whilst the future of
the BB in Anderston today may be somewhat uncertain, what is not in doubt
is the tremendous influence the Organisation has had on thousands of
youngsters who passed through the ranks over the years. It is well nigh
impossible to fully measure the impact The Boys’ Brigade had on the
youth of Anderston; suffice to say the Organisation offered thousands of
young lads direction and a positive outlet for theirs energies. The BB was
an important part of growing up for many Boys and, through membership of
the Organisation, countless lifelong friendships were established. The
opportunity for Boys to develop and express hidden untapped skill was
encouraged by their Officers, every one of whom was an un-paid volunteer.
The positive influence of the Officers and Leaders, who often became
role-models to the Boys, is incalculable.
This history is dedicated to the thousands of Officers, Instructors and
supporters who devoted their time, skills, energies and resources to the
work of the Boys’ Brigade. Whilst this history is primarily focused on
the Anderston district of Glasgow, many of the reminiscences will no doubt
be applicable wherever in the world the BB had a presence for they, too
are “All Part of the Story”.
John N. Cooper,
All part of the Story
available in book & CD format and can be seen at the Mitchell