Letters and /or Photographs are in no particular order!



E-mail conversation with former BB Boy - musician
Rick Wakeman
(photograph taken when I met up with Rick on 17/09/2010)

 

[Rick Wakeman] HI DAVID 

I am aware that in your distant past you was a member of The Boy's Brigade, whether they were memorable times for you, only you will know.
[Rick Wakeman] THEY WERE INDEED....SADLY THE 1ST HARROW CEASES TO EXIST NOW.  

In 1983 (BB Centenary Year) an Association for former members of the BB was started up in London called the London Stedfast Association.
[Rick Wakeman] I DID ACTUALLY KNOW THIS BELIEVE IT OR NOT! 

See
www.londonstedfastassociation.org

Since the founding of the first branch in London, the following years have seen a further 20 branches/bodies open in the UK/Ireland and more overseas.
[Rick Wakeman] THAT'S SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF IN THIS DAY AND AGE. 

Without imposing in on your other charitable work/commitments I wonder if perhaps you would like to join our Association as an ordinary member? ....... Which I am sure is something that is not often suggested in view of who you are.
[Rick Wakeman] I ENJOYED MY TIME WITH THE BB AND I THINK STEDFAST SOUNDS A REALLY NICE ORGANISATION. I GET ASKED TO JOIN A LOT OF ORGANISATIONS ON A PRETTY REGULAR BASIS AND I USUALLY STICK TO MY HARD AND FAST RULE OF NOT GETTING INVOLVED UNLESS I HAVE TIME TO CONTRIBUTE AND TRUTH IS, THAT WITH THE CHARITIES AND ORGANISATIONS I AM ALREADY INVOLVED WITH , I JUST DON'T HAVE ANY SPARE TIME AT ALL.  SOME ORGANISATIONS CAME BACK TO ME AND SAY, THAT DOESN'T MATTER, JUST JOIN AND WHILST I AM UNCOMFORTABLE ABOUT IT, ON A COUPLE OF OCCASIONS I HAVE, THAN THEN THE DIFFICULTIES START WITH OTHER MEMBERS FINDING OUT THAT YOU HAVE JOINED AND THEN THE LETTERS AND E-MAILS START ASKING IF YOU CAN COME TO THEIR BRANCH OF THIS, OPEN THIS AND THAT, DONATE FOR AUCTIONS ETC AND I END UP THROWING MY HEAD IN MY HANDS. 

MUCH AS I HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF LOVE AND AFFECTION FOR THE BB, I SUSPECT THAT IF I JOIN STEDFAST, THE SAME THING WILL HAPPEN HERE AND SO IT REALLY IS WITH A HEAVY HEART THAT I HAVE TO DECLINE YOUR KIND INVITATION. I SHALL HOWEVER REGULARLY CHECK OUT THE SITE TO SEE WHAT YOU'RE UP TO AND I TRULY WISH YOU WELL.

WITH SINCERE BEST WISHES.........RICK 

For those of you who are possibly not familiar with any of Rick's work....... back in the early 1970's he played piano on Cat Stevens hit single (and former Sunday School favourite) 'Morning Has Broken' and David Bowie's sensational Hunky Dory album featuring 'Life on Mars'. He was in the folk/rock group 'The Strawbs' and later in 'Yes' (Progressive Rock Band).

The early 70's also saw Rick release the album 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII' featuring tracks dedicated to all the six wives based on Rick's musical interpretation of their individual characteristics ........ in 2008,
  36 years
after originally asking the Royal Palace at Hampton Court, he finally received permission to stage a concert on 1st and 2nd May 2009 (complete with an orchestra, choir and his own band with the palace entrance as the stage back drop) within the royal grounds as part of the 500th Anniversay celebrations of Henry VIII accession to the thrown of England.

Disregarding the fact that Rick is 'former BB Boy' he is a fantastic musician, so I have added a couple of things I found on 'You Tube' in the 'Links / Other Videos Section' which I hope you will like!  

Finally, if you like the idea of hearing some well known and traditional Hymn's (and associated religious tunes) played by Rick in a more contemporary way whilst staying loyal to the original tune, then seek out his DVD 'Amazing Grace'!


The following photo montage is taken from Onlooker Edition 70. It features the event on Saturday 31st May 2008 organised by London Stedfast to jointly celebrate their 25th and the BB 125th Anniversaries. 3500 people attended the event at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham.



Just saying hello! - Received 21/6/2012 from Barry Turner, South Wales
I was in the 10th Newport Company, for about 22 years, starting in 1955. Last year I met my old bandmaster who asked to join the bugle he had formed of old members, we go under the name of The Newport Steadfast Band, at the moment we have only about 15 players. So far we have done 6 parades, which have been for the Scouts, British Legion etc, and this Sunday 24th - for the Mayor of Newport. Anyway enough about us thanks for setting this up for us old boys. Barry

 
BB Sergeant with bugle - circa 1907/08



Extract from e-mail received 16/09/2010 From Scott Anderson
Hi David, I was at the Royal Albert Hall Show of 1983 in the Pipe Band and stayed with the guys of the 5th Croydon. Scott 

Email received 24/02/13 From Ken Strange, S.A.
Dear David, I was a member of the 11th company in Johannesburg, South Africa circa 1940-1948. I still have most of my badges includung a KINGS BADGE. Can you please tell me what the badge with what looks like an olympic torch was issued for?
Thank you in anticipation. Regards Ken

Brigade Council Dublin 2009 - The odd shoe practice


Colours on parade - Lord Mayor's Show Parade 2009
(The late John Bates on the right of the of the photo)



Royal Albert Hall Publicity (Me: top right)


Royal Albert Hall -I'm behind the Trombone player

'All Smuvverd in Marmalade' History of 5th London BB (by GV Thompson & AG Watts) - My old Company!

2009 - Hong Kong BB 50th Anniversary Camp


Extract from e-mail received 10/09/2010 From Rev Sandy Shaw Warmest greetings to you - Four of us in Nairn (from 3 different churches) are hoping to bring together past/former BB members from different parts of Scotland who now live in Nairn area, who may not know each other. This may well be a 'one off' meeting - but who knows! The meeting is planned for 1st October 2010 in a Nairn Church Hall.I was in the 16th Perth and gained the Queens Badge. I am aware that a further meeting took place on 19th November 2010!

RAF HALTON montage - November 2009


My wife waving prior to Lord Mayor's (return)  Parade 2009


BB in London on parade - Horseguards 1946!


Extract of e-mail received 28/12/10 from John of Birmingham
Hello David, was told of your site by someone I knew from the BB here in Birmingham....brought back memories....well done.
John

The Dorchester Hotel in London - Enjoying their meal!


Extracts from emails from Peter 'Skip' Carter (22nd London).
David -  I do believe you were a boy in the 5th London when the 22nd London were rivals in the old Islington Battalion Competitions. I hasten to add we did manage to win the Battalion and London Team Games (at the Albert Hall) 2 years running. Our rivalry was always done in a sporting manner, even if we usually finished runners up to the 5th.  If you see Alan Watts (Captain of 5th London) do give him my regards and happy memories.

PS I will join up!     ........... (Thanks Peter) 

Biggin Hill (RAF) Airport Open Day - 10th September 2011


Five blasts from the past!....... nothing to do with my BB time!



I'm in these...... Lord Mayor's Show - November 2009 (as seen on TV)

Brian Newman (in wig) ex 70th London, 1965 Albert Hall item!                     

Greetings/Contact received in 2012 from Bob Paterson of 93rd Glasgow Ex-Members Association. See 'Links' to visit their web pages.

One of a number of designs I did for the band banner for 2009 updated 2014. If you click the arrow you should hear something familiar!

A BB and/or Stedfast recording

 

An Email I received from Mike Hartshorn (January 2016) - ex 65th London

I think I was aged seven, when I joined the Pilot Jacks. This was formed at Devonshire Square Baptist Church, Stoke Newington,London.N.16.to encourage young boys, as there were no cub organisations in the area after the war. I then moved to the Life Boys, which was then the junior Boys Brigade. Our leader was a Miss Marjorie Elliott. At the age of twelve, I graduated to the Boys Brigade. The 65th London also at Devonshire Square Baptist Church. Our Captain was Mr John Hancock.
I learned how to play the bugle and drums, under the guidance of our bandmaster Frank Manning, who I believe is still alive, and who married Miss Elliott. He was an excellent organist, and played at the church on Sundays. I particularly enjoyed our church parade's, when we would march around the streets of Stoke Newington, waking up the locals with our drum and bugle band.
I attended several camps at Theydon Bois and Upshire in Essex, and camped at our Captain's village of Smalley in Derbyshire. We always took our musical instruments with us on these camping adventures. I remember having a band practice one morning in our field, behind the church in Smalley. The drummers had just played two threes’ and a seven, before us bugler's were to play "British Boy's", when the two cow's at the bottom of the field charged. There was a load shout of dismiss from our bandmaster, and we ran for the church wall, clambering over to safety. Our base drummer, Terry Slim, was not so fast. He reached the wall, but couldn't unclip his drum. He placed it over the wall and then rolled over it. Just in time; feet in the air. That sight I shall never forget.
I played solo bugle and often played the Last Post on remembrance Sunday. I have a large collection of metal Badges which I was awarded; and have collected others.
I shall be eternally grateful to Captain John Hancock, for the lessons and the discipline I learned, and for my time with the Boys Brigade. I left, to help form " The Salt Lake City Jazz Band,at the age of eighteen, in 1961.I am now seventy two.
Some of the names of the Boy's I remember were Cpl.Terry Slim, Sgt.Brian Bender, Sgt.Malcolm Chenery and Staff Sgt.Johnny Baker. My brother David Hartshorn was also a member; and beat the base drum after Terry left.

Cpl.Mike Hartshorn Ex 65th London
Thanks Mike – nice to hear from somebody else from my former Battalion

A selection of old photos from a variety of sources which hopefully many of you will recognise!

No that's not me!

Received 10 June 2017 from Nelson de Rozario (East Malaysia)

Good morning [03:22 a.m.here in East Malaysia]. I was a the BB from 1961 and a few years later in the 1st Kuching Coy BB in Sarawak East Malaysia. I visited London HQ in 1969 and subsequently was trained in Hemel Hempstead UK for a couple of months. I also was attached to Scottish Coy's for a number of months, At that period I was acting Captain of 1st Kuching Coy BB in Sarawak. However, I have lost contact with London HQ ever since. I am 70 years old and fit as a fiddle.

Nice to hear from you Nelson (reply sent)

 
More items on 'photo' pages 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6