1927 – BB Supplies
Early correspondence from William Smith regarding the formation of BB Companies almost always included the offer of promotional literature being sent, including a handbook. Further supplies were made available to purchase from BB Headquarters directly, however, the supply of uniform pieces was left to companies such as James Farquharson & Sons, and Leckie Grahams in London and Glasgow respectively. Advertisments from suppliers were a common feature in the cover pages of The Boys’ Brigade Gazette, and manufacturers of equipment, such as the dummy rifles used by The Boys’ Brigade added their own branding.
From July 1927 the Equipment Department (later B.B. supplies) was formed to meet the equipment needs of Companies that had previously been served by external contractors. Orders of uniforms and badges were sent via official order forms supplied by Headquarters, with price lists distributed which included the authorised articles of uniform and equipment.
By the 1950’s BB Supplies was stocking hundreds of items cover the entire needs of an average BB Company. The catalogues from the 1950s and 60s include items such as Marquees, Drum Majors maces, craft materials, gloves, as well as all the standard BB Awards, uniform and gift items.
The Supplies department moved into the Parsons Green Building in 1966, late moving to the BB Business centre at St Neots in the mid 1980s to and by the 2002’s the distribution was contracted out to a warehouse and distribution Company. By the late 2000s, BB Supplies had ceased to produce printed catalogues or price lists, with the available produces and merchandise being advertised online, with the majority of orders being taked via the BB Supplies page on the BB Website.