I have been involved with the BB since around 1972 when I started attending St Mark’s church at which the 6th Mansfield Coy was based. It had been going since 1950 when the incoming Vicar, Revd M Peck with previous BB experience, decided there was going to be a BB company. It gained its first Queen’s Badge in 1956.
There was a Boy’s Life Brigade unit from 1952 to 1966 but after a short second attempt it closed in 1969 through lack of staff.
I was ‘invited’ to join with some of the older lads and officers on their weekend camping and lightweight expeditions into the Peak District and beyond.
From 1976 I became the cook for the Annual Company Camp on the edge of the Lake District (I continued as cook till 2014).
I became involved formally in the Company in 1979 as a Warrant Officer then a Lieutenant in 1980.
In 1979 a Junior Section and, a few months later, an Anchor Section were started and successfully ran till 2009. I helped in both the Company and Junior Sections. From 1980 I also took over the organization of the Mansfield & District Battalion Junior Section activities/competitions to about 1990.
Around 1979 and the ‘First for Boys’ campaign one of the other Captains in the Battalion, ‘Mel’ Marriott, introduced me to the addiction of memorabilia collecting and BB badge hunting began. Mel used to put displays in various shop windows around the town, advertising/recruiting for the Brigade and his company, the 2nd Mansfield, which was based quite close to the town centre. He got me started with a good supply of the old post ‘27 metal badges form his ‘stock’ and I have been on the lookout for badges etc. ever since. Between us we managed a good coverage for the BB in the shop windows of Mansfield leading up to the Centenary in 1983. As nearly everyone else seemed to do we also went to Glasgow for the Centenary Celebrations and ‘Mel’, who had attended the Dechmont camp in 1933 as a Colour Sergeant, took part in the escorting of the casket to the Centenary Salute at Ibrox Park on the Saturday. A memorable day for him.
I was our Battalion Secretary from 1991-1996 and 1999-2013 but am now just on the Battalion Reserve of Officers