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Company history - page 4

The 1970s

During the 1970's, under the leadership of Captain Robert Crouden the Company continued to grow and at one point membership went up to over 80 boys in all sections combined.

Several new members of staff came onboard during the 1970's including Joan Hands, Michael West, Robin Nixon, Bruce Simmonds, Ron Ship, Ian Bratt, Stephen Weston and Susan Hands. We also welcomed a new minister and Chaplain to St Andrews' Rev. Dilwyn Edwards.

Martyn Waters

• Another new member of staff at this time was Martyn Waters. Martyn had been a member in the company since he was a boy and became a W/O in 1973 and a Lt. in 1975. Martyn also did a short stint as the company Captain in 1986 before successfully landing a Job actually being paid to work for the BB in Wales. Martyn went on to become Secretary for England & Wales, one of the highest positions in Boys' Brigade and was strongly involved in the leadership and direction of the national Boys' Brigade organisation. He also helped set up and run events like Firm Foundations and was part of the team who created and developed the Discover programme for the Company section before he left BBHQ in 2006 and is currently a Probation Officer with Thames Valley Probation. Martyn has been back to 3rd Basingstoke any number of times in the past and joined us on several BB Camps in the 1990s.

Girls Brigade logo

2nd Basingstoke Girls' Brigade

2nd Basingstoke Girls' Brigade was founded at St. Andrews' Church in December 1964, just one month before 3rd Basingstoke Life Boys started and over the next few decades the two organisations would often overlap activities together, such as Band, Camps, Trips, Swimming on Tuesday evenings at Cranbourne School and display activities. 2nd Basingstoke GB ran at St. Andrews' up till its closure in February 1993.

The Band

3rd Basingstoke BB Band

The Band was formed with Leaders and members from 3rd Basingstoke Boys' Brigade in the late 1960s or early 70s and in the 1980s were joined by 2nd Basingstoke Girls' Brigade members. The Band would become a common sight on the streets of South Ham parading around Western Way, Princes' Crescent and St. Patrick's Road on Sunday mornings. Our Band were also a popular fixture at the Basingstoke Carnival and other public events until the 1990's when the Band disbanded. We have often talked about the possibility of doing a reunion band event, maybe one day it will happen...

Summer Camp and Brecon

Camp 1990

Over the years 3rd Basingstoke BB, and between 1985 - 1990 2nd Basingstoke GB, would take members away for Annual Summer Camp, a week long trip to places such as Swanage and Snowden in Wales, Haytor in Devon, Dover, The Forest of Dean, The New Forest and many others. Summer Camp became the highlight of the year for many people, enjoying adventures in orienteering, canoeing, climbing, abseiling, caving, cycling, the always popular Friday Night Talent Contest, as well as the fellowship and camaraderie of camping under canvas together. Many people made lifelong friendships on Summer Camp and in fact there are many couples happily married today who first met as members of BB and GB.

Heol Senni, Brecon

In addition to Summer Camp we were also taking members of the Boys' Brigade on weekend trips to the Brecon Beacons, often this was so popular that a member would only go on one of our two annual Brecon weekends. We stayed at several places in Brecon including Heol Senni, Joe's Lodge and Trecastle and would most often walk to the summit of the 2,907 ft Pen y Fan mountain or on the trail that leads around behind the famous Henryhd waterfall.

Annual Summer Fete

Summer Fete at Richard Aldworth School

During the Seventies 3rd Basingstoke began putting on annual summer fetes at Richard Aldworth School playing fields. These were huge events with many hundreds of people in attendance to enjoy displays by the Band, the Company Section Gym Display Team, marching displays, arena games from the Anchor Boys' and Junior Sections as well as fete stalls, arts & crafts, fun games and much more. All of this would not have been possible without the good help of the Friends & Family Committee. The Annual Summer Fete continued throughout the next two decades until declining numbers meant it was downsized to just the church site in the early Nineties and eventually it became unfeasible to carry on with at all.