Great times with South Shields’ Boys Brigade

Members of the 8th South Shields Company, the Boy's Brigade, with the Reverend  B Scott, minister of Westoe Road Baptist Church.
Members of the 8th South Shields Company, the Boy's Brigade, with the Reverend B Scott, minister of Westoe Road Baptist Church.

Oh boy! What great memories came to light when we featured a photo of members of the 8th South Shields Company, the Boys Brigade, being presented with Queen’s Badges in South Shields.

Here are just a few of the many comments left on the Gazette’s Facebook pages.

Brit Peacock told how he: “Was a drummer in the bugle band for most of the 70s along with Stuart Ditchburn and Ken Harve. Doug Harvey was a bugler. Did our Duke of Edinburgh bronze, silver and gold awards. Remember Coalcleugh and the hiking we did round there. Great memories of the summer camps. Good times.”

Blayne O’Brien took to social media to say: “I used to go to the boys brigade at the church in Victoria Road. Loved it marching on a Sunday; a dog was always going ballistic. Often thought it would get out of the yard and take a few chunks out of us. Shame the boys brigade is a dying thing.”

Allyson James revealed how: “My dad, Joe James, was in the 8th company, from being a young lad he was boy and officer. So too were my two brothers Kevin and Gary. I still have great memories of those days and made life-long friends.”

Neil Hickman was in the 15th at Laygate and “loved the summer camp” while Michael Jacobson was “in the 11th Company, Harton PM Church, near the Nook, from age 11 to 19 years. Solo drummer for the South Shields Battalion, camping every summer, either Whitby or Catton. Good times”.

Douglas Harvey recalls being “only about eight, starting in the Junior Section” while Jeffrey Usher said: “My goodness that’s a blast from the past. I was in the 8th somewhat before that time. Based at the Baptist Tabernacle at Horsley Hill, I had a great time.”

Ni Todd went on Facebook to tell how: “I had my first ever Wrigleys gum given to me by the people who built the extension who I ran occasional messages for at the Hill, aged five or six.”

Many other readers had fond memories of their time in the Boys Brigade, including Allyson James who remembers how: “Summer camps were brill, 8th 9th and 15th boys brigade, great times, great memories, great friends.”

George Fenwick took to social media to say: “Liked the camaraderie, then joined the Freemasons, Sure and Steadfast lodge, in Wallsend Masonic Hall. The guys

Alice Thorburn revealed how: “That company is still up and running” while Ni Todd told how: “I was in the Baptist Tabernacle company in the early 70s.”

Meanwhile, other readers got in touch after seeing a photo taken at Asda store in South Shields in October 1983.

The Gazette photographer was there to capture the first load from a newly-opened warehouse, serving the whole of the North of England, arriving at the South Tyneside store. Included in the picture are Asda workers Brian Johnson, Heather Lord and Paul Hogan.

Brenda Mulhatton went online to say: “I only recognise Brian Johnson” while Brenda Mulhatton posted: “The good times

Seane Wilkinson revealed how: “I was the store manager there about 1998, remember Heather in the photo, albeit she wasn’t there when I was.”

Gail Miles told how she: “Worked for Dee Discount, the first supermarket that didn’t price label. Staff had to know the price of everything.”