David Allan: May 2015
MAYOR TO THE RESCUE!
When the Guest of Honour for their Annual Display had to unexpectedly and regretfully call off at two days' notice, 2nd Alton Boys' Brigade were faced with the problem of finding someone else who was able to fill the gap!
By chance, one of the BB leaders, David Allan, happened to be speaking to Graham Hill, the Town Mayor, and asked, on the off-chance, whether he might be free. He expected a negative response, as the Display was on the day following the Election, and counting of the votes would be under way! However Graham confirmed he was clear that evening and agreed to attend. Problem solved!
As usual, The Butts School hall was filled with parents, friends and supporters of The Boys' Brigade when the Mayor, accompanied by the Mayoress, Britt Hill, arrived for the Company's 31st Annual Display. The Mayor inspected the Boys, aged from 5 to 18, before relaxing to enjoy the evening's proceedings.
A range of formal and entertaining items was provided by the thirty or so BB members. These included marching music from the Company's band, games by the younger boys, and music by the youngest "Anchor Boys" — who were very pleased that they could play the Chime Bars better than their parents! The Seniors agreed how boring BB was — but then proceeded to remember all the things they had been doing throughout the year; each activity was represented by a "prop", and the floor was soon covered with a huge pile of items ranging from mountain bikes to table tennis bats, rucksacks to football boots, tents to bugles, orienteering markers to a laser quest gun!
Rev Keith Underhill, Chaplain to the Company, led the opening and closing worship, and Lt Bob Pidgeon, Secretary of Mid Southern England Battalion, presented a number of BB awards which the 2nd Alton lads had won competing against teams from as far away as Bracknell and Woking.
Towards the end of the evening, the Mayoress presented prizes to boys of all ages. William Worth won the Anchor Boy trophy for Achievement (for 5 to 8's), while Oliver Gower led his Sassoon team-mates to the front to receive the trophy for best 9 to 11's team and William Robertson received the Juniors' Endeavour trophy. Among the older boys, Cpl Will Griffiths' Squad 2 carried off the Challenge Shield, while his brother Ewan was delighted to receive the Middleton Trophy as the best under-15 in the Company. The overall prize and the prestigious Efficiency Cup were awarded to Sgt Joe Murrell, with Thomas Howe taking second place.
The Mayor presented Duke of Edinburgh's Award certificates to sixteen young people who had gained them through Boys' Brigade over the last year. Bronze certificates went to Darcie Carruthers, Jonathan Holland, Thomas Howe, Charlie Murrell, Riannon Tallent and Rosella White, while Albert Kingsley, Jess Rowe, Victoria Scott and Emily White all gained Silver. The highest DofE Award is the Gold, and this year six young people achieved this honour — Joel Andrews, Stephen LeFanu, Sgt Joe Murrell, S/Sgt Myles Scott, W.O. Ian Spencer and Charlotte Webb.
The Mayor spoke to the assembled boys at the end of the evening, complimenting them on their smartness and enthusiasm. "It was an excellent evening," agreed Christian Janes, the Company Captain, "and a chance to show parents and friends some of the things that the BB boys can do. Our activities cater for boys from School Year 1 to College Year 12, and we're always pleased to welcome new members, especially now we're into our informal outdoor summer programme" he said.
For full details of the Company and its activities, please phone David Allan on 01420 84739.
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