New Boys’ Brigade company forming in Methil

Sandy McLaren, Ian Logan, Pamela Myles, Jean Logan and Rhona McLaren. Picture by FPA.
Sandy McLaren, Ian Logan, Pamela Myles, Jean Logan and Rhona McLaren. Picture by FPA.

Committed church members are bringing a Boys’ Brigade company back to Methil in a bid to broaden community activities in the town for boys.

The emphasis is very much on a new start by a new group, with six people – three men and three women – coming forward from Wellesley Parish Church to train as officers.

Their instruction is due to begin this month and continue until April.

It’s hoped to launch the company at the end of April but the organisers want to be sensible and start fairly modestly, with an Anchor section, for boys aged five to seven, and a Junior category aged seven to 10 – effectively school pupils from P1-P6.

They are due to meet on Monday evenings in Wellesley Parish Church hall.

Minister the Rev Gillian Paterson was very pleased with the response and the enthusiasm so far, and hoped more people interested in training would come forward.

Inevitably, the notion of a Boys Brigade unit in Methil will stir up dark memories for some of its predecessor’s fate.

The former 1st Methil Boys Brigade was one of the biggest and most successful companies of its kind, but it came to a notorious end following the conviction on indecency charges in 1999 of former captain Julian Danskin.

But Ms Paterson – who was not based here at the time – and her colleagues are stressing this is a new beginning and a completely fresh start.

Rules, regulations and codes of practice surrounding the organisation had changed since then, she said, while many of the potential leaders were new to BB activity as well, giving an even greater sense of a clean slate.

There had been a lot of support within the community for the idea, along with the BB organisation itself, which was very heartening.

“It’s important that we make it quite different,” she said.

The idea had come from Rev Paterson and other members of the kirk session to provide activity specifically for boys in the area.

“There is really nothing in Methil for boys – there’s no Scout company or anything like that,” explained Ms Paterson.

“Everything we have in the church, apart from the after school club, is really geared towards girls, and we recognise there’s a need for it.”

The group would be catering for around 20-30 youngsters at present and hoped to run sessions for around six to eight weeks before the summer holidays, which would allow a fair chance to assess the response.

“We don’t want to start too big too quick,” added Ms Paterson.

Methil already had a thriving Girls’ Brigade company and, if the BB’s anchors and junior groups were successful, a Company section could be added in due course.

A project to provide a new purpose-built church hall was well under way and this would help with accommodation for various user groups.