Appeal to secure future of St Andrews BB company

The Boys' Brigade hall in Kinnessburn Road
The Boys' Brigade hall in Kinnessburn Road

The 1st St Andrews Company the Boys’ Brigade has issued an urgent appeal for adult volunteers to ensure the long-established group can continue in the town.

Company secretary Ron Cruickshanks explained the past three years have seen an increase in the number of boys attending and achieving a number of prestigious awards, but a drop in the number of adults coming forward to help.

He said: “The boys have diligently adopted a new activity and reward scheme and each Monday and Tuesday there is a huge amount of action and commitment from both boys and officers to attain these awards.

“These activities are well thought out and are there to encourage boys into areas of physical and mental achievement along with increasing their awareness of the world around them.”

Ron went on to explain that in 2012 the company, along with Boys’ Brigade movement as a whole, were asked to increase the roll by 10 per cent, this was achieved in St Andrews with some 30 boys now attending each week.

He said: “In past years there was a great reliance on `old boys` coming up through the ranks to officer ship - or at least helpers - and while this still happens to a certain extent there is a widening gap between boys to officers ratio and this puts added strain onto the busy nights and weekend tasks at St Andrews BB, having often only one officer looking after a wide schedule of nightly activities.

“While we are fortunate in St Andrews to have an ongoing small influx of Boys Brigade background students who continue their association with the brigade, this only partially solves the problem and does not address the long term future of the brigade in the town.

“What we really need are suitable candidates in the community to come forward and see what is going on at Boys’ Brigade and offer their help to secure the future of the company.”

The company has a long history in St Andrews.

It was set up on Kinnessburn site in 1894 and, over the years, has served St Andrews through Holy Trinity Church, Martyrs Hope Park, St Leonards and Baptist churches.

At the height of the 1950s and 1960s, like similar organisations, the company had more than 200 boys on the roll and were active five evenings a week.

Anyone who may be able to help or would like more details, is asked to contact Ron Cruickshanks, company secretary, either by email at roncruickshanks@ hotmail.co.uk or call 07763 210 434.