End of an era for 21st BBs

Members at a parents' evening in 2013
Members at a parents' evening in 2013

A Motherwell Boys’ Brigade company is folding after being established for more than 40 years due to a shortage of officers.

The 21st Motherwell group will meet for the last time at its closing service and presentation of awards at its associated parish of Crosshill Parish Church on Wednesday, May 6.

It comes following a failed appeal for new officers to take the reins, with several stepping down this year.

Captain Stuart Sheridon, an officer at 21st Motherwell for 25 years, captain for 14, said he was saddened by the closure.

He told the Times: “Sadly, we are folding due to a shortage of officers.

“A couple of officers, myself included, had said this year would be their last year due to personal reasons.

“That would only leave three or four, which is not enough to keep it going.

“We had put out an appeal through the church for more officers, but the big problem is that no one wants to commit to something every week, everybody is busy nowadays.

“Also, with child protection and training, it’s a long process to train an officer - about two to three years.”

The company, established in 1971, currently has 35 boys, ranging from primary one to sixth year age, who meet every Wednesday.

Stuart continued: “21st Motherwell has been going since 1971, and was an amalgamation of Motherwell 5th and 6th, which were formed around 1904 I think.

“It’s unfortunate it’s coming to an end, but we really are struggling to keep it running.”

A spokesman for Boys’ Brigade (Scotland) paid tribute to the group.

He said: “We would like to pay tribute to the team of BB volunteer leaders at 21st Motherwell. Their talents, dedication and commitment to working with young people will have made a huge difference in the community.

“Whilst it is very disappointing that the company is closing for the time being, it is very fitting that a member will be presented with The BB’s highest award, The Queen’s Badge, at the end of this session.

“We are seeing growth of membership in many areas, but we need more adult volunteers to help us provide opportunities for our members to have fun, learn, meet friends and develop new skills.”