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10th June 2014


36th Boy's Brigade, membership card for Colin Hollingsworth


10th April 2011

Holyhead in the 60's

Tony Dean and Gordon Breakspear

Holyhead, 1961

1961 -  Gordon Dean, Holyhead camp

1961 August - Holyhead camp

Brian Dean

Carol and Joyce Dean, 1961 Holyhead Camp

Holyhead, 1961, John Willetts and Peter Hatch

Colin Moulsdale and Tony Dean, 1961 at Holyhead


All these photographs are taken at Hayle in 1950 - Photographs courtesy of Gordon Breakspear

Hayle 1950

Chunky Futrell, Luke Styles and Gordon Dean

Ron Evans, Brian Norbet and Gordon Breakspear

Ron Evans

Ron Evans

Ray Russell, Frank Whitehouse, Brian Norbet, Brian Fleetwood, Brian Prosser

36th Football team taken in Kings Heath Park

Just before Retreat

Inspection at Hayle

Gordon Breakspear, Luke Styles, Charles Walkley, Ray Cooper,

Chris Taylor, Les Binell

Frank Vice, Frank Whitehouse, Chris Taylor, Brian Prosser,

Bobby Barns, Ron Evans, Gordon Breakspear


John Norbet

Luke Styles

Bernard Parson

Getting ready for inspection

Hayle 1950



Gordon Breakspear and Norman Hunt



Evening Retreat

Gordon Breakspear

Gordon Breakspear


Brain Norbet and

Gordon Hunt



Scraping out the dixie

Group of friends at Hayle, 1950

Having a good meal



This photograph was taken some 55 years ago at Camp

Left to right - Ron  Evans, Gordon "Dixie" Dean, John Edwards, Charles Walkley, Johnny Bell, Howard Powell


36th BB Buglers, Ellen Street, 1950


The photographs are of the 36th Boy's Brigade, they were developed fairly recently from some negatives found just before they pulled down the church and passed on to me, other photo's were developed by some of the boys when we used to have a camera club.


I first joined the 36th as a Lifebuoy at the age of nine in 1956, coaxed along by my mom's elder brother uncle Jack Bell, he was an officer in the company.


The officer who ran the Lifebuoys was Charles Walkley, the last remaining officer. I moved up to the BB proper at the age of 12 in 1959. I joined the band and became a drummer, progressing to become the "solo" drummer within a year and a half.


The BB was a great organisation to belong to, it gave boys a proper grounding in discipline and respect and provided the opportunity to participate in so many activities. It's a shame that more boys don't join these days.


Our captain was Arthur Wakeling and some of the other officers were Les Binnell, Jack Bell, Arthur Cleaver, Joe Lomas, Don Read, William Hill, a dedicated team of men who gave up so much of their time. We had something to do almost every night of the week. There was club night, PT, swimming, drill night, band practice, first aid, football on Saturdays and of course, Bible Class or church on Sundays. If you missed Sunday's, you couldn't play football the following Saturday. It was, after all, a church based organisation.


In addition, we had cross country races and various other outings. The Methodist Church owns some woodland near Alvechurch, and we used to go there for a day out on a Saturday in the summer. Can you imagine 20 or 30 Ladywood kids charging about in the quiet, peaceful woodland countryside of Worcestershire? We loved it.


The highlight of the year was the annual camp.


Two weeks in the fresh air. I remember my first camp was in 1958 to Tenby and cost £5. Although we had plenty of spare time, there were lots of organised events. We did rambles, sports day, football competitions, church parade with the band (you should have seen the crowds that used to turn out to watch us) and supervised bathing sessions. What a great time we had, as soon as we got home from one camp, we would start paying weekly for the next.


The company had to move from Ladywood when the church, Summerhill Methodist on Monument Road was demolished in about 1966 or 1967. We moved to the Central Hall in town, but by then the numbers had fallen dramatically due tot he houses being cleared. As the town centre was not a  catchment area, the numbers never recovered and the company folded in about 1969.


We have recently held a reunion and the general reaction was good, so it is possible that there may be a regular feature.


Scroll down for more photographs


First Aid Practice, approximately 1958-59

A First Aid class. Officer Les Binnell, some boys names: John Seal, Michael Bates, Paddy Quigley, David Dark, Peter Hatch, John Ray, David Wakeling and Graham Bird, approximately 1958-59

The drummers at the side of Summerhill Methodist Church, 1950.

My cousin William Moulsdale is second from left

36th BB Band, 1950. Standing in Ellen Street,

Spring Hill in the background



Albert Moulsdale and Graham Bird on the day we had just collected

our new snare drums, 1960


The band outside of Summerhill Methodist Church, approximately 1946. Band master Les Binnell.

Extreme left is Gordon (Dixie) Dean,

Second left, front row John Edwards

PT Team, Camden Street School Hall, 1947



36th BB Team 1959-60


Official Arthur Cleaver


Back row – Albert Moulsdale, Paddy Quigley, ???, Michael Troman, Maurice Hancox, Fred Brain


Front tow – John Seal, Chris Brogan, John Carlin, Terry Gardner, Robert Earl


Hayle, Cornwall - Annual Camp

Annual Camp, Hayle, Cornwall, approximately 1946.

The official dishing out the shredded wheat is my uncle Jack Bell

Annual Camp, Hayle, Cornwall, approximately 1946


Holyhead - Annual Camp

A game of football on the camp field at Holyhead, approximately 1960. Holyhead mountain in the background

Getting ready for morning inspection

These boys were “on jankers” for being late into camp the previous night.

Albert Moulsdale was one of them, dark jumper and light shorts, standing centre.

Last night festivities. Officers (l-r) Jack Bell, John Edwards, Arthur Wakeling (captain and seated)

On the way to Holyhead Camp, 1960. Robert Kirby, Albert Moulsdale, Billy Behan, Peer Carlin,

David and Lawrence Houston

This was taken at the “Last Night Party” hence the little lad (Johnny Jenks) in the front dressed

as a girl (for a comedy sketch). PS Some of the girls were real!

John Dalton, John Carlin, David Wakeling, Fred Brain, Gilbert Murray, John Willets.



1959 Officers l-r Arthur Wakeling (Captain), Les Binnell,

Charles Walkley, William Hill

Holyhead 1959

Holyhead 1959

Band Practice

The Lifebuoys tent, Albert Moulsdale on the left


Tenby - Annual Camp

Tenby, 1955-56, Church Parade leaving Tenby, Warren Street to return to camp at New Hedges

Tenby, 1955-56, Church Parade leaving Tenby, Warren Street to return to camp at New Hedges


Birmingham City Centre

On parade in Birmingham City Centre, Colmore Row, 1962-63