The 2nd Alton Boys’ Brigade first met in the Methodist Church on January 27, 1984, and they celebrated their 40th anniversary there on the same weekend this year.

On the Friday the younger boys enjoyed some party activities before all the members came together for a short ceremony and the cutting and eating of the anniversary cake. The older ones then stayed on for an evening of games.

On the Sunday members were joined by the church congregation plus ex-members and former leaders from all over the country for an uplifting Service of Commemoration led by the chaplain, Revd Philip Simpkins. This was followed by lunch – a summer camp style meal with sausage casserole and apple crumble.

Then former members enjoyed browsing through the company photo albums and watching images taken over the 40 years, as well as catching up with old acquaintances and exchanging tales of their adventures together.

Revd Simpkins pointed out that the company had been blessed with an amazing number of committed leaders. In all 109 adults, young and old, had helped in some way to lead, train and help boys develop during this 40-year period.

Although no detailed statistics are available, several hundred boys have benefitted from their time in the brigade.

Captain Pete Burgess said: “It was great to see so many former members who clearly had fond memories of their times in the brigade.

“We’d be very pleased to welcome anyone from school years 1 to 13 to join this great national organisation, which is currently celebrating its own 140th anniversary.

“Drop in at the church any Friday – primary school age boys meet at 6pm and older boys at 7.50pm.”

Activities in the next few months include orienteering, football, first aid, climbing and expeditions for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Details on 01420 84739.