BB Notes: From modern all-weather to nostalgic blaes pitches

On October 28, Mr James Hepburn, the Minister for Sport and former BB member, switched on the floodlights at the new all-weather pitch at Carronvale House.

He spoke fondly of his BB experience and the life skills learned.

A team from 1st Haggs (Haggs Church) and one from 2nd Larbert (Old Church) junior sections, played the first game on the new facility, closely followed by the Kilsyth lads who hold the Guiness world record after a marathon 55 hour game when 2231 goals were scored! This new facility is a significant sports development and will improve those at Carronvale both for the BB and the wider community.

Somewhat longer ago, the ‘other (Glasgow) Herald’ reported on a BB Rally in Wishaw in 1961; recalled recently by reporter Ken Smith. The accompanying photograph showed the polished shoes and buckles, the pillbox caps at the correct angle along with white haversacks (you could almost smell the Brasso!) His comment that by the time the shoes were polished, the buckles burnished, the haversacks cleaned and even the company cap numbers buffed it was a wonder anyone had time to get to meetings. Many he alleges joined the BB for the ‘fitba’, when deep layers of skin would be removed on the blaes pitches. Bring back any memories, or was it all to do with self discipline and Christian manliness?

However, he concedes with simpler uniforms there are 50,000 or so members across the UK and for us ‘oldies’ you only have to start the hymn “Will your anchor hold” and three verses are immediately rattled off. Funny thing memory!

Some just such ‘oldies’ from the local Stedfast Association braved the worst of storm Abigail on November 12 with a visit to the People’s Palace in Glasgow. There, free of charge, they were reminded of ‘Glesca’ days gone by from shelters to steamies and single-ends to stair-heid loos. A wonderful nostalgic afternoon.