BB Notes: Young and old with BB links to the Port

A recent flier for the Falkirk Council election was brought to my attention. It was from a potential candidate for election to the council from Grangemouth, James Bundy.

He is proud to indicate on the publication that he is a Queensman from the 1st Grangemouth Company (Abbotsgrange Church).

Skipper there, Dave Wilson, tells me that although now studying at St Andrew’s University, along with 1st Grangemouth fellow Queensman, Calum Duff, James still looks into the company of a Friday from time to time. He gained his Queen’s Badge in 2014 and is an excellent sportsman but has always had a strong political interest. Surely one of the youngest candidates seeking to enter local government!

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At the other end of the age spectrum, I had the pleasure of speaking to Archie Denholm, a very youthful 97 years old. In this year of the BB celebrating 100 years of the formation of the BB Boy Reserves in 1917 which later became the Life Boys, he was keen to let me know of the Rev. Ron Taylor, minister at Grahamston Church asking John Leslie to start a Life Boy team at the then established 1st Falkirk Company in 1928.

On the first night he was first to enrol followed by Jimmy Mitchell, who much later was to become captain. Archie has enjoyed a long and varied life along with his wife and he still attends the now Grahamston United Church and is regularly invited by the present 1st Falkirk captain, Douglas Pennie, to parents’ nights.

A native of Bainsford, a time-served moulder in Falkirk Foundry, a member of the Navy during WW2, minesweeping from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, he still recalls these early days in the Life Boys. Married in 1950 and with a son and daughter, his memories are as clear as if they occurred only weeks ago instead of spread over nearly a century! Surely the oldest former Life Boy in the area – unless you know differently?