They’re still sure and steadfast after 125 years of Polmont BB story

John Kerr with Callum Callahan
John Kerr with Callum Callahan
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The old and the young gathered together to celebrate an extra special milestone for a long-standing Boys’ Brigade company.

Children from the age of 10 were regaled by former members as old as 82 of the 1st Polmont Boys’ Brigade Company at a dinner ceremony in the Park Hotel to mark the group’s 125th year this month.

More than 100 members were present at the shindig which saw former Reverends of Brightons Parish Church (where the company is based) and ‘old boys’ (former members and captains) share the stories of their times from bygone eras.

Present captain Billy Rankine said: “There was also a display of old photographs and other memorabilia and there were plenty comments about receding hairlines, expanding waistlines and the like as old friendships were renewed.

“This was one of these occasions when many people were proud to say that their lives had been positively impacted by their involvement with Boys’ Brigade, and the 1st Polmont Company in particular.

“It was fantastic to see many well known faces from the past and to catch up with what people have been doing over the years since they were members here at 1st Polmont.”

The formal part of the BB fellowship night included Rev. Charles Heriot - minister at Brightons from 1967-96 - started the evening by saying Grace before the meal.

Company and battalion chaplain, Rev. Murdo Campbell, proposed the toast to BB patron, the Queen, before Colin Mailer proposed a toast to the company in his own inimitable style.

Captain Billy Rankine replied on behalf of 1st Polmont, former captain Robert Callahan proposed a toast to the ‘old boys’ and another former captain Malcolm Smith replied on their behalf.

John Kerr (82), the oldest ex-staff member at the dinner, cut the specially commissioned celebratory cake with 10-year-old Callum Callahan.

Drew McCulloch, a former member, sent a message from Australia which was read out by his sister Linda, before Joe Hampson proposed a hearty vote of thanks. The evening was brought to a close by Rev. Dr Scott Kirkland, who was minister at Brightons from 1996-2005.

For more information, email Mr Rankine at