Book marks 100 years of 1st Fraserburgh Boys' Brigade

A former member of 1st Fraserburgh has written a book on the history of the Boys’ Brigade company to mark its centenary.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 7:05 am
Michael Strachan's book looks back over the 100-year history of 1st Fraserburgh Boys' Brigade.

Michael Strachan hopes ‘1st Fraserburgh Boys’ Brigade – The First Hundred’ will appeal to the many boys who have been members of the company over the years, with quite a few of them appearing in photographs throughout the book.

The 1st Fraserburgh was established in 1921 by James Wilson, and is the the oldest functioning company in the Buchan Battalion.

Over the years, the company has had its ups and downs, creating an intriguing history well worth documenting in print.

Hon. Captain James Wilson, the founder of 1st Fraserburgh Boys' Brigade.

Michael said: “About 10 years ago, around the time of the 90th anniversary, I was aware of the strong history of the company – my great-grandfather was a member in the 1920s and 30s, and my grandfather in the 1940s and 50s, and both were in winning shield teams – so I thought I’d try to get a book together.”

Michael was in the 1st Fraserburgh for 24 years himself, from 1992 until 2016, starting as an Anchor Boy at the age of five, and ending up as Officer in Charge of the Junior Section. After a spell helping the company in New Deer, he became Captain of 1st Rosehearty in 2018, and since then the company has grown from one section to three.

"The good thing is that 1st Fraserburgh has quite an interesting history, with more than a few bumps in the road,” said Michael. “The book covers how a little company went on the become one of the strongest by the 1940s, and then went into decline, before its revival in the 1970s.

"It’s now the strongest company in the Battalion if success in competitions prior to the pandemic is anything to go by.”

The company’s 1947 Glentanar Shield winners, one of many photographs to feature in the book.

The 116-page centenary book features 200 pictures, and they seem to be of particular appeal to former members and their families.

"It’s ideal for old boys,” said Michael. “The book really appeals to boys who have been in the 1st Fraserburgh as it brings back memories of their time in the company, and they seem to be most interested trying to recognise their friends or themselves in the pictures.

"It’s a story about people, the generations of boys and the many dedicated officers without whom there wouldn’t be a company.”

Before the pandemic, there were plans to mark the centenary by holding an international camp. The idea had been to travel to Salou in Spain.

The 1st Fraserburgh Bugle Band from 1982.

The company is hopeful it might be able to go ahead later this year, perhaps around October, and the proceeds from Michael’s book will help meet some of the costs of that trip.

‘1st Fraserburgh Company – The First Hundred’ is on sale for £10 and is available by emailing Michael on [email protected] or from R & S Dyga Newsagents,Broad Street, Fraserburgh.

The 1st Fraserburgh Boys’ Brigade has also produced a Centenary Badge, costing £5, which is available from the company.