Stowupland Boys and Girls Brigades

Group of Girls in Girl's Brigade uniformThe last date I have relating to Stowupland’s Girls and Boys Brigade is 1984 when 100 boys and girls attended an Enrollment Service at Stowupland United Reformed Church. Whilst we have no date for this photo of  !st Stowupland Girls Brigade at a summer camp, we do know they were formed in 1963 (Photo from Stowupland Archives).

Before Stowupland built its own village hall in the mid 1950s, public meetings were held in the Iron Room, the BB Hut or the primary school.

By the late 60’s the primary school had a larger hall, and by the 80s  the chapel and the church had halls for hire.

For many decades boys from Stowupland were part of Stowmarket Brigade, having to travel to Stowmarket for meetings. But in 1921 Mr T.A Harwood assisted with the purchase and relocation of a disused gun-site shed from Creeting St Peter to a road-side site on Crown Farm land  to Stowupland. Mr Harwood had been made a Captain in the Stowmarket Boys Brigade in 1893. (A History of the Boys Brigade in Stowmarket’  by Steve Williams, 2017).

press article

The Diss Express of January 1935 carried this report on a meeting of ‘The Battalion Council.’ Of particular interest is the appointment of Mr W. Lockwood to be Lieutenant and Mr. D. Potter to be Warrant Officer for Stowupland.

 However, it was not until 50 years later when, instead of being a separate wing of the 1st Mid-Suffolk ( Stowmarket), Stowupland Boys Brigade become the 9th Mid—Suffolk, captained by Lieutenant L Hart. I don’t know whether girls attended meetings in the BB Hut before it was demolished in 1979. It was certainly made good use of by the local community, both before and after the completion of the Village Hall in 1956.

Front page for the 1970 paren'ts evening
song sheet
Song of the Boys and Girls Brigade from 1970
program llist
List of events for the 1970 Parents evening


As can be seen the Brigades were split into several sections, seniors, juniors and explorers. It seems this was an era when the Brigade was popular with local children and   as this press cutting tells us changes were being made to accommodate the increasing numbers.

press cutting
Mercury Series July 1970

A local resident remembered joining the BB aged 11 as a Lifeboy in 1964. To begin with he went to a company section in Combs Lane but 12 years later he ‘left Stow BB to help Mr Lew Hart run a newly formed section in Stowupland.’

He proudly remembered leading a parade in 1980 from The Retreat to Stowupland Chapel.

photo of boys
Stowupland Boys Brigade in 1981

This was posted on face book showing some of the boys in 1981. Ittriggered some memories from girls and boys of their time in the Brigade.

The Parish News from from October 1984 (price 8 pence) gives us a few more facts about the Girls and Boys Brigade

press article

A press cutting of the 1964 wedding of Heather Salmon surrounded by members of Stowupland Girls Brigade.