22nd Nottingham BB and AA

Who are we?

Boys Brigade 22nd Nottingham Company and Anchor Association for Girls

Company photo

Our company is based in Radcliffe on Trent, Nottinghamshire and is part of the Nottingham Battalion. We currently have about 45 members and a thriving band. We are open to both boys (BB) and girls (AA). Each section meets once a week for an activity-filled meeting. There is also a games night for older members, plus camps/expeditions and competitions. (See Sections page for more details about individual sections).
We meet in our own hall where much work has recently been carried out to modernise the facilities and allow better access for disabled members.

BB Hall

Headquarters

BB Hall
1 Main Road, Radcliffe on Trent, Nottinghamshire
(Next to Black Lion) See Map

Church

St Marys Parish Church
Main Road, Radcliffe on Trent
www.stmarysradcliffe.org

The company is supported by our Parents and Friends Association and we are also grateful to our other donors and sponsors who have helped with recent work and events.

Our weekly programme
Monday 6.00 - 7.00 pm Anchor Boys and Girls 5 - 7 years
Tuesday 7.00 - 9.00pm BB Company Boys 11+ years
Wednesday 6.30 - 8.00pm AA Girls 8 - 12 years
Thursday 6.30 - 8.00pm Junior Boys 8 - 11 years
Friday 7.00 - 9.00pm AA/BB Band and Games evening 8+ years
Sunday 9.40am Church Parade when announced Everyone

What is BB?

The Boys' Brigade (BB) is a Christian Youth Organisation, with over half a million members world-wide. The BB offers a wide range of activities including Games, Crafts, Sports, Christian Teaching, Music and Holidays.
For further details see:

Motto: Sure and Steadfast - Hebrews 6 v 19

What is AA?

In recent years there have been many demands from the Churches who have BB Companies, that the BB should take in Girls, and this has led to lively discussion. The question was raised in Radcliffe by our Vicar, and by one of the School Heads. What are you doing for Girls?

There is of course our sister group “The Girls’ Brigade”, and when the question was raised, our first solution was to start GB. Despite wide enquiry and advertising through leaflets, no Radcliffe Lady would take charge. And the GB will not have male Officers at any price. After over a year of trying, we still had nothing to offer the Girls.

Many BB Companies simply take Girls into BB, which has placed the National BB in a difficult legal position. There is no provision in BB Regulations for this, and we will not do it.

Tired of discussing this matter, in 1994, we started a “parallel group” for Girls. This is not part of BB, it is a youth group of St Mary’s Church, R o T. But it’s aim is to provide BB activities for Girls. The Girls get a programme which is similar to BB, and adapted to their needs. They pay the same subscriptions; they have their own meetings. They have their own space, with joint activities where appropriate. They have equal status with the Boys, as closely as we can manage it. So if you see an Anchor Badge with “AA” on it, it has nothing to do with roadside rescue of car drivers – it is US, the AA from Radcliffe!

BB Activities

An article by Company Captain Ted Ward for a local magazine

If you look in at the BB Hall for one of our local Meetings, Boys or Girls, you will usually find lots going on. It may be a fast and noisy game. It may be a busy craft project. There may be a story, or some useful instruction going on. A short Bible Class may be held. The evening will be full of activity. But what you can be sure of, when going-home time comes, the children will be wishing it went on a bit longer, and are often reluctant to go home. On the other hand, the leaders will be getting a bit tired – they will often have done a long day’s work before going to the meeting!

How is this achieved? Well, the BB has had it’s Badge System since the 19th Century, using the badges awarded in the Armed Forces for signallers, firemen, musicians, first aiders, etc as their model. Knowing BB Officers I can assure you that these badges were valued, because they have always been hard to win. The badge holders were expected to perform. I can quote the Vicar of a Parish in Liverpool who has a ready example for his sermons about people who wear the badge as Christians, but do not perform when needed. He once had a badge as a drummer in the BB, but the new Bandmaster found that he could not play the tunes. The badge was removed (by me!), until he had learned what he should have known.

I emphasise that allowance has always been made for differing abilities, but every badge holder had to make a real effort, which was what the badge honoured. Interestingly, there was in the early days, a badge awarded for Scouting activities – BP was a great supporter of BB, and his first Scouts at the Camp on Brownsea Island were mostly local BB Boys. When he started Scouting, their badges were adapted from BB practice.

Now BB Officers are chosen as Christian Gentlemen (and Ladies!), for their willingness to serve the Boys, not for intellectual ability! And it is now clear that the range of badges and activities has increased enormously. So how do we manage to give the instruction? Where possible, outside instructors are used, especially for serious matters such as first aid. However, the BB has always maintained good resources of teaching materials. Just recently, the Resource Manuals for Anchor and Junior Sections were re-published for use by BB, and we have been adapting the same material for the AA Girls. Each Manual is about 3" thick, with abundant ideas, and ready-to-use material. Despite the clamouring needs of a dozen or more young people, the Leaders can always be ready and prepared with the next activity or game. Small wonder that we rarely have discipline problems – anyone playing about misses the fun.

I have to say that my own life has been enriched over the years by the new activities I have taken up and learned, with the intention of passing them on in BB. A variety of hobbies are listed, including photography, playing the guitar and woodwork. Likewise canoeing, sailing, skiing, archery, rock climbing and mountain walking were all taken up for BB use.

I once attended a Mountain Leadership Course, where I spent an evening with some local authority youth leaders who were discussing what they could do at their youth clubs the following week; they were really short of ideas. On the other hand, I would be returning to my BB meeting next week. My problem was exactly the opposite – how could we fit in all the things I wanted to do within the allotted hours!

So for our young people, the message is – go down to the BB Hall – that is where it is happening these days. You will find a welcome, new friends, and lots to do.