2 Chris#
Newsletter of Old Boys & Friends of 70
London BB Company
Talk to any OB and most will speak of the
impact the time in 70th had on their lives.
Not only an impact on their formative
years but so too on their lives beyond the
70th. The interviews conducted in
preparations for the book A Positive
Contribution endorse this fact. Regularly
mentioned by the interviewees were the
positive and long-lasting effects of the 70
on Discipline, Teamwork and Comradeship.
In previous editions of Reflections, OBs
have recounted stories on how time in the
Boys’ Brigade impacted their lives. One
kind of influence however not covered in
any detail before is the awakening of
musical talent and interest. In this Edition,
Dave Richardson explains…
We now have an OBs web presence! I
recently set up a very simple set of pages
at... www.70thlondonoldboys.org.uk
The original idea was to create a means of
making recordings of some Bugle Calls,
Drum Solos and Bugle Band pieces available
online. Having done this, it was a small step
to include contact details in the hope that
any ‘missing’ OB’s might light upon the site
and get in touch with us. Have a look and
let us know what you think. Any ideas for
extra content etc. are most welcome.
OB’s Website Launched!
OB’s Website Launched! OB’s Website Launched!
OB’s Website Launched!
April 2011
Whilst hopefully I still have your attention...
On behalf of you all, thanks to Alan for his
continuing excellent work in putting
Reflections together and to John and Keith
for their valuable ‘behind the scenes’
committee work. Thanks also are due to
those of you who, past, present and future
contributed and will contribute to our
Now enjoy the rest of Edition 5...
two OBs Jack Fishpool and Dave
Richardson, tell us in what way this
happened for them.
Friendships naturally come and go and it is
a shame we have lost touch with many of
the ‘boys’ who have passed through the
. Nevertheless many friendships have
endured and blossomed with the passage
of time as the now regular reunions bear
testament. Alan Cagney writes in this
Edition about his strong and long-lasting
friendship with Malcolm
[Sam] Smith.
We would love to hear your
‘story’ however short
or long.
The The
The Life Changing 70
Life Changing 70Life Changing 70
Life Changing 70
This is one of those questions that occurs
to me periodically... but after a few
minutes thought on the various influences
we have all been subjected to - family,
education, experiences, friends, work, it
becomes clear that the question is
unanswerable, particu
larly when one starts
to think of what proportion each influence
has exerted.
But, however unquantifiable, many OBs,
myself included, count their years in the
as having made a significant
contribution during that formative period
when moving from boyhood to manhood.
For myself, aside from sharing the belief,
held by many of us that the discipline,
guidance and comradeship ‘stood us in
good stead’, one of my major continuing
interests, that of making music, is I think,
strongly linked to the influence of the 70
From playing the bugle in the band and at
camp to the singing of hymns and choruses
at Bible class and in Church, I was instilled
with a love of actually being part of
creating music, rather than just listening
to it.
Page 2
How has all this manifest
ed itself in adult
life? Well I took up the guitar - blame
skiffle and Buddy Holly - played the
trumpet in a trad jazz band at university
and the flute in recent years. And
I carried
on singing singing in ‘congregations’ with
folk clubs, community choirs
and Churches.
For the past 20 or so years I have been
attending Shape Note singings, both here
and in the USA. This type of singing uses
differently shaped noteheads in its music
notation, to aid sight singing, and forms
the basis of a lively, unaccompa
nied, hymn
singing tradition that originated in America
in the 1800s. I mainly sing bass and my
earliest recollection of someone singing
that part is Arthur Yerill in the Tooting
Junction Baptist Church Choir in the late
1950s. He was known affectionately as ‘Mr
Yell’, which reflected his strong singing
style, one I find myself still trying to
What Happened Next……….
What Happened Next………. What Happened Next……….
What Happened Next……….
Two OB’ tell how their time in the 70
awakened a lifetime
interest in MUSIC
Dave Richardson
What made us the
individuals we are…?
Page 3
Shape notes are a music notation
designed to facilitate congregational
and community singing. The notation,
introduced in 1801, became a popular
teaching device in American singing
So the flame, lit more than 50 years ago,
has continued to at least flicker…
But, where might all this be leading?
Well my guess is that at least some of you
share my enthusiasm for singing those
hymns and gospel songs that we, ‘of a
certain age…’ were brought up with. The
pieces I am thinking of here are the BB
related ones like ‘We Thank Thee O Our
Father’ and of course ‘Will Your Anchor
Hold’, hymns like ‘He Who Would Valiant
Be’ and gospel songs like ‘Blessed
Assurance’. The latter popularised in the
UK by the visits of Moody & Sankey in the
late 1800s and by the Billy Graham Missions
in the 1950s and 60s.
I hoped that we might have had sung some
of these at the last Reunion and had
prepared some booklets to that end, but
the opportunity did not present itself as,
very appropriately, we spent much time
discussing the sad losses and events that
Dave Richardson
Dave RichardsonDave Richardson
Dave Richardson
…… continued
had taken place in the previous months.
The next Reunion, planned for 2012, will
hopefully give us the opportunity to make use
of the booklets and raise our voices, albeit
‘tucked away’ in the small hall so as not to
disturb those who wish to continue chatting
in a quieter environment…
Please let me know if this is of interest and
also any pieces that you would particularly
like to sing again.
Other OBs under the influence….
Dave Richardson and Jack Fishpool were not the only OBs whose musical talents were influenced
by their time in the BB.
John Pizey writing in ‘A Positive Contribution’ recalls…
… it can be said that my experience in the BB introduced me to the world of entertainment. I
went on to learn the trumpet and trombone in my spare time. I became a part time entertainer
and indeed still perform at a small club in Australia… not the trombone or trumpet now as
health and teeth won’t allow!
Jack Fishpool
Jack Fishpool Jack Fishpool
Jack Fishpool
…. I enjoyed all my activities in
the 70
, but band was my main
interest and passion
My memories of the 70
London go back a
long time. I was in the Life Boys from 8 yrs
old prior to joining the BB main company.
As soon as I could I joined the Company
band, learning the basics of drumming
under Peter Knights. As I progressed, and
others aged out, I became the solo
drummer also playing solos at the Albert
Hall in the Battalion Massed Band.
I enjoyed all my activities in the 70
, but
band was my main interest and passion.
When I reached 18 it was time for me to
leave the BB and around this time I met my
future wife Margaret who at that time was
a colour Sargent in the 2nd Brixton Girl’s
Brigade Company. I was only a Lance
Corporal so was outranked by her [still
am!!]. She became my new passion!! We
started courting and planning our future
together so my drumming ceased. We were
married in 1964 and moved to Crawley in
1968 with our 1yr old son Steven.
My chance to start drumming again came
when a colleague at work who played an
accordion was looking for a drummer to
accompany him at Weddings and Parties
etc. I bought a Drum Kit [£27] and started
practising. I got the bug again for playing
and also decided to join a local Brass Band.
My father had played drums and
grandfather played cornet in Brass Bands,
so I was carrying on the family tradition.
My drumming experience progressed and I
was soon asked to play with various other
bands. By this time we had a daughter
Sharon, born 1970.
In 1974 I went to work for British
Caledonian Airways at Gatwick Airport,
(later to merge with B.A), as an engineer.
Working for an Airline enabled me to travel
at little or no cost world-wide. I stayed
with B.A until I retired in 2000 keeping my
Staff Travel.
My drumming took a new direction when I
was asked to join a newly formed Jazz
Swing Rock Band (5 players). This band
called Pendulum soon became a great
success playing clubs, dinner dances,
It all started with Peter Knights in the 70
Page 4
Jack and his
first Drum
[aged 13/14]