2 Chris#
year frequency was introduced.
A very special reunion took place in 2008 to mark
the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the 70
Since then we have endeavoured to meet at 2-year
intervals and we last met in this way in 2010.
About this time, we also introduced the idea of a
‘Mini Reunion’, essentially a small group of us,
meeting informally for lunch on a 6-monthly basis.
Five such occasions later, we judge this
arrangement to be working well.
On 9
June this year we will be having our next big
[Maxi’] ‘get-together’ and we hope to see
as many OB’s, exGLBers,family and friends
present as possible.
Please do your best to be make the
there will not be another
opportunity of this kind
until 2014!
See the back page
for full details
Newsletter of Old Boys & Friends of 70
London BB Company
The OB’s Association was created in 1948.
Over the 60-odd years since then, there have been
many occasions when a special effort has been
made to get OB’s, their families and friends
The first such recorded ‘get together’ was in 1958,
when some 40 OB’s met for a Jubilee Re-union
Dinner marking the 50 years history of the 70
London Company. The only picture we have of the
event is shown on Page 6, where we see some of
the senior boys in the company at that time having
the honour to act as waiters on their illustrious
The next recorded OB’s event was in 1978, when a
group of 16 ‘relatively young’ OB’s, put on a
traditional bugle band display. The audio recording
made at the time sounds pretty impressive…
considering the then ages of the performers!
Ten years later, in 1988, an endeavour was made to
repeat this musical feat, now with the advent of
film to be able to record both sound and sight. The
event was again nostalgic and very enjoyable, even
if an understandable fall of musical quality was
Also around this time, the hitherto 10-year gap
between reunions was considered perhaps a bit too
long. Mindful of the advancing years of OB’s, a 5
is of course is our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year. Inside Chris Buss recalls the very many occasions in the
history of the 70
London Company when boys and officers have been in the presence of the reigning monarch and
members of the Royal Family. Neil Pheasant tells the story of one particular royal occasion: his meeting with the
Queen at Holyrood in 1983 to mark the Centenary of the formation of the Boys’ Brigade.
We can be duly proud of all these Royal associations
It is pleasing that OB’s are continuing to put ‘pen to paper’, albeit with an understandable modesty, to give an
account of their memories of the 70th or indeed of their time post 70
, pursuing careers and hobbies. Our thanks
therefore to Dave Golder and Barry Rowbotham for ‘coming up with the goods’ here.
If you have yet to write something for
… why not have a go!
In this Edition…..
April 2012
Reunions Past & Future
When I was asked by Alan Rance to write an article for
the 70
Old Boys Magazine, I thought ‘what on earth do I
write about?’ Alan had suggested some memories of 70
life from my time in the company – from Life Boys in 1951
to leaving as a Warrant Officer in 1968 – or, maybe, what
I had been doing since then. The problem with the latter
suggestion is that probably very few of us lead lives that
are sufficiently interesting for others to read about.
However, when I got to thinking about my 17 years
involvement with the 70
, I realised how important a
time it was in building my character and the inspiration I
have been able to draw on from the lives of the people I
came into contact with in the company. The officers in
particular – from Ivy Clark and Vera Bowbeer in Life Boys
to ‘Skip’ Porter, Arthur Bowbeer, Roly Clark, Peter
Knights, Gordon Ferryman, Fred Bateman and Brian Flint
in the company section – all were Christian men and
women that we could all look up to and try to emulate in
the way that we led our lives. In addition, guys like
Martin Nightingale, set a very high standard and showed
an example to the rest of us ‘erks’.
I spent the whole of my working life (apart from the first
18 months) in local government, so was involved in
serving the public in various ways, and I have always tried
to do this to the best of my ability. This is simply a trait
(be the best that you can be) that was instilled into me
by the teaching we received in the company (and possibly
at home also) – and I am sure that there are many old
boys who can relate to these feelings.
I suppose one of the more interesting things that I was
involved in during my working life was town twinning. I
was first given the task of doing this in 1985, when the
Chief Executive of the local authority I was working for at
the time decided he didn’t want to run it any more, so
handed it over to me. It was a link with a German town
and I thought ‘Help, I don’t speak any German, how do I
cope?’ Fortunately, the person I had to have most contact
with spoke very good English, so we got on fine. One
thing I have found is that other countries often put us
Brits to shame when comes to speaking other languages –
we often seem to think that if we shout loud enough (in
English) everybody else will understand. My experience is
that if we take a little trouble to learn a few phrases in
the other person’s language and then have the courage to
use those phrases, people will meet us halfway and will
do all they can to help.
Page 2
Town twinning often gets an unfair press as people
sometimes see it as an opportunity for council members
to travel to exotic places. In fact, the vast majority of
these visits are spent building links with schools, sporting
clubs and other organisations who are keen to set up
exchanges so that their pupils/members can experience
life in another country and make friendships with people
in other countries who share the same interests.
I have been involved in this for nearly 30 years, and am
still involved although I have been retired from local
government for over 10 years. It is a source of real
satisfaction that links that were set up 20 years ago are
still active. If you want to be involved in this, contact
your own local council to see if they have a twinning link
with a foreign town and then join the local Twinning
Association to participate in the visits – you will have a
really enjoyable time.
Since that first link with the German town of Neumunster
in 1980, I now look after links with towns in France and
Virginia, USA.
This is just one aspect of my life that is perhaps a little
out of the ordinary. Another is the 12 years that I have
spent as a magistrate – but maybe that will have to wait
for a later edition.
Barry Rowbotham
Hands Across the Sea…
Barry Rowbotham tells of his Town
[Gravesham] Twinning experiences
Barry receiving a presentation of wine from the Cambrai
Twinning Association to mark his retirement after 26
years as Secretary of the Gravesham (Kent) Twinning
Association. Barry's wife Jacquie is on his right.