1st Morpeth Company Formed 1894.
The 1st Morpeth Company of the Boysâ€™ Brigade was founded on the 23rd of November 1894 by The Rev. Harry Bott, who was a curate at St James Church.
The Brigade nationally, had only been founded 11 years previously by Sir William Alexander Smith on the 4th of October 1883, in a church hall in Glasgow and had slowly moved southwards. The 1st Morpeth Company was one of the first companies formed in England.
It is thought that the Brigade was probably founded in the mission house at the end of Manchester Street, which is now flats for old people. The early company held bible classes and drilled in St James School Hall, which then belonged to the Anglican Church, and was opposite Halliwells Engineering Works. Other classes such as First aid, Safety etc, were held in the mission House.
The Rev. Bott was therefore the first Company captain and was succeeded in 1895 by F Brummill Jr, who in turn was succeeded in 1896 by J P Phillip, a Doctor of Medicine. In 1899 Mr R Carr became Captain and in 1905 he was succeeded by Mr JE Johnson who remained Captain until 1919.
The funds needed for the costs of running the company came totally from fund-raising and subscriptions. The earliest record of the fund raising that can be found comes from the Morpeth herald of the 13th of July 1009. The report reads:
â€œOur Annual Rummage Sale was held on May 21st, and we wish to thank all those who so kindly sent goods for sale or subscriptions; all those who helped in marketing and selling goods. The officers are deeply indebted to you all who helped.
The company continued to meet in the mission Hall until the early 1920s when the parish Memorial Hall was constructed from an old coach works. From that time the drill hall was held in the Memorial hall on a Monday evening. One night a week there were four classes held in the Parochial Hall (now the Y.M.C.A.).