Glimpses from the Battalion Archives
Although not officially formed until 1920, the Battalion had its origins at a meeting held in Dalziel Parish Church on Wednesday 10th May 1905. The four companies that existed at the time - 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th Motherwell - were represented and a detailed constitution swiftly followed, to be put into operation at the beginning of session 1905/06.
The construction of B.B. Headquarters in Thistle Street began; swimming was established; pipe and bugle bands were formed as was an "Ambulance" class.
The Second World War saw the end of Battalion Camps and the Wishaw companies formed their own Battalion in 1946.
The BB hall was extended in 1950 and Lt Dan McMillan left Motherwell the following year to organise the Boys' Brigade in Nigeria. The 50th Review was held in 1956 and D.J. Love retired, after a long and distinguished Presidency, in 1958.
The highly regarded Supplies Department was established in 1962 and seven years later Bellshill Battalion was formed. Nationally, the "Life Boys", formed in 1926 when the Boys' Brigade and Boys' Life Brigade united, were brought completely into the Brigade in 1966 with the formation of the "Junior Section".
In 1971 Redevelopment of the area forced the loss of Battalion Headquarters in Thistle Street, but this was followed by the inspired purchase of The Moorings as its replacement. The highlight of the seventies was the opening in 1973 of our new Headquarters. The Review moved to the Civic Centre and the Championship Flag competition underwent its first overhaul. Some of our companies amalgamated and some simply faded away.
In 1977, the Flag Competition was extended to take account of a wider range of activities and 1980 saw 11th Motherwell become 1st New Stevenson and join Bellshill Battalion.
Along with the rest of the Brigade, we celebrated the Centenary in 1983. Changes in demand and financial considerations led to the sale of The Moorings and subsequent purchase of our present Headquarters in Orbiston Street in session 1986/87. In 1989 under the auspices of the Battalion. 22nd Motherwell began its relatively short life. The eighties also saw the "pre-Junior Sections" which had existed in some companies as "Cabin Boys" or "Shipmates" being officially recognised by the Brigade and by the early nineties, all companies in the Battalion had formed an Anchor Section.
The "Big Event", a Scottish Brigade initiative, took place in Strathclyde Park in 1995 with the Battalion very much involved in organisation and participation. Bellshill and Motherwell came together again in 1997 and the Battalion was renamed as "Motherwell, Bellshill and District Battalion".
As we moved towards 2000 further changes took place to the Flag competition. All three sections in the Battalion -Anchor. Junior and Company Sections - celebrated the Millennium with a series of special events.
The early years of the 21st century have seen the Battalion reduce in numbers but not in quality. The competitive and intellectual instincts in our boys are catered for in a wide range of activities and classes. The number of young men gaining President's Badges, Duke of Edinburgh Awards and Queen's Badges is impressive and is one indicator of the quality of work being carried out in the companies within the Battalion by men and women of high Christian character who are still dedicating their lives to the work and Object of the Boys' Brigade.
A list of all the companies that have been part of the battalion can be found here.