In 1916 it was felt that some organisation should be set up to cater for the boys and young men of the Hindley Parish. A strong committee was formed and the "1st Hindley Company" of the Boys Brigade became established with Dr. A. E. Ainscow as Captain, Messrs T. Lang, Junior and T. Gregory as first Lieutenants, Mr. H Hodgkinson as Treasurer and Mr. T. Blackledge as Secretary.
1st Hindley Company 1926 L/cpls L. Tickle & H. Blackledge 1917
It was an immediate success and through the post war years it became well established as one of the most thriving Boys' Brigade companies in the District.
The spirit of Christian Comradeship engendered over the years has served the boys well.
The company held it's meetings in the school rooms but in 1922 the members led by Dr. Ainscow bought an ex-army hut and with the help of friends erected it on the recreation field behind the Vicarage on Wigan Road to serve as their headquarters. Later a billiard table was installed and the hut was also used as a youth club. In 1931 electric lights were fitted by Mr. L Evans, a Lieutenant.
A new school built in 1973 brought new accommodation and this remained the home for the company till 2008.
In 2004, a joint partnership with the Cricket Club, Rugby Club, Guides, Brownies, Rainbows and BB started a new St.Peters Pavilion project once again on the recreation ground behind the Vicarage.
The foundation stone was laid on the 26th April 2008 by Reverend Stephen Mather, the man who tirelessly campaigned to get this project started and who secured the various funding required to build it. The Company occupied the new Pavilion in September 2008.
Through the 1920's and 30's the company was renowned for it's Band and Rugby Team. One of the rugby players went on to play for Wigan RLFC and he became the first man to score a try at Wembley- he being the well known Mr. Sid Abram who was also the president of our Old Boys Association.
1924 saw the highest award of the Boys Brigade, the Kings Badge, presented to Sgt. A. Rothwell - the first to be awarded in the Wigan Area.
The Life Boys Team was founded in 1932 by Lieutenant J. Evans assisted by Sgt. J. Sproston and Staff Sgt. V. Prescott, who became leader-in-charge in 1940 to be succeeded later by Mr. D. Atherton. Upon the resignation of Mr. Atherton in 1950, Mr. V. Prescott once again took over leadership assisted by a lady leader Miss Vera Hart who became Mrs. J. Evans. Mr. Prescott was later ably assisted by Mr. Henry Lowe who continued his loyal service until he retired in 1999. The boys were happy and enthusiastic and later went on to fill the ranks of the Boys Brigade.
Formation of Life Boys 1933
The Glasgow Jubilee in 1933 was supported by 30,000 members from all over the world, 9 of which were from the 1st Hindley led by Lieut. L J Evans, and the reviewing officer was Prince George of Kent who became Duke and later King George VI.
Glasgow Jubilee 1933 Our 'Mob' passing the saluting base.
From St.Peter's company stemmed the formation of others round about. Led by Mr. Tom Gregory and Mr. A. Rothwell, as Secretary, the Wigan Area and later the Wigan Battalion of the Boys' Brigade were established and on September 13th 1933 the first Church Parade of the Wigan Area took place with St.Peter's hosting the now annual event the following year, September 19th 1934, when 400 boys were on parade.
Also in 1934 the band was honored to be asked to play the Last Post at the Armistice Day Cenotaph Service and until recently this had become a tradition for our Buglers.
At this time we had our own BB magazine "The Anchor" edited by Capt. Evans and Lt. Rothwell.
The War Years
Then came 1939 and the war. Many of the officers, senior boys and ex-members served in all three branches of the forces and some serving boys won the BB award for National Service in the Civil Defense Organizations.
Several lost their lives fighting for those principles on which the BB is founded. Two ex-members earned awards for Gallantry and Devotion to Duty - they were presented with these awards by H.M. King George VI.
Biography Of Founder 1956
Presentation of Biography of the founder of the Boys Brigade to the local Library. Pte N Partington giving the book to Councilor R Ollerton.
Wedding of Two Lieutenants 1955
Wedding of Lt.George Carrington to Beryl Halsall, a Lieutenant in the Girl Guides.
Full Company 1960
Full Company 1960
In 1966 we celebrated our Golden Anniversary, when over 400 ex-members were present at a social evening on Saturday 27th October.
Anniversary Parade in First Ave
Saluting Post in Market St
At a re-union service in St.Peter's Church on the Sunday Afternoon, 238 Old Boys from all parts of England, Scotland, Wales and one from Northern Ireland were present along with two former Captains, Rev. T. Gregory, L. Evans and many senior officers. During this service a new Queens Colour was dedicated and presented to the company.
Also in 1966 the Boys Brigade was re-shaped to form the Junior, Company and Senior Sections. It was not until 1977 that our company had a Pre-junior section to cater for boys 6 to 8 year olds.
In 1976, our Captain, Mr. V. Prescott and Lt E. Mawdesley completed 50 years service with the Boys Brigade. At an Officers council meeting in the Mayor's Parlour, they were presented with a silver goblet and a congratulating letter from the Brigade President and later in the year at a re-union of our Old Boys they were presented with a silver platter from the Company and Old Boys.
Lt E. Mawdesley and Capt. V. Prescott Diamond Jubilee cake
Old Boys Parade Diamond Jubilee Dinner
The Following year, 1977, our company formed a Pre-junior section for the 6 to 8 year olds.
First for boys
1979 saw the launch of "The Boys' Brigade First For Boys" development campaign which we took part in.
Centenary Year 1983
To celebrate 100 years of The Boys Brigade, a camp was held at Durham.
"A Photographic Record Display of the Wigan Battalion Past And Present" was officially opened by the Mayor of Wigan, Councilor Tom Jones, at Aston-in-Makerfield Library on Monday 4th January 1983. Private Andrew Holme received 1st Prize from Mr S. Davenport for his record of the 8th Wigan (formally 1st Hindley) Company which was used to develop this Web Site.
Mr Davenport (Middle) awards Pte Holme (Right)
Retirement of Mr V Prescott 1985
Presentation of a Television in appreciation of his long and loyal service.
75th Anniversary 1991
The Mayor of Wigan, Councilor Ron Mcallister, performed a double duty for the 8th Wigan St.Peter's Boys' Brigade Hindley recently when he opened our 75th anniversary exhibition at Hindley Library and also presented a President's Badge to Sgt Kevin Hayes. Pictured below with the Mayor is the oldest member of the company, Mr. V Prescott, who was Captain from 1940 to 1985. He is showing an album of old membership cards to Captain Mr. Tom Caldwell and Battalion President Mr. Geoff Stones.
70th Anniversary of Junior Section 2002
October 6th 2002 saw a triple celebration for the Church. It was the 70th anniversary of our junior section, formally known as the Life Boys, the Guides celebrated their 60th anniversary and also the Brownies.
A special parade service took place to commemorate these events, meeting at the school and marching to church via an official saluting post.
An invitation was offered to all previous officers of the company to attend the service and the band was honored with some guest appearances by the former members.
Band with special guests
Dedication of the Youth Window 2003