The Brigades current History

The Church Lads' and Church Girls' Brigade at St Marks Heyside.

The Church Lads' and Church Girls' Brigade was started at St Marks in September of 1968.  The Company was formally registered with NHQ in January 1969.  The Company started following an approach by the Regional Training officer for the NW of England then, Douglas Oates, to the Vicar at the time, Reverend Peter Garlick. 

To attract young lads from the parish, the then Battalion of Rochdale came to our Parish Hall and gave a range of displays about what the Brigade did.  The one that stood out for many was the band.  The Rochdale Battalion band at the time was very big (and very loud) and they filled the hall.  Many of our members subsequently went on the play in the band, practicing at “Good Shepherd” church in Rochdale.  (It was a long way to carry a drum on the bus!)

The Company opened with Doug's brother, Stewart Oates as the first Commanding Officer.  We became known by the number 470 being the number of the previous company to have been formed in the parish from 1895 to 1930.  Company numbers are allocated sequentially so this company would have been a very early one.  There is unfortunately no record from this time apart from a plaque at the back of Church regarding the "Church mens association".

In the early days, the staff of the CLB Company (it being Lads' only at that time) included, Stewart Oates as CO and Senior leader, Christine Oates (Doug's wife) and Sue Maddocks as YBC Lady Leaders and a team of helpers and fund raisers who formed a parents committee.  That included James Corbishley (Mr C), Eric and Joyce Hough, Mrs Wood.

Stewart Oates was recruited from St James East Crompton and was a 2nd Lieutenant at the time he took over the Company in 1969.  He later became Captain of the Company on 23/09/1971.  The JTC and YBC were the first sections to be re-enrolled in 1969 as Numbers 556 and 266 respectively so we know from these numbers that the earlier JTC was a very early one.  The Senior Corps was re-enrolled on 2nd March 1973.

We have few details of the YGC Company that formed at a later date.  We know their number was NW 105 and from memory, the Commanding Offciers were Rhonda McKown, Rhonna Lewis, Joyce Radcliffe and Audrey Waterhouse prior to the Companies merging to become the present CL&CGB Company.

The CLB Company Command moved at a later date to Doug Oates and Doug was CO when the Company merged and retained command of ther Joint Company.ompany Chaplains following Peter Garlick were, Reverend Norman Howard, then Reverend Nick DeKeyser and Reverend Canon Ray Morris from 1991 to the present day.

In ??? John Corbishley took over as CO and later Susan Corbishley up to the present day.

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