Watch: Boys' Brigade Museum in Carrickfergus tells the story of the organisation's 140-year history

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With a vast collection of over 2000 items of memorabilia, the Boys' Brigade Museum in Carrickfergus tells the story of the organisation's 140-year history.

Organised by the East Antrim Battalion Heritage Society, the museum first opened in October 2023 on the town’s High Street.

Among the many carefully catalogued items on display are photographs; membership cards, both modern and vintage; uniforms; medals, and badges, including the rare Ambulance Badge.

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The first BB Proficiency Badge, the Ambulance Badge was introduced in 1889. It was changed for a smaller badge in 1923 and the title changed to the First Aid Badge in 1957.

With a vast collection of over 2000 items of memorabilia, the Boys' Brigade Museum in Carrickfergus tells the story of the organisation's 140-year history.  Photo: Helena McManusWith a vast collection of over 2000 items of memorabilia, the Boys' Brigade Museum in Carrickfergus tells the story of the organisation's 140-year history.  Photo: Helena McManus
With a vast collection of over 2000 items of memorabilia, the Boys' Brigade Museum in Carrickfergus tells the story of the organisation's 140-year history. Photo: Helena McManus

Other items of note include a real leopard skin tunic, gifted from Malawi and worn by the BB drummer during parades.

The museum was first established as a ‘pop up’ in August 2019, with exhibitions of BB items displayed to the public in Carrickfergus, Larne and Ballyclare.

It followed the closure of three BB companies in the battalion area, resulting in a conversation on how best to preserve each company’s records and memorabilia.

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The heritage society became a stand-alone organisation in December 2021, and then a charity in May 2023.

Initially opened for three months, the current High Street museum continues to operate on a rolling monthly basis.

It has since welcomed visitors both from the local area and worldwide, including Canada, Australia, France, and Hong Kong.

The Boys’ Brigade was founded in Glasgow on October 4,1883 by Sir William Alexander Smith.

From this one company formed in Scotland, the BB has grown in to a worldwide movement, having worked with millions of children and young people for well over a century.

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