A YOUTH organisation in Thatcham is closing down after serving the town for 58 years.
A lack of leaders and fresh blood coming through means the 1st Thatcham Boys Brigade will hold its last service next month.
Company captain David Brazier said: “It’s the end of an era. We can’t carry on because we just don’t have the leaders.
“The training that’s required and all the legislation you now have to deal with, plus work and family life, they just can’t commit to it.
“We have to accept that we have had a good run and the time has come to say that’s it.”
The Christian youth organisation was formed in Thatcham by former Kennet School music master Walter Brisk and the group celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009.
A thanksgiving service to mark the closure of the company, with the laying up of its colours, will be held at the Thatcham United Reformed Church in Church Lane, on Sunday, July 9, at 10.30am.
Mr Brazier, who has been involved in the Boys Brigade for more than 60 years and Thatcham’s company for more than 30 years, said that all those associated were invited to attend.
He said: “We want this service to be a celebration of our 58 years of serving the community in Thatcham and try and get as many members as we can.
“I have enjoyed my time. I think my biggest memory of Thatcham is the community spirit and the way we have been supported by the town council.”
Mr Brazier said that the 1st Thatcham was operating with two leaders out of the seven or eight it needed to run properly.
He added that there were three boys in the company, four in the anchors section and none in the junior section.
“The anchors should have gone up to the juniors, but we didn’t have any leaders,” he said, adding that the nearest companies were in Newbury, Basingstoke and Andover.
“It’s sad but we are just grateful for the years that we have had.
“You’ve just got to know when the time is right and it’s now.”