Boys Brigade Building

Boys Brigade Building
Boys Brigade Building in North Woodside Road

This  ‘B’ listed building in North Woodside Road was built as a mission church for the Free College Church near Lyndeoch Crescent.  As the location for the founding  of the First Glasgow Company of the Boys’ Brigade, the earliest uniformed organisation in the world, the building is of historical interest.

The BB was founded by William Smith,  an elder and  Sunday School teacher in the College Church . Smith was also a member of the Lanarkshire Volunteers on which he based the new organisation.


Boys Brigade Group
William Smith with 1st Glasgow BB
© The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Licensor

At the inaugural meeting of the 1st Glasgow Company on Thursday 4 October 1883, more than fifty local boys turned up. Numbers soon dropped off as a result of of the rigid military discipline, but it was not long before other companies were established across the city.

Smith died in 1914 by which time the movement had spread across the UK and out to the far corners of the globe. Thousands followed his  funeral procession to the Western Necropolis.


In 1951, the building  was renamed  the Reith Halls in memory of an early minister,  Rev George Reith, the father of John Reith, the first Director General of the BBC. . Due to high maintenance costs, the building was sold in 1973 , becoming a social club for a number of  years. It has now been converted into three townhouses.

1st Glasgow BB at Garscube House, 1885 Image used by kind permission of
1st Glasgow BB at Garscube House, 1885
Image used by kind permission of