“Joining the Scouts was making of me”

Brian Gregson Brierfield man BEM (s)
Brian Gregson Brierfield man BEM (s)

A former Brierfield and Nelson old boy has been presented with the British Empire Medal for his community work and services to Scouting.

Brian Gregson, now 75 and living in Wales, said joining the scouts aged 11 “was the making of me” as he progressed from being a Scout to being a Scoutmaster both in Brierfield and Nelson – and he is still involved today in Wales.

In his younger days, Brian was one of the few Scouts in the country to hold both the Queen’s Scout Award and the Baden Powell Award at the same time. The Baden Powell Award is the highest youth award achievable in the Scout and Guide movement.

“I joined the Scouts when I was around 11 as there was a new queen and my father said we had to help her and the Scout Movement was one way to do this, learning about life saving and fire fighting and so on,” said Brian, who attended Mansfield Secondary Modern School.

“My dad died shortly after and the Scout Movement saved me. I owe them a lot as it kept me on the straight and narrow.”

Father-of-two Brian joined the 3rd Brierfield St Luke’s group and later the 4th Brierfield group as well as the 11th Nelson Salem Scouts.

Brian’s work as a child care worker and later an elderly care worker took him away from Lancashire as he moved around before settling in North Wales.

After leaving Nelson, he became involved in the community work he has been recognised for which was plentiful. He was on a town council, a school governor, involved in preserving historical sites as well as delivering food parcels to Poland to name but a few.

“It means a lot to be presented with the BEM,” said Brian. “It means someone has taken notice to tally up a long history of community work and also being involved with the Scouts. I am still involved now and so I have over 60 years of service with the scouts.It’s a brilliant movement and, as I found, is life-changing.”

Brian was presented with his BEM by Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd and Conwy and he and his wife will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace next month.