Boys' Brigade captain gets royal invite for leading generations of Northampton lads

Doug Wright (centre back) with the Harpole Boys' Brigade.
Doug Wright (centre back) with the Harpole Boys' Brigade.
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A Northampton village has thanked the captain of their local Boys' Brigade division for 50 years of service by sending him to a royal garden party.

Doug Wright, 71, from Harpole, was invited to Buckingham Palace for one of the Queen's annual garden parties to thank him for his service to generations of boys in his village.

He joined the Harpole Boys' Brigade in 1956 when he was 11, but he loved the youth organisation so much he has now served as a leader of the group for 50 years.

Mr Wright said: "Five generations of my family have been in the Boys' Brigade now. My grandfather and my father were in it, my son and my grandson have been in it, and I'm currently its captain.

"Being in the Boys' Brigade gives you a strong grounding for life. It teaches obedience, reverence, discipline and self-respect."

Mr Wright has been leading the boys of Harpole at weekly meetings as their captain for 34 years, and he invited to visit Buckingham Palace in May after being nominated for his services by Harpole Parish Council.

He said: "I couldn't believe I was going. It was a glorious sunny day. It's an amazing feeling to walk right into Buckingham Palace, sit in its garden and start eating cucumber sandwiches.

"I didn't get to meet any of the royal family, but the Queen was there of course, even if I only saw her at a distance. It was a brilliant day.

"It's been wonderful seeing these youngsters growing up over the years, and some of them even come back when they're older to say thank you.

"The Boys' Brigade has always been appreciated in the village, from our parades on Remembrance Sunday to our charity work. We pride ourselves on hard work and good fun."

The Harpole Boys' Brigade meets at Harpole Methodist Chapel, in School Lane, every Wednesday at 6.30pm and are always open to new members. They are open to all ages between 5 and 18.

Visit the Harpole Boys' Brigade on the parish council website for more information.