Did you see Monty? Meet the man behind Broxburn’s brilliant Mascot

Did you catch our short video on social media a couple of weeks ago where we met Monty the Monkey? Our wee character was sharing his experiences and telling us all what brought him to Sporting Memories. If you missed it you can watch it here

There is a lovely story behind Monty and his ‘membership’ of the Broxburn Club. It all started back in late 2018 just before the pandemic hit. Brian Smith, one of our current members had been out and about locally and spoken to an older lady who was demonstrating her knitting skills. Brian, never one to say “not for me” - and more on that later - said he had always wanted to try knitting so the lady in question agreed to give him basic lessons. 

Lockdown Knitting 

Then came Covid and lockdown before Brian could start his plain and purl journey. But faced with weeks of isolation and loneliness he decided to give it a go anyway. A few YouTube videos and some wool scraps later, he was off! At this point we must point out that Brian didn’t have any patterns to follow and indeed said he hadn’t yet mastered the language of “Cast on 20st in 2x2 rib, Kn 4 rows dec 5 st evenly Tw2fwd Tw2Bk P1K1P2……” 

But he knew what he wanted to create, so Monty started to appear on the needles. After much huffing and puffing, dropped stitches, ripping it back and starting again Monty was finished! Indeed, Brian so enjoyed himself he proceeded to create a whole jungle of animals. 

Fast forward to post Covid and our clubs were up and running again. Brian decided one day to bring along his menagerie to show fellow members his pastime. Amongst the usual hilarity of the members, it was somehow decided that Monty would be adopted as the club mascot and hey presto we decided to make a film of his adventures with a little poetic licence! 

The Swingin’ Sixties 

As alluded to earlier, Brian has more stories to tell just like so many of our members. Sometimes people only see the grey and wrinkles and overlook that many of our members generation were at the birth of the teen culture explosion, jived and rocked, experienced the swinging sixties, wore flowers in their very long hair and were “Way out crazy man!” 

Brian’ teen years encompassed the CND movement, 1960’s Glasgow street politics and the emerging folk culture. In his naivety he decided to head off to sample the delights of swinging London before moving onto a kibbutz in Israel – he soon left once discovering he had to learn Hebrew. The lure of the hippy trail though Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan found him eventually in Kathmandu where the dream of enlightenment soon became the gloom of disillusionment. He made his way back to Glasgow where he took up hairdressing – now that’s another story! 

It was during a recent meeting that we also discovered that before the ‘60s adventures Brian had been a champion Jive dancer around Glasgow. Indeed, the discussion soon unearthed quite a few jiving experts and the revelation that nearly everyone had met their future spouse at ‘the dancing’ twisting and twirling the night away.  

Next time you look at Grandad smiling quietly in the corner humming a tune listen in – it might just be Elvis! 

Comments: 0 (Add)


We’re always on the lookout for volunteers to help run our clubs all across England, Scotland and Wales – find out more here.

Find a club

Want to know where your nearest Sporting Memories club is? View our Club Finder page here.

Our impact

Reducing Isolation

Bringing older people together to reduce isolation and loneliness

Mental Wellbeing

Supporting older people to improve their mental wellbeing

Physical Wellbeing

Getting older people active to live healthier lifestyles

Sign up to our newsletter