Amy Winehouse's father Mitch spent a nostalgic few hours among old Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade comrades when he was a guest at the JLGB summer camp open day in Essex last Thursday.
Mr Winehouse was one of the former brigade members invited to lunch by camp commanding officer Gill Geisler, who said he had a great time reminiscing and watching the open day parade. "It was nice for him to have a day off with his old friends. I made a point of not pressing him about Amy but I did ask him how she was and he said she was fine."
Amy was herself involved in JLGB at the age of 11 or 12 before she went to stage school.
Other open day visitors included guest of honour and JLGB president Lord Levy, who led an impromptu horah around the lunch tables to the accompaniment of the band.
Evidence of the organisation's renaissance was the announcement by brigade commandant Jill Attfield of plans for new companies in Maidenhead, Cambridge and Newbury Park, plus a new band at Yavneh College, Hertsmere. This follows new companies established in Radlett and Ilford last year, along with a band in Manchester.
Among the happy campers was Leeza Kubel, 13, from Cheadle, who was delighted that she and her comrades' tent-pitching skills had stood up to a nocturnal storm. "It was pouring down," she said. "There was thunder and lightning. But the pegs stayed in the ground."
Meanwhile, to increase its repertoire of Jewish and Israeli songs, the brigade has turned to an expert from the Royal Air Force musical services department for help with arrangements for a marching band.