Our latest archive story winds back the clock to the story of Helensburgh soldier James Brown, who was picked for the Army's motorbike display team 10 years ago this week.

Here's how we reported on James's achievement in the Advertiser on May 14, 2009...

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SIGNALLER James Brown, 19, from Helensburgh, has been awarded the coveted Royal Signals White Helmet Motorcycle Display Team helmet as one of nine new riders to qualify for this year’s squad.

The team of 25 volunteer British Army soldiers from the Royal Corps of Signals tour Britain from April to September each year performing on their trademark British Millennium Triumph 750cc motorcycles in a range of stunts including the ever popular fire jump.

To make the team James had to undergo an intensive two-week selection process against 16 other applicants followed by a six-week training programme, before finishing with a two-week show training programme where the riders practice their performance up to four times a day come rain or shine.

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The team, whose origins are steeped in the history of Army signaller dispatchers, was officially founded in 1927 and originally combined mounted horse riders.

Since then their performance has evolved to include a 21-man pyramid moving on six bikes, to one man riding his bike whilst standing at the top of a ladder attached to the handlebars – backwards.

The prospect, however, is far from intimidating to James, who had never ridden a motorbike before applying for the two week selection course: “I’m really looking forward to the shows especially after all the training we have done.

“I had never ridden before applying for the team, so it was a little bit daunting. Letting go of the handle bars was the hardest first step, but from there you just grow in confidence. In fact it builds your overall confidence.

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“This is something different which I have never done before, and didn’t expect to do when I joined the Army. It’s certainly an added bonus. Not many people get to do this with bikes for three years of their life for a living, but the best bit about being in the White Helmets is the close relationship you form with the rest of the guys in the team.”

James will do three years with the White Helmets before returning to his unit.

James attended Our Lady and St Patrick's High School in Dumbarton before joining the Army in 2006.

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His parents James and Carolyn still live in Helensburgh.