Proud guides celebrate milestone

PROUD past and present members of an Ipswich guide company came together to celebrate the group's 90th anniversary.

PROUD past and present members of an Ipswich guide company came together to celebrate the group's 90th anniversary.

The 15th Ipswich company, based at St John's Church Hall in Cauldwell Hall Road, was founded in 1917 and its popularity has remained strong ever since.

Ipswich mayor, Inga Lockington, was among 50 existing and former members who marked the birthday milestone on Saturday .

A church service was followed by badge making, songs, crafts and sketches illustrating the company's existence through the ages.

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Group leader Carol Ramsey said: “Guiding is 100 in three years' time so at 90, we are one of the oldest groups in Ipswich.

“The older past members said things had changed a lot since they were in the guides. Several of them said it was nice to meet up with current members and nice that guiding was still on going.

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“They used to have to make their beds and do the washing up but most of our girls have duvets and their parents have dish washers now.

“The girls seem to be outdoor more often now, canoeing, boating and abseiling.

“I think things have moved on with equality.”

Doreen Scrivener, 89, of Roundwood Road, was the oldest former guide to enjoy the celebrations.

“It's a lot different from when I was a guide,” she said.

“We had to wear a uniform which was a navy blue dress, hats and neckerchiefs, which could be used to make a sling if needed.

“In the 1930s we used to cycle everywhere. We would bike out to Tuddenham and have little camp fires.

“We would try first aid and learn how to tie knots.

“When I left they would send the Brownies to me for their first aid training.

“I was there until 1937 and I really enjoyed my time in the guides.”

Olive Barnard, 80, of Cliff Lane, joined in 1939, serving in the company until she left for college in 1945.

She later went on to become a Brownie leader.

Olive said: “They have a great opportunity to try different things nowadays.

“It was war time when I was a guide so we were limited in what we could do.

“I remember there was a room in The Walk in town where they had a restroom for the women of the forces and we would take turns in manning it.

“The things you learn never leave you.”

Tell us your guiding memories. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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