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Sunday, 05 July 2015

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Seaton Brownies exhibition brings back memories for Mary

Glancing through old photos, pocket books and memorabilia brought back fond memories for one of Seaton’s earliest Brownies.

Mary Henderson, 83, of Fernleigh Drive, was seven when she joined the 1st Seaton Brownies in the late 1930s.

In those days the pack met in the old boys’ club, opposite St Paul’s Church. A handful of girls squeezed into a small room to learn first aid and how to knit and crochet.

They played games such as pass the parcel, and went on walks to Scaw Bank to pick wild flowers and to St Peter’s Church in Camerton.

Brownies past and present will meet at the village hall, Causeway Road, on Sunday, August 31, to celebrate 100 years of Brownies.

Mrs Henderson said: “We learned about lovely, nice things, friendship and respect. I was a Brownie during the war so you learned a lot of skills that you needed back then.

“We didn’t earn badges like they do today. We would have picnics down by the river at Camerton and learn about Black Tom, an old lord.

“We used to go for a run out on our bikes to Allonby for ice creams which was a real treat.”

Former Brownies and leaders believe that the pack was started in the early 1930s by Gwen Sandelands.

Evelyn Vaughn and Di Hornsby led the pack in the 1970s, first at the old junior school and then at the Scout shack on Braithwaite Lane. The pack later moved to the village hall, where the 1st Seaton Brownies, 2nd Seaton Brownies and a Rainbow group continue to meet.

Mrs Henderson, who was a superintendent for St John Ambulance, adds: “My daughter Jean Hine was also a Brownie in the late 1960s and things had changed again when she was a member. All of the badges had come in and they went off on trips and camping.

“The Brownies in my day followed the promise and Guide law, which both had a strong emphasis on serving the Queen and God.”

Last year the promise was adapted to include other cultures and religions.

Brownies, originally called the Rosebuds, were formed in 1914 by Lord Baden-Powell.

There will be photos, memorabilia, a cake and refreshments at the celebration event, from 2pm to 4pm.

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