Wiltshire Publications

Issue 445 – Westbury’s Girlguiding groups celebrate the movement’s 100th birthday

GUIDES, Brownies and Rainbows came together in Westbury on Saturday 19th September to commemorate 100 years of the Girlguiding movement.

In a day of celebrations at the Paragon Hall, members of the White Horse District showcased what Girlguiding was all about in the 21st century, and then had a party and disco to mark the centenary of guiding.
In September 1909 a group of girls gatecrashed a Boy Scouts rally in London demanding something similar for girls, leading to the formation of Girlguiding.
Guides from the White Horse District kicked off proceedings on Friday 18th September by erecting a 15 foot high guiding emblem next to the White Horse itself, which could be seen for miles around.
At the centenary celebrations on the Saturday the girls held an open day, taking part in and demonstrating activities such as drama workshops, toasting marshmallows and even mocking-up a sleepover for visitors.
Then in the evening around 100 of the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides from the White Horse District attended a disco.
White Horse District administrator Margaret Hart said, “It went exceptionally well, we had lots of people attend. The open day was a chance to show people what we do, like recycling for a fashion show, arts workshops and drama workshops.”
The event was organised between all 13 of the Girlguiding units in the White Horse District, and was the first time they had all come together in this way.
Margaret added: “I think they most enjoyed the chance to have a go at different things. We’ve never done this before and it was quite nice to see how well they got on together, because a girl in Bratton doesn’t necessarily know a girl in Westbury.”
The units in the district are now planning a whole series of monthly celebrations and events to continue to mark their centenary.
Over the last 100 years millions of girls have been Guides, with more than 10 million involved today.
Margaret said, “Guiding is still relevant and popular because we move with the times, for example most years we take the girls off to a big pop concert.”
There are around 260 girls involved in the White Horse District, but the units have girls on waiting lists due to a shortage of adults volunteers.
If you would like to volunteer your time to work with the Girlguiding groups call Margaret on 01380 830 885, or email wos.1@ btinternet.com.
Pictured above: The giant guiding symbol that was unveiled on the White Horse. Below: Some of the White Horse District girls enjoying themselves at the open day on Saturday 19th September.