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Norfolk's Girlguides celebrate 100 years

PUBLISHED: 18:50 06 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:55 13 July 2010

Beccles Brownies shape up to make a 100 at their centenary celebrations on Saturday.
Photo: Bill Smith

Beccles Brownies shape up to make a 100 at their centenary celebrations on Saturday. Photo: Bill Smith

Victoria Leggett

Gliding along zip wires and flying down slides - thousands of girls were “doing their best” to ruin some stereotypes this weekend as they celebrated 100 years of Girlguiding.

As thousands of the county's Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section members got together there was not a note of Ging Gang Goolie to be heard.

Gliding along zip wires and flying down slides - thousands of girls were “doing their best” to ruin some Guiding stereotypes this weekend.

As thousands of the county's Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section members got together there was not a note of Ging Gang Goolie to be heard.

Running, jumping and meeting furry friends, they celebrated 100 years of Girlguiding during a fun-filled two-days in Norfolk.

In Hoveton, the Broadland division of Girlguiding Norfolk came together for an action packed day on Saturday at Bewilderwood Adventure Park.

More that 400 girls from all sections of the movement in Acle, Blofield, Stalham and Hautbois spent their days swinging through the trees among the Twiggles and Boggles of the park - which is inspired by the books of Tom Blofeld.

Adult leader Emma Watts, who organised the event, said: “It's all about showing the world in general how modern we are. Some people think 'don't they just sit around singing Ging Gang Goolie?'

“One hundred years ago it was considered the height of bad manners for a girl to raise her hands above her head - now she's using those arms to slide along zip wires. Guiding is progressive.”

Molly Clayton, 10, of 1st Wroxham Guides, said former Girlguides as well as youngsters today who are not members would be amazed at the activities they get to do.

She said: “My nanny used to be a Guide. She didn't get to do all the fun things we have done. They would probably just walk round a pond and feed the ducks. They wouldn't be having fun like us.”

On Sunday at Banham Zoo, near Attleborough, some of Girlguiding's youngest members got up close with the animals as they wondered around the attraction, meeting the giraffes and watching the Amazing Animals show.

The Rainbows from the 4th Norwich and 38th Norwich units also checked in on the Red Panda which has been sponsored by Girlguiding Norfolk's five to seven-year-olds since their 20th birthday in 2007.

Claire Everson, a district commissioner, said: “Just as we arrived it started to move about which was great. They really liked seeing it but it wasn't very active.”

Other events across the county included a karaoke disco for all ages at the Chicago Rock Café in King's Lynn, a celebratory camp fire at Weeting Steam Engine Rally field, and a dungeon tour at Norwich's Castle Museum.

Nationally, more than half a million girls are thought to have taken part in the celebrations.

About 6,000 gathered at London's Crystal Palace, the birth place of Girlguiding, where a Centenary Maze was unveiled.

On September 5 1909, a group strong-willed girls gate-crashed the first Boy Scout Rally and pleaded with Robert Baden-Powell to offer something for them too.

The celebrations continue until October 20, 2010, when all 575,000 members will re-make their promise.

For information about volunteering as a leader, contact the Girlguiding Norfolk county office on 01603 502590.


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