Brownies and Guides in Alresford

1955 was the year …………..

and all the little girls heard there was going to be a Brownie Pack starting in Alresford.  I don’t know if we really knew what this was but our mothers quickly put names onto the list with the prospective ‘Brown Owl’ – a lady by the name of Mrs Mann.

To start the Pack the oldest 12 girls could join and as I was 10yrs old I was granted a place.

We were to be known as 1st Alresford Brownie Pack. The pack was to be the first in Alresford to start after the war years, when the name had changed  to 1st Bramdean, the village where they held their meetings.

We met in The Dean School, Alresford on a Wednesday at 6.00pm.  Each week we religiously took our subs together with a card and money to record how much Mum had paid towards the uniform – mine was £1.5.7d.  During these first weeks, we learnt how to fold and tie our tie in readiness to wear with our new outfit, for the first time at our Promise ceremony.  Learn how to wash up the tea things, learn the Brownie Promise, Law, and Fairy ring & Motto.  Also to always wear a Brownie smile and do a good turn every day.

On our Promise evening we stood in a Fairy Ring and in turn stood by the Brownie pool, looked into it to say the rhyme ‘twist me and turn me to show me the elf, I looked in the water and there saw myself’.  After reciting the Brownie Promise and Law, the oval badge was pinned to our tie and Brown Owl shook our hand – using the special left hand to welcome us into the Guide movement.

We learnt many things, amongst them knots which was my favourite as I nearly always won the game, and whether there was really a right and wrong way to fly the Union flag!

After only a year, I became 11yrs old and had to leave having had such fun – Brownie  Revels  hunting for paper rabbits, making a Squirrels tail to wear (can’t remember the reason), performing in a nativity play, and taking part in the carnival. We were also taken to Winchester to learn how to cross a busy road.   Now it was time to join the Guide Company, and look forward to more adventures.

In January 2010 I retired as the Guider of this unit after 49 years with the same Brownie pack, meeting on the same night and at the same time every week..

Miss it – yes, but after seeing 445 Brownies I have lots of happy fun memories. Guiding is a lifelong activity that you never lose or give up.

 Josephine Croxson, Alresford

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