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First Calverley Brownies celebrate 100th birthday

First Calverley Brownies celebrated their centenary last month having formed on 12 September 1922, writes Danielle Brearley.

As part of the centenary year celebrations, they have already taken part in a fundraising challenge from September 2021 which raised over £1,300 for unit funds.

And the Brownies and their guests from local Girlguiding units and the community met on Saturday, 1 October for a day of fun and celebrations.

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The day began for the Brownies with breakfast in the Guide Hut on Blackett Street before ‘Go Wild!’ in Calverley Woods building shelters and fairy houses, and toasting marshmallows. See the slideshow of photos below:

After a brief stop for lunch the Brownies met volunteers from the other village Brownie, Guide and Rainbow units in Calverley Victoria Park where, alongside Councillor Peter Carlill, they planted a flower bed the units have agreed to take ownership of as part of their promise to give something back to the local community.

This was thanks to the generosity of Ian Short at Morley Glass who, through the Green Vision scheme, awarded the Brownies a grant to cover the cost of the flowers; and Palmers Plants, who kindly supplied and delivered the plants.  

1st Calverley Guides hard at work in Victorias Park.

After planting the bed with spring bulbs and winter bedding plants, the Brownies and guests including Sue Arnold, Aire Valley District Commissioner, finished the day in Calverley Methodist Chapel with a party and games.

After thanking Calverley Village Guide Association trustees Carolyn Lee and Pauline Barker, who are stepping down from the role after 26 years service between them, the Brownies cut their birthday cake and thanked everyone who had come to support on the day.

Although Brownies has been going for 100 years in Calverley – and Guides even longer – there is a real need for volunteers and support to make sure we can keep delivering Rainbows, Brownies and Guides for another 100 years. 

Currently waiting lists for each of the units are stretching into the end of 2023 and beyond, and there is a real risk without more volunteers to come and help run sessions on a weekly basis that local children will miss out.

First Calverley Brownies birthday cake
100 years of happiness at First Calverley Brownies.

We also need more people who can volunteer as trustees, help with unit accounts, who have a skill or professional expertise they could offer; or who could help with fundraising – it currently costs over £4,000 a year to keep the Guide Hut going to deliver guiding from in Calverley, and that’s before the units spend anything on activities for the girls’ experiences.

First Calverley Brownies is a unit within Girlguiding UK which is about trying new things that teach girls aged seven to 10 about themselves, their community and their world. 

If you or anyone you know could offer some help, please e-mail Calverleyguiding@gmail.com – we need your help to keep Brownies and guiding going for the next 100 years in Calverley!

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