BROWNIES FROM Croydon ON-TRACK AS THEY CELEBRATE GUIDING’S 100 YEARS ON BOARD STEAM TRAIN On 3rd May 2010 hoards of girls from the Purley and Croydon joined 1,300 Brownies from across London and the South East in ‘taking over the tracks’ when they boarded a special girls-only steam train ride for a magical day out in Windsor.
Dubbed ‘Brownies Take Over the Tracks’, the girls had the rare chance to travel on a specially-chartered steam train, one of the country’s most iconic modes of transport, between London Victoria and Windsor.
Magicians entertained the girls on the platform at London Victoria and during the hour-long journey to Windsor. Upon arrival at their destination, the Brownies were treated to a boat cruise along the river and some free time to take in the sights of the historic city.
All 1,300 Brownies gathered together in the afternoon to be wow-ed by a spectacular medieval display, including falconry and knights on horseback in the largest Big Top in Europe. The girls from 2nd Purley Brownies particularly enjoyed the fact they had taken over a whole train and got to meet Anne Hudson their region Commissioner who Phoebe thought was “.. very smiley and very smart”.
Erin and Niamh thought “ The boat trip was really good, especially seeing the ducklins and cygnets on the river”.
Brown Owl, Angela Cale, 2nd Purley Brownies, said “ The girls had a great time, they wondered at the magicians tricks, so close but still not knowing how they were done and one Brownie felt as if she were in the film The Railway Children”.
Chief Guide of Girlguiding UK, Liz Burnley, said: “Currently a quarter of all eight year olds in the UK are Brownies, so it really is fantastic that some of those have had the chance to get together as friends and travel on board something so exciting. In our centenary year we are proud that guiding is giving girls ground-breaking opportunities, although of course this is nothing new as we always have and always will put girls in the lead.”
The guiding movement began in 1909 when a small group of young women gate crashed the Boy Scout rally at Crystal Palace Park in London and lobbied Robert Baden-Powell for ‘something for the girls’. The Centenary is an opportunity to celebrate the impact that the organisation has made on the lives of girls and young women and how modern guiding continues to support over half a million members around the UK. Locally, girls take part in activities such as camps and adventure holidays, international travel, community action.
For more information on how to join Girlguiding UK, go to www.girlguiding.org.uk, or call 0800 1 69 59 01