#MuseumFromHome – day 205

Posted by Tenby Museum on Oct 28, 2020 Blog No Comments

Day 205 of our #MuseumFromHome project and today we look at Girl Guiding in the town. I am grateful to Nicole Evans (museum volunteer and Trustee and also active in the Guides) and Margaret Peake for providing me with the following details of the movement. Nicole told me:

“The Girl Guide Association as it was called began in 1910 after a group of girls had gate crashed the first Scout Rally at Crystal Palace. Agnes Baden-Powell, sister of Robert was in charge but Olave  wife of Robert, became first Chief Commissioner  in 1916.

Guiding in some form has been in Tenby for around 100 years. My mother talked of her Guider as Miss Angela Mottram, and she remembered, as a Ranger, attending an event at Pembroke Castle in, I believe, 1936 where the Princess Royal was guest of honour.

Many well known names have led the movement locally, including Iris Mabe, Kathleen Rees, responsible for the Brownie Natural History Book that is in the museum collection, Gertie Dinsdale, Joan Rees, Margaret Peake, Doreen Hammersley, Pat Young, Jan Evans and Barbara Pegg (and of course,me!)

Lady Merthyr was heavily involved, having been a Guider, then County President, and County Patron. She was followed as president by Kathleen Phillips of Narberth who is now the archivist.. The present president is a reflection of how times have changed as she is Tori James (an ex Netherwood pupil) and the first Welsh woman to climb Everest, after going on an expedition to the South Pole. She is now president of Girlguiding Cymru.

Guiding is still alive and well in Tenby and many of the retired Guiders are now members of the Trefoil Guild which is adult Guiding, supporting present members and, mainly, having fun. The movement was built around the promise of doing your best. It is an International movement. Many of us locals have visited Guide Centres in India, Switzerland and Mexico. Guiding moves with the times and embraces change. You can even get a uniform hijab now!”

Margaret, who joined Tenby Brownies at the age of seven, was Brown Owl with 3rd Tenby Brownies for over 35 years, and continued her involvement as chairman of the Tenby Trefoil Guild, added, “The 4th Tenby Guides were registered on 3rd March 1923 and the 3rd Brownies came into being just 20 days later on 23rd March 1923. In the early days, guide meetings took place in the basement of the Belgrave Hotel, while the brownies met initially at Rock House, St Julian’s Street, before moving to the basement of the Belgrave. Girl guiding remains a challenge, full of excitement, adventure and fun.”

The final two pictures are courtesy of Margaret Peake.