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100 years of the girl guides

PUBLISHED: 17:34 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 21:46 02 July 2010

Last month the Romford Trefoil Guilds were invited to Westminster by MP Andrew Rosindell

Last month the Romford Trefoil Guilds were invited to Westminster by MP Andrew Rosindell

OLIVE Wenborn was just seven when she made the Guide pledge and adorned her trademark uniform. Fast track forward 57 years and Olive, 64, is no longer wearing the uniform but is a member of the Romford Trefoil Guild - a group made up of former Girl Guides

OLIVE Wenborn was just seven when she made the Guide pledge and adorned her trademark uniform.

Fast track forward 57 years and Olive, 64, is no longer wearing the uniform but is a member of the Romford Trefoil Guild - a group made up of former Girl Guides.

She said: "I never thought that years on I would still be involved in the movement, but I am happy it's played a part in my life."

After first enrolling as a Brownie based at the Good Shepherd's Church in Collier Row, Olive quickly moved up the Guides' social ladder to a ranger, leader before taking up many warrants including the county level, before joining the Guild.

Now you can find out more about Olive's time as a Girl Guide in a new book called the Romford Trefoil Guild Diamond Jubilee 1948-2008, Romford's History of Girl Guiding, Once A Guide.

The book, which was officially launched at a special ceremony at the Houses of Parliament last month, marks the Diamond Jubilee of the Romford Trefoil Guild and a century of Girl Guiding UK.

It was the brainchild of Olive and some of the other members to preserve their history.

Olive said: "I think it is important to know what went on before and how the group was organised and the important part girl guiding has played in Romford."

The Guide movement started in 1909 when a group of girls gatecrashed the first Boy Scout Rally in Crystal Palace attracting the attention of founder Baden-Powell.

The Girl Guide Association, headed by his sister Agnes was born and the news spread with girls every where signing up to make the pledge.

Romford was no exception and the movement arrived in 1920s under the Romford Division.

Girls from Gidea Park, Romford Central, Rise Park and Collier Row took up the promise and were involved in weekly activities like camping, learning to tie knots and laying tables.

In the 1950s Romford even had a visit from Chief Guide Olave, Lady Baden-Powell at Francis Bardsley School.

Mary Williams, 75, also a member of the Romford Trefoil Guild marks this meeting as one of her highlights, along with a medal from the Pope in 2007 for services to Guiding.

In 1943 the Trefoil Guild was born for former Guides over 21 years of age to play a part in the movement.

In Romford many of the Guides had married Scouts who had children that were the next generation of Guides.

The founding members of Romford's Trefoil Guild which included Olive's mother Gladys Wenborn, started meeting at the Trinity Methodist Church in 1944.

Olive, the only surviving child of a founder member, continues to meet there today

Mary Williams said: "You don't do something for that number of years without respect for it and I have continued to follow my guide promise and it has always been my way of living."

The book costs £2 and is available from Romfordtrefoilguild@googlemail.com


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