Guiding in Rolleston

In 1927 Edwina Hiscox from Ivy House started Brownies and Guides at St Maryís. There were probably few other after-school activities for the village girls, several of whom later became Guiders.

By the early 1930ís the Guider was Miss Mildred Tweed who married Eddie James the first Scout Leader. Joyce Hodson-Walker (nee Bucknall) lent me photos of a camp in 1931. Their tents and bedding rolls didnít look much different from my Guide camps some thirty years later.

Three Guides, Marjorie Watson, Margaret Slaney and Marion Dunn were Guiders in the 1940ís. During the War as well as helping with the war appeals they enjoyed picnics, walks and camps. They also invaded the Scout meetings held on the same evening. Such unladylike activity upset the Rector and Guide meetings were suspended.

At this point in Guiding history there is a gap and the 2nd Rolleston Guides were formed at some point. A photo at a Church Garden Party in the early 1950ís shows one Guide and two Brownies by their stall, but the next mention of a Guide Leader is Muriel Knight in 1967.

Mrs Shiela Redgrave became District Commissioner for Rolleston in 1973. She presented the highest award in Guiding to Carolyn George and Susan Skinner, the first girls to become "Queenís Guides" in the District, Amanda Haynes becoming the third in 1985. During the 1980ís there were 3 Brownie Packs and 2 Guide Companies in Rolleston. In 1985 the 2nd Guides moved from the Infantís school to the Scout HQ where overnight camps, campfires and joint activities with the Scouts were enjoyed until the Guides closed in the early 1990ís. In October 1999 the Guides reopened at St Maryís.

And so to the Brownies. Between 1935 and 1945 Mrs Shilton and Mrs Hall were Brown Owls. The war didnít seem to prevent activities; they visited Alton Towers and Tutbury castle, had picnics and knitted socks. Before making her promise a Brownie had to knit her own hat!

Mrs Hall was in the colour party on November 27th 1944 when Lady Baden-Powell visited Burton. Unfortunately there were no photos in the paper because it was the day before the Fauld explosion.

From 1950 to 1955 Brown Owl was Mrs Joan Daniels (whose husband, Ted, was a Scout Leader). One of her Brownies, Charles Underhillís daughter Eleanor was at school with me.

Mrs Lakin was the first Brown Owl of the 2nd Rolleston Brownies formed in the late 1950ís. Margaret Welch (another ex-Guide) was Tawny Owl and Doris Smith, White Owl. In 1966 Margaret Welch started the 3rd Rolleston Brownies. Mrs Cooper, who lived in Tudor House, adjoining the Church Room was in charge of 1st Rolleston Brownies 2nd & 3rd packs moved from the Church Room to the Infant School, the 3rd closing in 1975/6 and in 1986 the 2nd moved to the Scout HQ. Meanwhile , after 73 years, 1st Rolleston Brownies are still going strong in the Church Room.

I would like to thank Mrs Daniels, Mrs Hall, Mrs Shilton and Mrs Hodson-Walker for their help. Apologies for any mistakes and omissions, more information about Leaders, girls and activities will be welcome.

Delia Wyers


Lynne Roberts wrote in October 2007 to say: "I read, with interest, the piece about Guiding in the village and that little is known about the period between the end of the war and 1967. The Marjorie Watson, mentioned in the piece, married and became Marjorie Sharp (my mum) and ran the Guides throughout this entire period, having also been involved during the war, as stated. On retiring from being Guide Captain, she then became the Commonwealth Representative for Staffordshire for many years. In addition, she was also a Youth Leader at the Youth Club at the Forest of Needwood School, along with Mick Badcock.

Throughout, much of this time, continuing up to the early 2000s she also ran the Darby and Joan Club in the Commemoration Hall, which had a thriving membership. I would also like to add, that my Dad (William) Bill Sharp was Scout Leader for a short period of time during the Second World War."

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Last updated: 28 October 2007