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Our Brownie History

The 1st Burley-in-Wharfedale Guide Company was founded in 1917 by Mrs Gilmore and taken over by Miss Anne Shepherd in 1919. In 1919 the 1st Burley-in-Wharfedale Brownie (thats us!) was started by Miss M Shepherd the younger sister of Anne Shepherd.

The original troop had four sixes, they were the pixies, elves, gnomes and sprites. Both the Brownies and the Guides originally met in the grounds of Scalbor Park Hospital before moving to their own house in 1923. Mr Sheperd Brown Owl's father donated a new clubhouse to the troops in 1923. It was built especially for the Guides and Brownies and was named Crina. The girls named it Crina after Crina cottage in Ingleton where they loved to camp in the summer.

Crina was opened by Lady Olave-Baden Powell herself, she was accompanied by the smallest Brownie - a girl called Jean Wilkinson when she crossed the hall to cut the red ribbon with the silver scissors. We hope to add a picture of Lady BPs letter sent after the opening some time soon.

However this was not Lady B-Ps first visit to Burley. She visited in 1919 and 1921. In 1919 she left the following message in the log book:
"Here I really am at last and may I come again. I shall never forget this visit to you all and I must write a big

as well as wishing you all further success and happiness."

At the end of the proceedings she was presented with a dress length of blue serge made at the Burley Mill(a local textile mill where many of the guides would have worked). It was a sample of the Guides' daily work. Lady BP said how pleased she was to receive such an unexpected present and that she would always remember the Burley First Company of Girl Guides. She later had the fabric made into a uniform.

To Be Continued.....

Pictures of our troop from the 1920s