Girl Guiding:

Frances Page

Guiding Memories of Frances Page from 1970-1990

I became involved in guiding as an adult, never having been a Brownie or a Guide, through my children. My eldest daughter, Sally, joined the 2nd Hatfield Brownies and as often happens they were short of adult help and I volunteered as a Brownie helper.  Later Birdeen Groom asked me if I would take over the 4th Hatfield (St. Johns) Guides from Mrs Eileen Jordan at Skips Grove – a guide and Scout hut paid for by both fundraising/parent contribution and council grants.  Unfortunately it was subjected to vandalism almost from the beginning and was finally removed in 1977.

I later became Division Commissioner for Central Herts (which was a very steep learning curve) – an area which covered Welwyn and Hatfield to Potters Bar, Radlett, Borehamwood and Elstree – all with varying problems and differences and was invited to many events across the division.  I retired from Division commissioner after five years and took my last role as Chair of Hatfield Trefoil Guild.

As a guider I was priviledged to be part of so many activities.  We camped as a District with other Guide Companies (of which we had 5 at one time).  Among the most memorable were camping trips – both within Hertfordshire and further afield at Botley (in Hampshire) and Rydal Hall in the Lake District during one of the wettest weeks anyone can remember.  We were also pioneering in joining with the scouts from Skips Grove on an International Camp with scouts from the Mr. Bakkergroup (both boys and girls which was unheard of in the UK then) from Hatfield’s twin town Zierikzee at Buckmore Park in Kent.  We spent a glorious week learning from each others customs and traditions and taking part in group challenges, trips and activities.  I was camp cook and cooked Spotted Dick which was initially viewed with great suspicion but was eaten hot and cold!  After camp we all came to Hatfield when the Dutch were hosted by the families.

Many of the guides formed lasting friendships and kept in touch as ‘pen-pals’ for many years.

This page was added on 27/03/2017.

Comments about this page

  • I was a Hatfield Brownie and Girl Guide and my Mum volunteered to help out Guide company when I started revising for my O’Levels, (1966). She received a glass rose bowl when she finally retired from Guides and Trefoils, in her 80’s, which we still have somewhere. She always referred to them as ‘ her little angels’.
    Birdeen Groom and my Mum helped us win a Stork Cookery Competition in London which I entered in the summer holidays in about 1974 -‘ make a high tea for 6 people for 17/6d’. Jean Cross was in the team. However none of us could cook the menu!, so Birdeen and my Mum taught us all up in the flat above Drapers! We won the finals at the Stork’s Van den Bergh kitchens, and both teams were taken on a London tour with Charlie Drake as our bus conductor, had our photos taken with Storks at London Zoo, went to the Chicken Inn restaurant in Leicester Square for dinner, then, as we were the winners, were taken to see the show ‘Oliver’. The theme all day was clearly ‘Food, Glorious Food’! Marguerite Patten was the judging cook and autographed us each her book ‘Cookery In Colour’.
    My Dad helped set up the Zierekee twinning and my brother John and I went to Zierikzee in different yearsin the 50’s and 60’s.

    By Barbara Gault (22/07/2019)

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