Vintage uniforms help mark 100 years of Girlguiding in Kirkby-in-Ashfield

Kirkby Guides Izzy (left) and Zara in vintage uniforms help cut the celebratory cake
Kirkby Guides Izzy (left) and Zara in vintage uniforms help cut the celebratory cake

Kirkby-in-Ashfield Guides celebrated its centenary with a special party at its Rectory Lane headquarters in Kirkby.

The afternoon gave members and leaders – both past and present - a chance to share memories, experiences, tea and cakes, and even to try on some vintage uniforms.

Claire Sharman, guide leader, who helped organise the event, said: “Time seemed to stand still.

“It didn’t seem to matter whether you were a Guide in the 1950s, the 1970s or the 2000s, we were all proof of what girls and young women get out of being a member of Girlguiding and how relevant – and how much fun – it continues to be for every generation.”

Since 1st Kirkby-in-Ashfield Guides was registered in January 1918, Guiding in the town has continued without a break.

The unit first met under the leadership of the rector’s daughter in the church rooms next to the old rectory.

Clare added: ‘It must have been an exciting moment for a small town in north Nottinghamshire, given that it was an era when girls didn’t have the freedom and opportunities that they do today.”

As well as being treated to tea and cakes, the girls and their guests tried out some old uniforms and kit from Girlguiding Nottinghamshire’s county archives.

Other activities at the party included a tombola to support members attending the Norjam international jamboree in August.

One of the Kirkby group will also celebrate her 13th birthday while she is at the jamboree.

The group has also designed a badge to commemorate their centenary, which is also being worn by members of the town’s Brownie and Rainbow units.

The milestone has also been marked by planting hundreds of spring bulbs in tubs provided by Ashfield Council opposite the Kirkby Cross monument.

Kayleigh Hunt, Girlguiding Nottinghamshire’s assistant county commissioner was delighted to be invited to join in the centenary celebrations.

She said: “It was wonderful to see Guides and leaders, both past and present, all sharing their experiences of Girlguiding.

“When you think back over the past 100 years, Guiding has as much relevance now as it did back then.

“We’re still supporting communities, taking action and giving a voice to girls and young women everywhere.”

Girlguiding Nottinghamshire relies on the support of adult volunteers in order to continue its work.

To find out more, contact the county office via 0115 9877220, or visit