END OF AN ERA FOR STAINDROP UNITS BUT ALSO NEW BEGINNINGS
Tuesday 23rd February saw the last meeting of 1st Staindrop Guides at the shared Scout and Guide hut which, given by Lord Barnard and built on Raby Estates owned land in the village, has been in use for just over 100 years serving countless generations of children from the village and surrounding area. It has been used by Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Venture Scouts, Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers, over the years. The hut is going to be demolished and replaced with a new purpose built meeting place from Hodgsons of Cotherstone who specialise in wooden structures of all kinds. They also built the original hut!
Barnard Castle Division Commisioner, Karen Thompson who also leads the Guide Unit with sister Lynn Wheldon invited former Guide and Brownie leaders to the final meeting, as it was the end of an era for many people. It was a particularly poignant occasion for Karen and Lynn who started as Brownies and for the past 35 years have attended meetings on Tuesday evenings, moving on from Brownies to Guides to Rangers and Young Leaders and finally becoming leaders and Commissioners. Carrying on the family tradition, Karen’s older daughter is a Brownie and the younger one has her name down for Rainbows.
Pictured in the photograph are Karen and Lynn with their mother Margaret Wheldon, herself an assistant Guider with Janet Whitaker, former Guide leader, and Judith Stirk and Heather Stewart former Brownie leaders when Karen and Lynn first joined the organisation. Pam McCann and Judith Rutter, both also former Brownie leaders unfortunately were unable to attend. The former leaders are now members of the Teesdale Trefoil Guild along with many other Guiding friends from the locality who have worked together within Barnard Castle Division.
The meeting included a new Guide making her Promise by candlelight, the last one to do this in the old hut, which though in a very bad state of repair now and lacking space and facilities, will still have a special place in the hearts of hundreds who have met there and enjoyed some very special and fun times over many, many years. Taps was sung at the close of the meeting marking the end of an era.