Easeborne woman shares her memories of the Girl Guides

IT is 100 years since the Girl Guide movement was founded and as the centenary celebrations take place throughout this year, 80-year-old Joy Mitchell from Easebourne has more memories than most.

For five generations of her family have been proud to be members.

Her mother Nora Parry joined one of the earliest Guide groups in the country at Woolbeding when she was about eight years old, just six years after Guides were founded in this country, in l910.

Joy, who still lives in Easebourne, became a Brownie in l938 and enjoyed her first summer camp the following year.

But the camp was cut short as Guide leaders feared war was about to break out.

She was a Guide in Easebourne throughout the second world war, but some time after she left, the group closed down.

"My daughter Phillipa was a Brownie in Midhurst and then joined the Guides, but she had to go all the way to Harting," said Joy.

So in l965 Joy was persuaded to reform the lst Easebourne Guides which she ran for the next 30 years.

It still flourishes today under the leadership of Mrs Mitchell's daughter Philippa Denman, who took over from her 15 years ago.

Mrs Denman had returned to Easebourne after living in Germany where she had also been a member of the Guide movement.

Mrs Denman's daughter Amanda – Joy's grand-daughter – was the next generation to become hooked.

"She attended Midhurst Grammar School," said Joy, "and came to stay with me when her parents were abroad, so she joined the Guides in Easebourne, too."

Amanda is now married and living in Twickenham, and her daughter,

16-year-old Emily, is also a Guide.

Joy still belongs to the movement as a Trefoil Guild member and is a regular helper at Guide events.

Her daughter Philippa is a Queen's Guide award holder and her grand-daughter Amanda and great-grand-daughter Emily have both received

the highest Guide accolade, the Baden Powell award.

"I suppose it all rubbed off from me," said Joy, "but I think the Guides have always been a good group to belong to."