New find for Fernhurst archive

A selection of the notebooks and watercolour of locally found flowers.CONTRIBUTED PICTURE
A selection of the notebooks and watercolour of locally found flowers.CONTRIBUTED PICTURE

THE Fernhurst Archive is celebrating their latest acquisition, which offers a fascinating insight into the life of the Girls Guides.

The pieces of 1920’s and 1930’s Girl Guiding ephemera were bought with generous help from the Parish Council and John Nicholson’s Fine Art Auctions.

Both felt the unique collection should stay in the village.

The Fernhurst Society was shown the collection of handwritten notebooks, produced monthly by Margaret Shaw.

Miss Shaw lived at Copyhold, off Friday’s Hill, in Fernhurst, and was the leader of the village’s Girl Guides.

She immediately decided that, if possible, it should be bought to be in the village.

But first, money had to be raised.

The archive is extremely grateful to the donors who have helped, enabling the collection to stay there for local interest.

Each booklet contains handwritten short stories, quizzes, lists of the Guides, letters received and written, and stories of their activities.

There are even instructions on how to recognise different trees, cook various dishes, craft activities and how to knit your own swimming costume.

They include a mass of water colour drawings, colour pictures and photographs of assorted activities from camping at Parham House to days on the beach and other outings and events including the crowning of the May queen.

Miss Shaw also painted a number of wild flowers which she found around the village, putting the date she found them and the common and Latin names on the back of each.

Plans are already being made for an exhibition and display in the cupboard in the community room in the village hall.

The collection is now more than 80 years old and is suffering slightly from old age.

The ribbons binding the notebooks are beginning to fray and need some careful conservation to ensure it is all in one piece for another 80 years.

The Fernhurst Society is a registered charity, formed in 1998 and now has 250 members.