Roffey Guides celebrate 100 years of guiding

First Roffey Guides are celebrating 100 years of guiding
First Roffey Guides are celebrating 100 years of guiding

First Roffey Guides will celebrate 100 years since its formation in June 1918.

The group was set up towards the end of world war one shortly after girlguiding was first started. Events are lined up for the unit’s current guides to commemorate the centenary, with today’s leaders starting an initiative to search for anyone previously involved as a guide or leader with the unit, or company, as it used to be known.

Ita Lawton, present day leader with first Roffey Guides, said: “We have records of all the guide captains, lieutenants and leaders since our start and we are raiding the memory banks to put together our history. It is a remarkable coincidence that the start of the unit also times in with women finally being given the vote. We are keen to contact any guides or leaders still living in the area to invite them to join our celebrations and share their memories and experiences.”

After closing during world war two, the unit opened again in the 1950s and met at the old Roffey Youth Centre, close to the site where the Millennium Hall is today.

The unit still has its original flag, known as the company colours, which was hand-stitched soon after the unit started. 100 years ago guides were able to do badges such as aircraft woman, pioneer and poultry farmer, as well as the more traditional homecraft skills of cooking, spinning and sick nursing. The unit itself and guiding in Horsham is as popular today as it has ever been. Today’s guides, aged between ten and 14, have a wide programme of activities combining fun and learning reflecting today’s world.

A commemorative badge to mark the centenary occasion will also be produced. If you have past connections with the unit then contact them at 1stroffeyguides@gmail.com or on 07834 944010.