Beryl was born in the Forest of Dean and lived there throughout her life.
She was a Forest Guide, Guider, District Commissioner, then appointed County Commissioner - a first for Gloucestershire. She later became a Trefoil Guild member and then County President of Gloucestershire Trefoil and Chairman of County Fellowship.
But in more detail, especially as County Commissioner.
She was ready to take risks for the good of Guiding:
Beryl was good with people and had great ability to see potential in people and to appoint them to key positions - and to place her trust in them. This, linked with great powers of persuasion! I went one afternoon to see her concerning a problem in our Division. I came away as County Chairman of Training. When I asked her what the job entailed, she said ‘Not a lot,’ - I found out! There are many of you who found yourselves in the same situation and because of her confidence in you, rose to the occasion.
She was a good listener and confidante and I know that many personal as well as Guiding problems were shared with her. She was caring and concerned, a supporter of people and upheld the right and was generous with her time. She valued the time we all gave to Guiding, and when the County Youth Service was threatened with cuts because of finances, she calculated the number of hours given and what it would have cost if we were paid as youth service workers and not volunteers. It helped to save the day for the Youth Service.
As a driver she was notorious!-and there were many escapades. Returning from a County Executive meeting one night, after dropping off her passenger, she made her way home, except that she found herself off the road and rather deep in the forest. Eventually she was found by travellers, and rescued by them and husband, Colin. The travellers were invited to stay the night, but had gone next morning, leaving money for their hospitality. This happened about the time, following the resignation of Betty Jones, that she invited me to be her Assistant, or was it to be her chauffeur? We certainly travelled many miles together.
Above all, there was Beryl’s irrepressible humour, used to help us see things more clearly or to ‘prick the bubble,’ or simply to entertain. Some of you may recall the launch of the Guiding Manual to replace POR, a rule book for Guiding. It was the World Chief Guide who said we needed to free guiding from the Red Tape and replace it with Green Elastic. Beryl always tried to bend the rules if it was more helpful. To demonstrate this we had a symbolic burning of a copy of POR before handing out the Manuals -with some Green Elastic.
At a county event in the Forest, our speaker was Lady Juliet Townsend, the then Chief Commissioner. There was a degree of tension in the hall as Beryl stood on the stage, so we thought, to begin the proceedings. However, she began by saying, ‘If any of you heard that I was locked in the girls’ loos with the Caretaker last night, it is perfectly true!’ She then proceeded to open the meeting.
We had a county Weekend at Foxlease and as part of the Saturday evening entertainment there was an international element. Guiders created costumes representing various parts of the world. Beryl appeared some moments after everyone had assembled, dressed in her son’s Welsh Rugby kit and complete with cap. Everyone was helpless with laughter.
Just a little of the Humour and Fun she brought to Guiding.
However, what showed through all that she did was her steadfast Christian faith.
The Guide Association recognised work Beryl had bone in many areas of Guiding, both at home and overseas, by presenting her with the Beaver Award. This was richly deserved.
Beryl remained true to the Guide Promise made when she became a Guide, promising ‘on her honour to do her best’ and to be trusted to keep this promise. I do not believe that she ever betrayed that trust and this she expected of us all.
As Guides we learnt a rhyme which helped us remember the ten Guide laws:
A Guide is - Trustworthy. Loyal Helpful,
Sisterly, Courteous, Kind.
Obedient, Smiling, Thrifty,
Pure in Heart and Mind.
This I believe was Beryl -a true Guide and an example to us all.
We will all miss her.
Guides from across the County embarked on a day out to London's SSE Wembley Arena for the Big Gig, Girlguiding's very own pop concert. Girls from Amberley, Quedgeley, Dursley, Salem, Hatherley, Mersey Hampton and Battledown travelled by the coach loads to join 20,000 members of Girlguiding including Guides, Senior Section and Leaders.
Ella Henderson took headline spot with other acts including Gabriella Aplin, Aston from JLS and Gloucester ex-The Wanted band member Nathan Sykes. Each act brought their own style and personality to the event and the girls spent 2 hours bopping to the fantastic music.
"Ella Henderson was the best because she interacted with the crowd" says Emily, 13
"Jagmac was the best because they were a family and the dancing brought great vibes to the arena" says Lauren, 12
"It was a really joyful experience because you got to see loads of different singers at one concert" says Heather, 10
The day was made extra special for some girls as they made their Guide or Senior Section promise and one Leader was even presented with her Adult Leadership during the event.
Dursley District Guides & Senior Section make it into the Gazette
35th Cheltenham (Salem) and 18th Cheltenham Guides make it into the Gloucestershire Echo
Yorkley Brownies were out and about busily finishing off some good deeds in the community this weekend.
They delivered 25 bags of books, clothes and toys to the British Red Cross to help them in their work supporting people in crisis at home and abroad.
They also visited Forest Pulse, a fabulous local group for children with additional needs, who they are forging links with. On this occasion they handed over a cheque for £118 from their sponsored walk. The Brownies have been keen to spend time together with the Forest Pulse children, not just send money, so they joined them at an activity play session and swimming, as well as having them join the Brownies for a Making Pizza night at their meeting last week.
Both groups seem to be really enjoying and benefiting from being together from time to time.
Leader Emma says "I am really shouting out for our girls! They have been ace and their parents very supportive for our activities."
Well done to you all!
17th Gloucester (SA) Girlguiding have created a messy challenge badge, guaranteed to bring extra giggles into your meetings or holidays. The challenge is suitable for all ages, with lots of messy activities, including craft, games, food and mud!
You can download the challenge pack below.
Bright and early on a Saturday morning 38 girls and leaders from around Gloucestershire embarked on a mission in the capital. Tasked with getting photographed with as many different methods of transport as possible, we roamed around London for the day, with bonus challenges to complete.
The eight different teams came up with some imaginative ideas including handstands, gravity, sedan chairs and a racing mono-ski, as well as the more conventional buses, trains and Boris bikes! For the bonus challenges teams took photographs outside tourist attractions such as Downing Street and Trafalgar square as well as guiding locations like Baden-Powell House, Pax Lodge and Girlguiding CHQ.
It was lovely to see the wide variety of ages and roles taking part; from rangers to young leaders and a couple of adult leaders too! Some teams met on the day and had the extra fun of meeting new Senior Section members to complete the challenge together. The winning team managed to get photographs of a whopping 78 different forms of transport and completed six of the eight bonus challenges! It was a fabulous event to prepare Gloucestershire for the Senior Section Spectacular and we hope to see many more of you there next time! A massive thank you goes to Sarah Jones (Youth Participation Team Leader) for organising the event!!
Check out the Senior Section Facebook group for the highlights of the trip from the teams
themselves and to keep up to date with our future events!!
Charlotte Moore and Belinda Murphy (Senior Section Exec and 2nd place team members!)
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