Community celebrates 100 years of Girlguiding in Torrance

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A century of Girlguiding in Torrance was celebrated by those involved with the organisation.

Members and volunteers past and present took part in a series of events in recent weeks with the fist an afternoon tea on May 12 at the Broadcroft Hotel in Kirkintilloch, which was attended by 73 guests. Some travelled from as far as Hampshire and Frankfurt to reunite with their Girlguiding friends at the gathering.

Special guests included Clara Gillepsie, the oldest former Girl Guide in Torrance, who had the honour of cutting the celebratory cake alongside 11-year-old Niamh Foy, a member of the 2nd Torrance Guides. The moment was particularly poignant as Niamh’s grandmother was also a former Brownie, Guide and Tawny Owl in the village.

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Memory boards, packed with pictures and memorabilia from decades past, offered a visual journey through the rich history of Girlguiding in Torrance.

Torrance guides of all ages were celebrating the centenary. Pic: ContributedTorrance guides of all ages were celebrating the centenary. Pic: Contributed
Torrance guides of all ages were celebrating the centenary. Pic: Contributed

The second event was a district 100th anniversary party on May 30 for Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, leaders and parents, which 75 people attended.

The festivities continued at Saturday’s Campsie Show where 2nd Torrance Girl Guide Mia Lennox was crowned this year’s Torrance Gala Queen. The 13-year-old has been involved with Girlguiding since 2016, when she joined Rainbows at the age of five. She was the first in her unit to make her promise in Makaton.

Mia, who is a pupil at Woodland View School, was joined at the Campsie Show by fellow Girl Guiders Lucie Campbell and Lyla Finlay, who were her attendants.

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Many of the village’s Rainbows, Brownies and Guides took part in the parade.

County commissioner Lorna Hamilton, Margaret Hyde of Girilguiding Torrance, Niamh Foy and Clara Gillespie cutting the cake at afternoon tea. Pic: ContributedCounty commissioner Lorna Hamilton, Margaret Hyde of Girilguiding Torrance, Niamh Foy and Clara Gillespie cutting the cake at afternoon tea. Pic: Contributed
County commissioner Lorna Hamilton, Margaret Hyde of Girilguiding Torrance, Niamh Foy and Clara Gillespie cutting the cake at afternoon tea. Pic: Contributed

Concluding the celebrations is a district centenary sleepover last week.

The first meeting of Girlguiding in Torrance took place on May 30, 1924, led by Captain Sheena Pirie. She served in the role for more than 40 years. She recorded the girls’ activities in logbooks, which are treasured by the district.

“She was a true inspiration,” said Margaret Hyde, leader of 2 nd Torrance Guides and organiser of the centenary celebrations.

“Captain Pirie was a much-loved force in Torrance.

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“Decades of her lovingly preserved logbooks are full of sketches, emblems and photos of a unique social history and period of time. They offer evidence of the legacy left by her to all of us and how she will not be forgotten.”

As the Girlguiding units in Torrance wind down for the summer break, a plea has been issued for volunteers to come forward.

Margaret explained: “To ensure the future of Girlguiding in Torrance and Miss Pirie’s legacy, we are looking for volunteers to get involved in the running of our units. A key role we urgently need to fill is the unit leader of 2nd Torrance Brownies. The role can be flexible and can be carried out by one person or a small team of people on a rota basis.

“There are also a number of leadership vacancies in 1st Torrance Rainbows and 2nd Torrance Guides.”

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If you are able to help, email [email protected]

Girlguiding is for girls aged from 4 to 18. To register your child, or for more information about volunteering, visit www.girlguidingdunbartonshire.org.uk.

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