Aldershot Manor Park School And Girl Guides 1960's - a Memory of Aldershot.
We were best friends at Manor Park County Secondary School for girls, Aldershot 1962 – 1968.
We were also in the Girl Guides together at 2nd Aldershot Girl Guides.
Photos to follow:
1) Girl Guides Red Indian war dance, with Captain Kim Greenway on the far right.
Mary Gemson is in the white Red Indian outfit; I am dancing behind her with just my head showing.
My friend, Christine Williams is in the foreground in a brown outfit with straight, shoulder-length hair.
2) Two Girl Guides are Christine Mitchell (me) on the left, and Janet Davies with whom I often camped.
Manor Park was a large park surrounded with trees, which hosted events during the year including a fairground and a circus. My mother had 7 children so I remember the preparation of a large box of sandwiches and homemade cake to feed her brood at the circus. I also remember my mother taking the baby and toddler to a clinic in the main park building to have the baby weighed and to collect her free bottles of orange juice.
Our home was just 10 minutes walk from the school, just out of town in the residential part of Aldershot in Brockenhurst Road, with St Michael’s Church and school a short distance away.
I liked Manor Park School and teaching staff and mostly did well in Literature, Geography and Needlework but Maths and History were always a struggle. Christine was one of the only friends that my mother allowed to visit our home, as home was crowded with her own seven children. Christine was quieter and fitted in well.
I joined the Girl Guides in 1962 and liked the Captain immensely. Kim Greenway was single, army-like, disciplined but very kind and adventurous.
She drilled us thoroughly in the art of marching in preparation for St George’s Day parades. We had to keep in step and learn how to turn corners in a perfect curve. Each Guide meeting had its drills which we soon learnt to anticipate. These gave us a good grounding for the disciplines of real camping!
Kim took us to camp every year in the back of a removal van, which would not pass the health and safety tests of today. later she took us to County camps which were bigger festivals of Guiding.
All the heavy canvas tents were heaped into the back, along with the big dixies for cooking together with our own equipment and bedding rolls. We girl guides then climbed on top of all this luggage and sang our hearts out all the way to North Wales or wherever the venue was for the year.
On the first day of camp, the guides had to prepare the site for their tent by using a large shovel to remove the dried cow pats. Every day there was camp inspection with all bedding rolled up onto our own hand-made wooden gadgets. The brailing was rolled up around the edges of the tents to allow the ground of the tent to ‘air’. The aim was to leave the tent space green and not yellow/brown!
Other gadgets we had to make for each tent of 6-8 guides were: a washing up stand, a tripod for a bowl of hand-washing water, up-turned sticks for our wellies and larders to hang in the woods to keep perishable food cool. The wood pile had to be stacked impeccably, with kindling at one end, and graded sizes to the larger logs at the other end. The wood pile was laid across two larger logs to keep the wood off the ground in wet weather, then it was all covered in tarpaulin to keep it brittle dry. When we cooked our meals in the large dixies, woe betide any guide who placed the lid inside downwards on the grass! Grass and cow muck were never allowed to enter our diet!
Christine Williams was a valued part of my camping and guiding experience.
She lived at the other end of town but I never visited her home.
I’d love to find her and catch up on our lives’ journeys.
Thanks for reading this. I hope someone knows Christine Williams and will contact me.
A memory shared byon Jul 7th, 2016.
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