Being a Brownie on South Tyneside

Brownies annual swimming gala held in Stanhope Road baths in  June 1988.  Left, the Divisional commisioner for the Guides Mrs Dianne Burton and right, organiser Mrs Joan Bailie.
Brownies annual swimming gala held in Stanhope Road baths in June 1988. Left, the Divisional commisioner for the Guides Mrs Dianne Burton and right, organiser Mrs Joan Bailie.

I was really pleased that so many of you responded to a picture of South Shields Brownies taking part in a swimming gala in 1988 which was posted on the Gazette’s Facebook page recently.

And judging by the comments left on the site, you obviously had happy times in the organisation as well as the Girl Guides.

When asked how many of you were in the Brownies or Guides, Helen Carr took to social media to say: “Yep, how could I forget it, loved it, every Monday evening, was brilliant, dancing around the toadstool lol ahhhhhhh happy times x”

Tracey Jackson said: “Yes, I was a Brownie at St Mary’s Church Hall, Tyne Dock” while Vicki Gardner wrote: “I was one of the first Rainbows in Shields and went on to Brownies and Guides. I swam in a couple of galas but later than 1988 lol.”

Sandy Houghton revealed how she and Fiona Macfarlane were appeared in the gala photo, saying: “we are both on here. We don’t look too happy – we must have come last!” Helen Judd and Natalie Munsaram were also “both in this”.

Geraldine Box asked Norma Wilson: “Is that me at the back?” while Phil Reay wondered: “Was 1988 black and white? I do seem to remember colour that year.” (The photo was certainly in mono, Phil).

There were questions too from Kerry Bell who asked: “Is that Michelle Smith at the back left?” while Katrina Carr Bailey had a similar poser for Kevina Jerry as did Lyndsey Dee Newbrook who also though she recognised Kevina, saying: “Is that you lol. If not it’s your double.”

Leeanne Taylor wondered if Mary Proudlock had “any of your Brownies here?” while Paul C Gray asked Natalie Munsaram “is that you in the second row?”

Both Rachel Garvin and Rachel Grant told how they “certainly were Brownies and then Guides and then Rangers”.

Dianne Grantham Martin took to Facebook to say: “I went to Oxford Street Methodist Church, leader of guides Miss Green, sorry, forget leader of Brownies, best days of my life, thank you.”

Fallyn Kinsella posted: “I was in the 5th South Shields at Hadrian School” and Dawn Walker recalled how she was “in the 1st South Shields Guides at the Baptist Tabernacle, Horsley Hill.”

Sue Graham Helen Carr. Remember the Brownies. My mum was Brown Owl.

Julie Webster asked Deborah Hilton whether “is that you at the front?” And she was spot-on as Deborah replied: “Ha! Yes that’s me,I recognise loads of faces.”

And Kathryn Pino was confident that Lesley Ball would also recognise plenty of people, saying: “there are faces here you will know.”

Others to take to social media to comment on the photo included David Carr, Helen Mitchell, Doris Watling and Georgia Barker who asked Kim Long: “Recognise anyone?”

Were you in the Brownies or the Guides? What are your memories of those times, the people you me there and the games and activities you played?

Meanwhile, here’s more of your memories regarding an old photo of Temple Park Leisure Pool.

Angela Rainbow Watching my dad Gordon Rainbow dive into the diving pool and pull a silly face at the viewing window... And chips and gravy of course. ☺

Kelly Mchugh posted: “I miss the wave machine and the aqua blaster, oh and the diving pool” while Julie Marshall said: “Loved the wave machine! Still go swimming.”

Kayleigh Davison went online to say: “I miss the cafe, and chips and gravy, and the slush machine and vending machines, and I also miss the waves that they use to go on at Temple Park, along with the slide, which was good fun too.”

Isobel Myers Nicholaidis said: “Me and my kids were invited to opening, my son Steve came second in a competition to name it. He was on TV with his sister Debbie” while Margaret Sewell added: “My kids had loads of fun, we made a day of it with the family and their kids as well.”