Be prepared!

Girl guiding in the 1920s


This Girl Guide shirt belonged to Nancy Keightly (nee Beere) and dates from the 1920s. It is currently on display in our Join Our Club exhibition. 
The Scout movement was founded by Robert Baden-Powell in 1908. It is the world's largest voluntary organisation for boys and girls. The Girl Guides was founded by Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes in 1910. The aim of the Girl Guides is to help develop new skills and confidence.
Nancy went to Bilton School and was one of the six founding members of the 1st Bilton Guides which started in 1921. She stayed in the Guides until she was 21 and was called a Ranger when she got to aged 16. 
Nancy helped out at church services:
“We went to Church Parade at St. Mark’s Bilton, usually on special occasions like Armistice Sunday or Wakes Sunday and two Guides would carry the flags to the Rector and place them at the altar. I remember going to a Sunday Evening Service at St Andrew’s Church in Rugby and had to take the collection bags round, I was a bit worried, but we were told what to do.”
In the summer they went camping around the country, always staying on farms. They had to make their own hessian bag 6ft x 3ft to take with them which they filled with straw from the farmer’s barn to sleep on. 
Nancy earned a number of badges during her years as a Guide which have been sewn onto the right sleeve of her uniform. They include: Laundress (iron), Needlewoman (scissors), Handywoman (crossed tools), Naturalist (sun), Cyclist (wheel), Housekeeper (crossed keys).