Seventy years on and Guides going strong

Oxford Mail: Former Guider Bernice Rye with, left to right, Beth Phasey-Manclark,12, Poppy-Louise Barton, 11, and Holly Surman, 12 Buy this photo Former Guider Bernice Rye with, left to right, Beth Phasey-Manclark,12, Poppy-Louise Barton, 11, and Holly Surman, 12

IN 1942 the Second World War has been going for three years and the world was three years away from peace.

It was also the year the First Wheatley Guide group was set up, and this week the company celebrated its 70th anniversary. Angela Rye, 39, from Cowley, was a Guide with the Wheatley group in the 1980s and now leads the company of 16 girls.

She said: “I’m quite proud considering that the company has been going in Wheatley for 70 years.

“As long as the girls want it, it will continue.

“I think it has changed a lot, I was a Guide in the 1980s and it has changed since then.

“We are trying to go with the times. I think it is quite a milestone.”

She said they do more 21st century activities like abseiling or taking on an assault course, or activities to deal with modern issues like recycling.

Traditional Guide activities include learning to make beds, cooking, campaigning and tying knots.

Ms Rye’s mother Bernice Rye, from Wheatley, was a Guider in the group in the 1980s.

She said: “When the company was set up, the meeting place started off in a barn in Mulberry Court in Wheatley.

“It looks as if there were several members, about 12 or 15.

“I have spoken to people who were Guides at the time. As far as I can make out that part of Wheatley was all farmland then.

“They did a lot of activities, going out quite a bit, hiking and a lot of camping. “So very much on the same basis as what we do today, but slightly different.

“It is now geared more to the girl of the 21st century, we have set activities suggested to the girls and they decide what they want to do.

“It is harder work for the Guiders now because each patrol could be doing something different. In the 1950s and 60s they would do the same activity.”

To celebrate the anniversary on Wednesday, the Guides took part in traditional activities including map reading, using a compass and tying knots.

They meet every Wednesday from 7pm to 8.30pm at Wheatley URC in High Street during term time.

Photographs and drawings from are on display at Wheatley Library until the first week in December.

Comments (1)

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8:18pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Myron Blatz says...

Map reading and using a compass, in the age of mobile phones and high-tech? One thing's for sure, that Guides are probably more reliable and accurate than most satnavs in cars and trucks! It's so good to see youngsters doing useful and positive things, instead of all the anti-social behaviour we see reported on tv and in newspapers - and better than kids aimlessly hanging around street corners saying 'there's nothing to do' as we so often get told.
Map reading and using a compass, in the age of mobile phones and high-tech? One thing's for sure, that Guides are probably more reliable and accurate than most satnavs in cars and trucks! It's so good to see youngsters doing useful and positive things, instead of all the anti-social behaviour we see reported on tv and in newspapers - and better than kids aimlessly hanging around street corners saying 'there's nothing to do' as we so often get told. Myron Blatz
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