Norfolk’s wealth of Girlguiding memorabilia will be made accessible to the public

Cleaning potatoes. Photo: Norfolk Girlguides.

Cleaning potatoes. Photo: Norfolk Girlguides. - Credit: Norfolk Girlguides

It has one of the largest collections of Girlguiding memorabilia in the UK, from uniforms and badges to magazines and scrapbooks.

Norfolk Girlguides. Photo: Girlguiding Norfolk.

Norfolk Girlguides. Photo: Girlguiding Norfolk. - Credit: Girlguiding Norfolk

And now Girlguiding Norfolk will be opening up its rich archive to the public thanks to a £60,000 National Lottery grant.

Dating from 1911, there are over 10,000 items in the collection, including letters from Agnes Baden-Powell, sister of Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell, and president of the Girl Guide movement.

The funding will allow the archive will be catalogued, properly stored and made accessible to the public for the first time.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: 'This fascinating collection is of national significance and shines a light on the social history of Norfolk and the UK, particularly the evolving role of women in the community.'

Girlguiders on a bus at 1940s event at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Photo: Girlguiding Norfolk.

Girlguiders on a bus at 1940s event at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Photo: Girlguiding Norfolk. - Credit: Girlguiding Norfolk.


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The OUTARC project will widen the use of the purpose-built Archives Resource Centre in Coltishall by opening regularly for research and the wider community. It will transform archive highlights into a 'Museum in a Box' for schools.

Artefacts will be digitised and repacked, and brought to new audiences through an exciting programme of activities and events and the young guides will be trained to interview and capture the memories of older members to add to and enhance the archive.

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The grant, awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will enable a learning and outreach programme to engage more people with the history of the guiding movement.

Helen Green, from Girlguiding Norfolk, said: 'We know those who have come to see the ARC have been very impressed with what we have achieved so far and we look forward to making our history even more fun and accessible for all.'

Guiders training camp in 1950. Photo: Norfolk Girlguides.

Guiders training camp in 1950. Photo: Norfolk Girlguides. - Credit: Norfolk Girlguides

Sarah Hawkins, a young Norfolk leader, said: 'I am very happy that the items in the archive are going to be properly conserved for the interest and enjoyment for future generations to come.

'The purpose-built building was one big step to start with, then the real work began and the volunteers have been visiting different places to find out what would be the best ways to store and preserve the items within the archive.'

Norfolk Girlguides test card in August 1914. Photo: Norfolk Girlguides.

Norfolk Girlguides test card in August 1914. Photo: Norfolk Girlguides. - Credit: Norfolk Girlguides

Norfolk Girlguides test card in August 1914. Photo: Norfolk Girlguides.

Norfolk Girlguides test card in August 1914. Photo: Norfolk Girlguides. - Credit: Norfolk Girlguides

Norwich Queens Guides in 1951. Photo: Girlguiding Norfolk.

Norwich Queens Guides in 1951. Photo: Girlguiding Norfolk. - Credit: Girlguiding Norfolk

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