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Lady Baden Powell at Lancaster 1917

Hon. Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth  Lady Olave Baden-Powell

Lancaster Guardian, September 15th, 1917

GIRL GUIDES

Lady Baden-Powell at Lancaster

At the invitation of the Hon. Rachel Shuttleworth, Barbon Manor, a meeting was held in the Town Hall, Lancaster, on Tuesday afternoon, to give encouragement to the Girl Guide Movement in North-west Lancashire. The Mayoress (Mrs. Briggs) presided, and was supported by Lady Baden Powell (Chief Commissioner), the Hon. Rachel Kay Shuttleworth, Barbon Manor (County Commissioner for North-east Lancashire); Miss M. Rawsthorne, Divisional Commissioner, Preston; Miss L. Warden, Greta House, District Commissioner, Lower Lunesdale.

The MAYORESS said she was very glad so many had welcomed Lady Baden Powell, who had come to organise the Girl Guides in North west Lancashire. There were various troops and companies of Girl Guides, and they wished to bind them together. They knew what Lady Baden Powell’s husband had done for the boys of England – she might say the world – and if Lady Powell could do half as much for the girls she thought they would be glad to give the movement whole-hearted support. (Applause).

The Hon. RACHEL SHUTTLEWORTH explained the object of the meeting. The Girl Guides movement was in great demand at the present moment, and was going forward by leaps and bounds. It was, therefore important that they should be fully organised. There were individual companies in Lancaster and scattered about West Lancashire, but there was very little cohesion. They had found in other parts of England, where they were organised more fully, and could keep in touch with each other, it was a great advantage to the movement. They hoped soon to get North west Lancashire organised. Lancashire was treated differently to most parts of England, because owing to its enormous population and area, Lancashire was divided into four districts. She represented as Commissioner North east Lancashire ; Miss A. Behrens. South-east Lancashire; South-west Lancashire was in process of organisation, and Miss Carrie Welch *, of Hornby Hall, had consented to be the County Commissioner for North-west Lancashire. Knowing the valuable work she had done, she thought they were fortunate in getting her to act. Their district would include Lancaster, Morecambe, Barrow, Grange, the Fylde, Blackpool, and Preston. In some of the districts it would be possible to have divisional districts, and assistant commissioners, besides committees and sub committees. At that meeting she hoped they would be able to form an association for North west Lancashire, and an executive committee. People were asking how the girls could help their country, and the Girl Guides must appeal to them: She hoped there would be a good response at Lancaster, so that those organising the association would have plenty of helpers. In conclusion, she mentioned that Miss Welch was unable, with others, to attend, but she had received many expressions of approval with the apologies for non-attendance. (Applause.)

Lady BADEN POWELL, in a short address, explained the objects of the Girl Guides movement, remarking that the reason it was started was because so many girls wished to be “boy scouts.” The Boy Scout movement was started eight years ago, and went ahead till, it had become world wide. There were now over 250,000 boy scouts. The Girl Guides movement had only been in existence six years, but there were now 60,000 girl guides. If they were to do good work for the country they must seek to help to educate thoughtful women. There was a special reason why such work should be undertaken now. People said they should wait till after the war, but they did not know how long it would last. It might go on for five, six, or seven years. Meanwhile the girls might grow out of hand, unless they had some training and some interest in life – something that was going to help their characters now. Girls of eleven were now being cared for as guides, and they would be educated in good citizenship, so that they might become useful members of society. It was the woman, the female genus, who influenced the home life of her father and brothers. They were going through a crisis in their history. There was going to be another war after this, not a war of weapons fighting for world supremacy – please God, that would never happen again – but a fight really for life, for trade, for industry, for everything they held dear. They wished to keep the nation supreme in everything, and unless they had a fine type of young men and young women coming on they would have sacrificed the lives of their heroes in vain. She referred to social problems, arising through evils, and said that a large amount of poverty, crime, drunkenness, and other evils was preventable if they had the foresight to educate the children, so that they might have higher minds and be fitted morally, mentally, and physically for their work in life. This was why they were anxious at this moment that something should be done to bring the things that mattered within the reach of girls so that they might be supreme in national life. They were anxious that the homely attributes should be brought out. There was a growing tendency for girls to break away from the home ties, and they wished to make them realise the importance of them. Though working chiefly in the British nation, the Movement was extending to their Colonies and also to foreign countries. Women had taken a remarkable share in the work of winning the war. Everywhere they were engaged, and in this scheme they invited the cooperation of all workers in connection with the Y.W.C.A., G.F.S., Girls’ Life Brigade , Girl Guards, who could all start companies and affiliate with the Association. The membership was now being doubled practically every month. She emphasized the threefold pledge “Fear God and honour the King,” “Obey the Guide Laws, and “ Do a good turn to somebody every day.” They had learnt since the war that there were 1,001 ways to render actual service for the country. In conclusion, she said they desired to build on a good foundation, and they wished the Association to be as successful in that part of the country as anywhere else. (Applause.)

The Hon. RACHEL SHUTTLEWORTH then explained the proposed constitution of the Committee. Wherever there were companies they would be asked to send representatives – Barrow, Grange, Lancaster, Morecambe, Garstang, Preston, etc. In this way they hoped to make the Girl Guides feel they were members of a great sisterhood. It would be better to have a provisional committee so that they could be certain to have one that was thoroughly representative.

Miss RAWSTHORNE (Preston) moved resolution that an Association for Girl Guides be formed in North-west Lancashire, and that a Central Executive be appointed, consisting of the county commissioners and representatives of the local committees in the various districts. -Mrs. LANE seconded the motion, which was carried.

Miss WARDEN moved, and Mrs. RUTHERFORD (Barrow) seconded, that to assist the Commissioner a general council of representatives of North – west Lancashire ladies be formed to act with her until such times as the Executive and local committees are ready to work. -This was also adopted, and the following were appointed :-Mrs. Rutherford (Barrow), Miss Grapes (Morecambe), Miss F. Welch (Hampson), Mrs. Eddington (Morecambe), Mrs. E. S. Bayley (Lancaster), Mrs. Hack (Carus Lodge, Halton), Miss Macdonald (Lancaster Y.W.C.A.), Miss Baines (Morecambe G F S ), Mrs. H. S. Greg (Caton), Mrs. Heaton, Miss Peel (Melling), Miss Bardsley, Mrs. J. G. Wright, (Halton Park), Mrs. Lane (Ellel Hall), Mrs. H. L. Storey (Bailrigg), Mrs. Max Lawrence, Miss Greenall, Miss Gascoyne (Morecambe), Mrs. Barton (Carnforth), Mrs. J. R. Greg (Caton), Miss Rawsthorne (Preston), Miss Warden (Greta House), and Mrs. Percy Birley.

On the motion of Lady HELME, seconded by the Hon. Miss SHUTTLEWORTH, a vote of thanks was passed to Lady Baden Powell for her address, and to the Mayor and Mayoress for the use of the room. – Lady BADEN POWELL acknowledged the compliment.

* Caroline Agnes Welch, born 1866 Leck Hall, Lancashire died 1937.

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