St James's Church, Hampton Hill

Brownies through the years


The Brownies planting a tree in the churchyard

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The 3rd Hampton Hill Brownies were formed in 1962 and have been functioning without a break since. They were always much in evidence at church annual fetes and at other social events. Many a good cause in the village and farther afield has been effectively supported by Hampton Hill's little girls in brown and blue uniforms. Amongst their regular and numerous activities, swimming became a prominent feature. In latter years they have enjoyed an annual camp holiday.

By 1966 there was a long waiting list for the 1st Hampton Hill Brownies and it was felt that another pack should be opened to give more girls a chance to be Brownies, so 3rd Hampton Hill Brownies were started, under the leadership of Mrs Brenda Oliver, meeting at Hampton Hill Junior School and later in the parish rooms in School Road (now the VCG offices).

The Pack took part in all the district and division events, worked on badges and rode on floats in the carnivals. On Thinking Day 1971 there was a visit to Hampton Court Palace to take birthday cards which the Brownies had made for the first Chief Guide, Lady Baden Powell. She welcomed them and sent a letter of thanks. They joined with Marie Martin and the St. Francis de Sales Pack for a long weekend Pack Holiday and then the division organised a week at Pontins Holiday Camp, which was full of many activities. To commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, a tree was planted in the churchyard with the help of Bill Robinson and the Revd Rupert Brunt, and bulbs were also planted around the tower (see the photograph above left).

Lesley Brough took over as Brown Owl in 1981 and continued the good work for the next 20 years. More recently, the Brownies have been run by Sarah Reed and Sarah Beer. The variety of activities continued, including nature walks and games in the park, a visit from a lady who brought hedgehogs and gave a talk, fundraising for a child leukaemia charity and for Holy Cross school in Tanzania (which involved challenges such as putting their feet in a bucket of cold baked beans and eating a doughnut without licking their lips!). A food-tasting evening to try new foods and to encourage the Brownies to be more open-minded about new things was a great success; many of the girls even tried chocolate-covered ants! The Brownies went on a weekend where they could try rock-climbing, kayaking and ice-skating. There is usually a Brownies have Talent event each year where the girls surprise their leaders with their talents and skills; all in all, they have great fun!

Brownie work

The Brownies at Richmond Park
celebrating the
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012

Brownie work

The Brownies at church parade
at an All-age Service

Brownie Promise

Two Brownies making their promise
in the church hall

St James's Church
The Parish Church of St James, Hampton Hill, TW12 1DQ
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