Three decades on parade

Seahouses Girls Brigade.
Seahouses Girls Brigade.

A GIRLS’ Brigade unit in a north Northumberland coastal village is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month.

1st Seahouses Girls’ Brigade was formed on May 4, 1982, and was affiliated two months later on July 8.

Over the past 30 years, nearly 500 girls of various ages have met on a Tuesday evening at Seahouses Methodist Chapel.

And the group, which currently has 18 girls ranging in age from five to 14 from Seahouses, Beadnell, Embleton, Christon Bank and Beal, is hosting a celebration event on Sunday, June 24.

The captain Sally-Ann Rogerson is making an appeal for past members to come along and share their memories of the Girls’ Brigade.

The event will feature a rededication of the girls and officers at Seahouses Methodist Chapel, followed by lunch and tea and coffee.

On the Saturday night a magician is appearing at the chapel and all the proceeds from the £5 tickets are going to the Girls’ Brigade.

Sally-Ann was one of the older girls in the company when it started and then took over as captain 22 years ago.

“It’s been hectic, with ups and downs, and we have had a range of girls through,” she said.

“The youngest was four-and-a-half and the oldest at the moment is 14.

“Nine out of ten of the girls are very polite and always willing to do something.

“It’s nice because the girls that we have come back and say that they remember doing this, that and the other and that they learned something or took something away from the Girls’ Brigade.”

The group received The High Sheriff’s Youth Against Crime Award for four consecutive years and are very proud of that achievement.

Last year they helped the Rotary Club plant purple crocus bulbs and raise money for vaccinations against polio for children in poor countries.

The Gazette reported the founding of the group in 1982 as follows:

“The first Girls’ Brigade unit in the Northumberland coastal village of Seahouses will be officially launched next month.

“The unit, which currently has 37 members, was set up a few weeks ago by village Methodist Minister the Rev Norman Berryman and his wife Isobel.

“It already holds weekly meetings supervised by Mrs Berryman and Mrs Patricia Frizbee, an ex-Girls’ Brigade captain who recently moved into Seahouses from Cleveland.”

Anyone interested in the Girls’ Brigade or the anniversary event can contact Sally-Ann on 07905 037086 or sallyannrogerson@yahoo.co.uk, or Elizabeth Haile 07939 758020.