Our History


Girlguiding has a long history in Norfolk, dating back to the first units opening more than 100 years ago. Our heritage is very important to us and we enjoy remembering and celebrating the history of guiding in Norfolk.

Find out five FAB facts about Heritage in Girlguiding Norfolk

Do you know why we have Britannia on our County badge?

Our Britannia County badge was adopted by the Guides in 1923 after permission was granted by the Royal Norfolk Regiment Commander to use the design on the understanding that “Norfolk” was added underneath to identify the Guide badge from the military one (which doesn’t have Norfolk on it).

Do you know the connection between Edith Cavell and Norfolk Girlguiding?

The photo is the Edith Cavell Statue in Tombland, Norwich.

Edith Cavell was honoured in guiding through the creation of the Cavell badge in 1917; it was first issued to Guides who promised to try to live like her by training to be helpful nurses, kind to others, loyal and brave and ready to sacrifice themselves if need be for their country. In 1918 the Nurse Cavell Badge was changed to a special award; to obtain it the recipient had to have shown either pluck in saving life, self sacrifice in work for others, endurance under suffering or calmness in danger.

The first Badge was awarded to Mrs Gillett of the1st Brooke Guide Company (which is still running) of Norfolk for saving a Guide when her apron caught fire in 1918.

This badge was the forerunner of the Guiding Star Award.

Did you know that guiding in Norfolk has strong Royal Connections?

What did a member of Norfolk Girlguiding do at her Diamond Jubilee Service at Westminster Abbey in 2012?

One of our Queen’s Guides carried the oil used to anoint Her Majesty the Queen at her Diamond Jubilee Service. Jenny Pathmarajah was very surprised to be chosen. ‘I was chosen to do this because I’m a Queen’s Guide and a practising Christian. Her Majesty wanted a Queen’s Guide and someone who was an active Christian to take part with some integrity. Girlguiding wanted someone who came from an ethnic minority as well so I ticked that box too!’

Did you know that the Girlguiding Norfolk Historical Jigsaw project was started ten years ago?

1940s Camps are held at Gressenhall Rural Life Museum annually as part of their Village at War Weekend. Girls relive camping as it was in the 1940s, including working for badges from the time, such as Aircraft Identification and Milkmaid.

To find out more about the project visit www.girlguidingnorfolkheritage.org.uk

Where can you see members of Girlguiding Norfolk travelling on trains as part of a large 1940’s event?

Poppyline 1940s Event

Every September the towns of Sheringham and Holt become 1940’s towns where thousands of visitors come dressed in costume to commemorate the Second World War. The North Norfolk Railway is central to the event and girls from Guides and The Senior Section dress as Land Rangers to take part.

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