Opening of Girlguiding training centre celebrated

The celebration of the opening of Waddow Hall's Girlguiding training centre on October 1st, 90 years ago.
The celebration of the opening of Waddow Hall's Girlguiding training centre on October 1st, 90 years ago.
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All was abuzz on Sunday at Waddow Hall as the Heritage Group along with more than 200 guests celebrated its opening as a Girlguiding training centre on October 1st, 90 years ago.

The event was attended by guests, Ribble Valley Mayor Richard Bennett and Clitheroe Mayor Maureen Fenton, Commissioner of NW England Julie Bell, Girlguiding head of property Robert Taylor and Waddow Hall manager Becky Allen.

The key presentation.

The key presentation.

The afternoon began with a thanksgiving service at St Helen’s Church, Waddington, at which girls from local Guide units sang in the choir and carried the flags.

The retiring collection of more than £300 will go to help Guiding in the areas recently devastated by hurricanes.

Afterwards there was a re-enactment of the actual opening ceremony pageant back at the hall, supported by funding from the National Heritage Lottery.

On October 1st, 1927, two thousand Girl Guides gathered for the original opening of Waddow Hall, the new training centre in the north of England.

Hilda Sykes presenting the key at Waddow Hall on October 1st, 1927.

Hilda Sykes presenting the key at Waddow Hall on October 1st, 1927.

The ceremony involved the “Spirit of Waddow” who was waiting for a blacksmith to make the key to the front door. He couldn’t make it! So in turn a Brownie, Guide and Ranger gave their Promise badges to him. On receiving the last badge he was able to make the key. He gave it to the “Spirit of Waddow” who took it to Princess Mary. She was waiting patiently at the front door.

The 2017 re-enactment ended in the same way, with cheers from everyone as “Princess Mary” successfully opened the door of Waddow, which for the past 90 years has been the much loved home of Girl Guides, not just from Great Britain, but across the world.

The celebration of the opening of Waddow Hall's Girlguiding training centre on October 1st, 90 years ago.

The celebration of the opening of Waddow Hall's Girlguiding training centre on October 1st, 90 years ago.

The Waddow Hall celebration.

The Waddow Hall celebration.