A Brownie's perspective
I woke up at 4.06 in the morning as I was really excited. We had to be ready by 4.45am to go and collect Mia at 5am. We arrived at the station at 5.15am to get on the 5.30 train. As we set off we did an eye spy on the train booklet (by the end of the day we found most of them) Then we played a game and train surfed (making other people smile). As we walked we nearly fell over, Mia was being really funny.
We changed trains at Swindon to catch one to Paddington, London. I was going to sleep. Then me, Mia and my Dad had to go to first class to buy food. We had a croissant. We both listened to some music trying to get some sleep but we were too excited!
This was my first time to London and I had my first ride on the underground, we went from Paddington station to Victoria station. I stood up for most of it.
We had breakfast in a café near to Girlguiding headquarters, it was yummy!
After visiting Girlguiding headquarters we went for a little sightseeing. First we went to Buckingham Palace. We saw guards doing a funny march. The flag was up so the queen was there but we couldn’t see her looking out of her window. We went to watch the horse guards, they kept very still while everyone was trying to get a photo. When they got off the horse we saw them do a funny walk!
Next we went to Downing Street, we were talking to the police officers, they wanted to know who we were and if we would get a badge if we had a photo taken with them! We couldn’t go down the road as there were lots of ministers arriving. We also spotted Big Ben, the London Eye and a statue called Monty.
We made our way to Westminster Abbey, we were a bit early so we went into the shop, the lady in the shop was asking what we were doing in London and when we said we were there for the Thinking Day service she gave us both a chocolate coin. She said she remembered being a Brownie and Guide and carrying the flag.
We went and met up with two Rainbows, two Guides, two members of the Senior Section and their leaders. We also met Solange who is the South West Region Chief commissioner and Anna from Headquarters. Mia and I gave out Thinking Day cards to everyone that we had made. We had a tour of Westminster Abbey, the man showed us all the special things to look at. He told us who was buried there and we looked at lots of memorials.
We then went to the Evensong service and sat where the choir sings, it felt very special to be there. After we had a service with the scouts to remember Lord and Lady Baden-Powell. Mia and I were chosen to lay the wreath with Angela who is the deputy Chief Guide. at first they didn’t have the flowers so we just had to bow our heads, then we placed the flowers on Lady Baden-Powell’s memorial.
Solange treated us all to a Black Cab ride to Zizzi’s, it was fun. Mia and I sat on the fold down seats and went backwards! When we were at Zizzi’s we met Gill the Chief guide. Solange and Gill gave us all a special badge. For tea I had a pizza it was really big but really delicious too, for pudding I had ice cream with popping candy!
We shared a cab with the Senior Section back to Paddington, they were really funny as they were counting down the time to their train and as soon as the door opened they ran as fast as they could to see if they could catch it – I wonder if they did?
It was a brilliant day, I really enjoyed it.
36th Cheltenham (St Nicolas) Brownies
A Leader's perspective
After receiving an email from the County Commissioners saying Gloucestershire had been asked to select one Brownie Leader and for her to choose two Brownies to go to Westminster Abbey for the Thinking Day service, you can imagine my shock, delight & excitement to find out it was me!!
We were told we would meet up with Solange (Chief Commissioner of South West Region) and there would be 2 Rainbows, 2 Brownies, 2 Guides and 2 senior section with their leaders.
On Saturday 20th February, my two Brownies (Samantha and Mia) and I caught the 5.30am train to London! On arrival to Paddington station we made our way to the underground. While travelling on the tube the girls tried a bit of “train surfing!!”
Breakfast time! Having found a little café near to HQ we stopped off for Breakfast, the girls tucked in while I panicked that the cooked breakfast would end up down their smart uniforms! The café owner was very impressed with the girls and gave us a discount for being in uniform!
Off we went for a quick visit to HQ, the girls had a look round the shop and bought a couple of treats with their pocket money before setting off for a bit of sightseeing. Some of the sights included Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Downing Street, Horse Guards, Houses of Parliament, London Eye and of course Westminster Abbey.
At one o’clock we started to meet up outside Westminster Abbey, Solange was there to meet us. Mia and Samantha handed out Thinking Day cards that they had made for everyone. We were then taken for a tour around Westminster Abbey, finding out lots and lots of interesting facts.
For the Evensong Service we were sat in the Quire stalls, not far from the male choir. It sounded beautiful.
We waited for the public to leave before being taken to the part of the Abbey where the memorials for Lord and Lady Baden-Powell are. We were joined by Angela Milln (Deputy Chief Guide) and the scouts for a short service and then Mia and Samantha were chosen to lay the wreath for Lady Baden-Powell.
After a quick photo shoot with everyone we were then treated to a black cab taxi ride (to the girl’s great delight!) to where we met Gill Slocombe (Chief Guide) for a meal.
We made our way back to Paddington station for our journey home – two very tired Brownies but who had both done themselves, myself, their pack and Girlguiding proud.
It was a fantastic day, with lots of great memories for the girls to cherish. They were very lucky to come away with special badges too. I would like to thank Helen and Carole for putting us forward and to everyone involved in the day making us feel very special and treating us to an enjoyable and memorable day.
36th Cheltenham (St Nicolas) Brownies
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