Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Awsomeness of Westminster Abbey

Monday 16th September
you'll find me visiting  2 places today- Words In A Jar and Micki Peluso

Grab a copy of  5* rated THE BELTANE CHOICE/ TOPAZ EYES for ONLY 77p/99c 

Wikimedia-Westminster Abbey, London 
Girl Guides - Part 3
Westminster Abbey
I loved all the outdoors events during my Girl Guide career. Except... that's a big fat lie, because I hated failing my camper badge, and I hated rainy, cold, windy weather that literally put the damper on things and spoiled some of my Guide trips.

Yet, there were a few other Girl Guiding times that totally surpassed the usual. They were memorable for me, but were shared by hundreds of other girls of my age from around the UK.

In 1966, I was a member of the Glasgow Girl Guide Choir, made up of girls from all over the city of Glasgow. We made our way from all parts into the city centre, to the Girl Guide Association Shop and Headquarters on Scott Street for 10 am, for choir rehearsals. We practised and performed in various places around the city throughout the year - Paisley Cathedral and, I think, also Glasgow Cathedral were venues, but we also attended a venue that was very far way from Glasgow.

In 1966, it was the 900th Anniversary Year of the founding of Westminster Abbey in London. There were many special events held in the Abbey that year, one of which was a Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication for the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides Associations.

I remember very little of the weekend. I believe we travelled down there by overnight train and spent only a little time in the city, yet when I returned to visit Westminster Abbey many years later I had that sense of recall of being there. The pomp and ceremony of the occasion returned, the shivery feelings of hearing the awsomely impressive Westminster Abbey organ flooded me. I love the magical sensations I get when I hear a hugely impressive Catherdral organ and the one in Westminster Abbey is just so huge and uttely amazing. I knew where I had been seated as part of the alto section as I walked along the aisles. 

According to the inside of the programme, the Scout and Guide Choirs led the singing, but before that happened there was a great procession of people moving towards their places from the Great West Door- a procession which included the Lord Mayor of London and Her Royal Highness the Princess Margaret (who was then patron of the Girl Guides). The Scout and Guide Choir preceded the Scout and Guide flags, which were then followed by The Chief Scout and the Guide Chief Commissioner. Bach (Toccata in F), Handel (Aria-Concerto Grosso No.11), and other glorious music, accompanied the procession, with fanfares played by Scout Trumpeters.

I can't provide an exact recall of that day for you, but this Youtube video might help to set that incredible scene.

The processional walk I have vague memories of, and I'm glad to say the weather was fair since we had to wait outside the church for a long time before it was our turn to enter. When we did it... 

was very solemn and grand indeed!

Originally named St.Peter's Abbey, that church had undergone a rebuild in the time of King Edward the Confessor, the intention of the fabulous new Abbey to be a resting place for kings. It was the first church in England to be build in the Romanesque style and was consecrated on 28th December 1065. By the 5th of January, Edward the Confessor was dead and was buried in the not quite finished church. The whole rebuild wasn't completed till about 1090.

My visit to Westminster Abbey was during that 900th year from its consecration. 

Glasgow City Chambers

Continuing the theme of my Girl Guiding Pomp and Ceremony the issue of my Girl Guide Queen's Badge was on Thursday 21st November, 1968 at 7.30pm. (I wouldn't remember any of this without the documentation!)
wikimedia-City Chambers, Glasgow
The ceremony took place in the Banqueting Hall of the City Chambers in Glasgow. The City Chambers is a really impressive building to visit, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in architecture.

There were a good number of us receiving our Queen's Guide badge that evening, though I've no way of knowing exactly how many. 

my slightly dog-eared Queen's Guide Certificate

Afterwards there was a formal 'Tea' - a bit late in the evening, but very welcome.

London Again
The third memorable time during my Girl Guiding career was another visit to London. This was for the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Girl Guiding. I was a performer at The Empire Pool, Wembley, London, where I was involved in a creative dance act - Images and Reflections - as part of the celebrations of Aug 31st - 5th September 1970. By that time I had been part of a Ranger/Venture Scout troop for a couple of years and along with my friends were delighted to have a nip down to London for the event.

I have no evidence, but think I stayed in Holland Park, in something that may have been a College Residence block, during the few nights we remained for my performances. The rehearsals were somewhere other than Wembley and we were moved around from place to place by coach. It was a hugely exciting thing for me, as an 18 year old, to travel those 500 miles to London for the occasion. 
To be in the vibrant city of London in 1970 was amazing and I visited Carnaby Street for the first time!

I've shared all of my Girl Guide badges on a Pinterest Board.  Girl Guide Memorabilia    There are lots more badges to see there, if you're interested

Were you a Girl Guide during 1965 -1970? What do you remember? I'd love you to share your memories with me and put me straight if anything isn't quite accurate. 

My Guide memories are happy ones- I hope you've enjoyed this series of posts, too! 

Some more music...


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my blog. Please pop your thoughts about this post in the comment box. :-)