New exhibition : Guiding the Empire

New exhibition : Guiding the Empire


‘Guiding the Empire’ tells the little-known story of the Girl Guides and their invaluable contribution to the Great War in Great Britain.

Ranging from life-saving action after bombing raids, through changing the attitudes of what was ‘acceptable’ for young girls in Edwardian society and even reaching Top Secret work for the War Office, this exhibition really uncovers the tales not told.

Funded largely by local charity the Fowler Smith Jones Trust, the exhibition features fascinating objects from the period and is accompanied by an exciting activity plan, funded by the Essex Community Trust and designed specifically for it.

Girlguiding Region Chief Commissioner, Tracy Foster commented: “We are very happy to see the proud history of Girlguiding being celebrated in this way. Girlguiding has and will always strive to support girls and young women to be the best they can be, and here we see Guides doing their very best at a time when they were most needed. It is an inspiration to the thousands of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers across Great Britain today.”

Guest Curator, Catherine Tranter, added: “It is said that ‘the more you know of the past, the better prepared you are for the future’. The early days of Girlguiding, led by Agnes Baden-Powell, remind us that given the opportunity, the skills and the support, many positive changes are possible. I hope that by sharing these surprising stories, visitors will look forward to making positive changes of their own.”

The exhibition is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 22nd October 2022 and is part of the regular admission to the site. Rangers, Guides, Brownies and Rainbows in uniform can enjoy free admission.

For more information about the exhibition, or to book a place for your Guide, Brownie or Rainbow either individually or as a group please email the Assistant Curator

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