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Aileen Taylor cuts the 50th anniversary cakeIn November 2017, Crich Trefoil Guild held its 50th anniversary since registration with the national organisation. We celebrated with a memorable tea party at the Glebe with guests from Matlock, Allestree, Amber and Heanor Trefoils joining us for the afternoon.

Crich Guild was begun in November 1967 by founder member Aileen Taylor with other supporters of our village Guides and Brownies. In 1967 the meetings were held in “Top School” there being no Glebe Field Centre at the time and the Scout Hut was still very new and immediately put into full use by the young people in the Scout and Guide movement!

On a national level, the Trefoil Guild is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2018. Way back in the early 20th century, as the first girls to become Guides reached the age when they could no longer be Guides, they unofficially formed small local groups to maintain their friendships with each other and to keep up the spirit of Guiding that they had learnt in their Units. In 1935, they formed an organisation calling itself “Old Guides” and in 1943 the national Guide Association officially recognised their existence. The “Old Guides” movement was renamed as Trefoil Guild and the first Trefoil Guilds at local level were registered from 1947 onwards. 1952 was the true beginning of Trefoil Guild as a self-governing, self-financing body and became responsible for former Guides in the United Kingdom and overseas territories.

That “responsibility for former Guides” has always been at the centre of the Trefoil Guild ethos. All members have made the Guide Promise at some point in their life and continue to live by the ideals of the Guide Movement. Many of us have led Rainbow, Brownie, Guide or Ranger units as leaders until we became officially “too old” to continue as leaders. The Trefoil Guild gives us the opportunity to continue supporting our local Units for as long as we can; fundraising, visiting, assisting our District teams when requested and leading activities at local area events.

When Crich Trefoil Guild was first formed, there was a strong Brownies and Guides presence in Crich village – so lots of opportunities to support those units. Sadly, it has been a few years now since we had Brownie and Guide units in the village, so those opportunities have been lost over time. Our members have become older and less active, so our recent aims have been to support each other. Without a local Guide unit, it has been difficult to encourage new members to join us and our numbers have dwindled through illness and through death. In the past few years we have lost treasured members like Val Douglas, (who was well known in County Guiding circles also), Jean Wragg and Kath Wright.

The past two years have been especially difficult for us, as we attended the funerals of Jean Jepson, Jean Bates and Joan Lester, all of whom were very long-standing members of Crich Guild. Joan, in particular, served on the committee for many years. Other members, like Helen Critchlow, have moved from the village and into Care Homes. For this reason, we have sadly decided that the time is right to close Crich Trefoil Guild, as we are now too small in numbers to continue to operate as a group. However, some of us will continue in the National movement as members of the brand new “Derbyshire Lones”.

Our hope is that the new Brownie Unit in Crich will thrive and grow into a Guide unit also. So, who knows, there may be a new need for Trefoil Guild in our village in the future!

Meantime, I would like to thank our current committee members, Hazel Pilgrim, Joan Bennett and Stella Gill for their faithful and loyal service on the committee over the past few years.


Di Fretwell (Secretary: Crich Trefoil Guild)