The Brownie Guide movement is 100 years’ old this year and on 4 June the 3rd Stratton St Margaret Brownies celebrated by ‘serving brownies tea in an usual place’ – 30 years after they first took up the challenge at Arkell’s Brewery in Swindon in 1984, with the same Brown Owl.
Fourteen Brownies brought home baked cakes and buns and, with Brown Owl Angela Houssein and Snowy Owl Chris Fisher, served tea to brewery staff including Finance Director Barry Russell, Helen Ryan, retired head brewer Don Bracher, Lesley Davis, Chris Dicks and Margaret Leech.
The 1984 visit was recorded in the Swindon Evening Advertiser on 19 April and the picture below shows the Brownies of the day.
Chris Fisher, as Stratton St Margaret Pack Brown Owl brought the brownies the first time around in 1984. “Nothing’s changed very much,” she said. “And it was wonderful to be invited back.
"This is a truly historic part of Swindon and it was wonderful for the brownies, all of whom live in Upper Stratton, to see inside the brewery that most of them pass daily when they are out and about in Swindon.”
Don Bracher said: “We were delighted to welcome the brownies to the brewery. The cakes and scones they baked for us were simply delicious. On this one occasion the beer was firmly out of sight and mind as we all tucked into tea and brownies (of the chocolate kind) instead.”
Arkells Brewery is now 171 year old and continues to be a family firm