World Thinking Day is a celebration of 10 million girls that has taken place every year on February 22 since 1926.

It is also the joint birthday of Lord-Baden Powell, founder of the Scout and Guide movement, and his wife Olave who served as World Chief Guide.

This year to mark Thinking Day Sonia Lansdell, leader of the 13th Norwich Rainbows, came up with a brilliant idea…to gather together information, photographs and displays to create a special exhibition in Lakenham.

Norwich Evening News: Guides from the 23rd Norwich enjoying camp food in the 1960s

This will be a celebration of Girlguiding in the district and hopes to encourage members, past and present, to come along and share their memories.

The exhibition, at the Old Lakenham Community Centre on Harwood Road, will open on Saturday February 24 and Sunday after which the Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Rangers and Leaders will gather together for activities to celebrate Thinking Day.

The first Guide unit in Lakenham opened in 1937, a Brownie pack followed in 1949 and the Rainbows, for the youngest members of the guiding family (now four to seven years), came along in 1996.

Norwich Evening News: Brownie handbooks through the years

The exhibition will include photographs and memorabilia from the very start, through generations from past and present units and the Norwich Trefoil Guild for retired guiders will also be represented.

Lakenham District has seen many changes in leaders over the years but one thing has remained constant.

All have dedicated their time and enthusiasm to organise great activities for the girls, including camping, pack holidays, sleepovers, days out, district events and even holidays abroad.

Uniforms have changed dramatically over the years to gradually became more relaxed and less formal and in 2003 the whole guide programme changed to reflect changes in society.

Over the years out have gone the House Orderly, Laundress, Hostess, Needlewomen and Thrift interest badges have gone and in came Construction, Festival Goer, Vloffing and Digital Design.

“With the world changing, and despite many changes and challenges including adapting to the new-style programme – the Girlguiding ethos still remains,” said Ann Webb, a unit helper with the Rainbows and Sonia’s mother.

“The Girlguiding Promise is still central to all that we do and the aim is to create a positive impact on girls lives and help to contribute to making the world a better place,” she added.

Norwich Evening News: Marlene Thompson who took over the 23rd Guides in 1958 and hopes to be at the exhibition

Marlene Thompson took over the 23rd Guides, which began in 1937, in 1958.

As well as being a Brownie and Guide herself, she went on to run Rainbows and Brownies and is still a member of guiding today, being a member of Norwich Trefoil Guild, making her Lakenham District’s longest serving member.

She hopes to be at the exhibition on Saturday and is looking forward to catching up with people she has not seen for a very long time.

Ann tells me the first national Brownie Annual was published in 1958 and in the 1987 annual two of their Brownies, Susan Brown and  Sonia Webb, were lucky enough to be featured when they visited Rowntree Mackintosh’s chocolate factory in Norwich.

“This is the very essence of Girlguiding. It has evolved and adapted many times alongside the changes to our Fine City over the decades since it was first in Lakenham just before the Second World War and in doing so has provided fun, learning and achievement  to girls for over 85 years…and counting,” says Ann.

Norwich Evening News: Marlene Thompson who took over the 23rd Guides in 1958 and hopes to be at the exhibition

If you were a Rainbow, Brownie, Guide, Ranger or Leader in Lakenham or Tuckswood, or would be interested in knowing more about the movement, head for the community centre on Harwood Road, Norwich NR1 2NG on Saturday February 24 (10-5) or Sunday (10-2). Thinking Day celebrations will follow.

Norwich Evening News: Brownies outside Lakenham vicarage in the 1970s presenting a gift to Canon Webdell on his

Norwich Evening News: Susan Brown and Sonia Webb of the 13th Norwich Brownies at the Rowntree Mackintosh factory in 1985