Memories from across the globe

IT was with great pleasure that I saw the photos of Westgate Girl Guides in the 1940s submitted by Eva Sheard (Spenborough Guardian May 28).

Thursday, 10th June 2010, 5:05 pm

It is amazing that technology has enabled me to do this as I live in Melbourne, Australia. My brother, Ian Holmes, a Cleckheaton resident, told my sister, Marlene Hope (nee Holmes) who lives in York and she passed it on to me and I read the Guardian online.

Marlene and I would like to express our gratitude to Eva Sheard. She is the same age as my sister and would remember her. It was very thoughtful of her to provide the names of all the people on the photographs. It has revived so many old happy memories.

Miss Stead and Miss Smith looked after their Guides very well and we owe them a lot for the pleasure they gave us in the days before TV. We learned a lot as well and aimed to collect a lot of badges showing the skills we had learned.

I remember so well my firelighting test with Jean Clegg, a very close friend of mine who lived at Lark Hill Drive, Moorside. One had to light a fire with two matches maximum. Close to Jean's house was a firelighter small factory and the ground there was covered with firelighter dust and scraps so it was very easy for us to light our fire with a single match and cook bacon and eggs for Miss Stead, our examiner. Needless to say, we passed with flying colours.

Another snippet of nostalgia I remember was Miss Stead showing us a biro she had just bought and we all were allowed to have a go with it.

It was the first ball point we had ever seen and we were very impressed. So many other memories are conjured up – marching through Cleckheaton to the war memorial on Armistice Day and campfires.

I am wondering where all those all friends of mine are now. I would love any contact with them because although I am far away, Cleckheaton DNA is still inside me.

With best wishes and gratitude to the Guardian.

JEAN SHAIK (nee Holmes)