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75th Anniversary 072.jpgThis photo, taken a few weeks ago has suddenly gained significance.  It shows me with two of the oldest old girls of 1st Duston Girls' Brigade, to which I belonged from the ages of 12 to 18.

Today I received news that Mrs Nightingale (Eva) - centre - had died on Thursday last week.

She was a great leader, managing to balance fun, fairness and enough strictness to get us to do what she wanted!

I am still able to impress girls today with the fancy steps she taught us in skipping, can perform club-swinging routines worthy of the Royal Navy (!), can fall in a District in line or in column (should I ever need to!) and have abiding memories of her shaking a stick of rhubarb at me when we were at Camp in some sort of pretend-anger when we'd been teasing her.

I find myself wondering how many lives she touched with her gentle humour?  How many girls (women) can still hear the instructions " clubs into position... place" at the start of a routine.  How many people who hated PE, detested the GB requirement for physical activity actually came, albeit reluctantly, to enjoy her classes?

Today the rope is folded, the clubs are stilled, the parade ground is quiet and the rhubarb grows silently in the garden.  Eva, Mrs Nightingale, is gone from here to her rest.  May she rest in peace.


  • Well done, good and faithful servant...

    is there a special corner of heaven reserved for GB officers to swing clubs together do you think?

  • Hmm, now is that a scary thought or what. Thousands of women in navy blue all swinging clubs to accompaniment of harps...?!

  • And behold I saw a great crowd without number all dressed in blue. And they were swinging their clubs and singing 'Seek, serve and follow'. And I asked the angel 'Who are these?'

    And the angel said 'Just watch out for the ones with the rhubarb"...

  • ROTFL Andy, that is brilliant! Sure you didn't miss you true vocation?

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