Brownies hunt for missing ruby

The Brownies get to work on solving the mystery at the Manx Museum

The Brownies get to work on solving the mystery at the Manx Museum

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Brownies joined forces with the police to solve the mystery of the stolen gem stone when a priceless ruby disappeared from the Manx Museum – twice.

As part of the Brownies’ centenary celebrations around 300 youngsters – on two different days – visited the Manx Museum in Douglas to take part in the Big Brownie Birthday Museum Challenge.

The activity was jointly organised by Manx National Heritage, guiding volunteers and the police and took place after the museum had closed to the public.

Lead volunteer Julie Farrer said: ‘We are very grateful to the MNH for their imagination and creativity in putting together this challenging and engaging event and for the support of the police.

‘An amazing time was had by all.’

The museum’s community outreach and learning support officer Katie King said they had been intrigued by the ideas of the Brownies taking over the museum and had wanted to stage a memorable night for them.

‘The Brownies were fantastic at solving the clues,’ she said. ‘I’m sure a lot of them will make excellent police officers when they get older.’

The visitors were presented with a scenario in which the Kaiser Wilhelm ruby was stolen from a locked display cabinet in the museum shortly before their arrival.

Clues were provided, including witness statements from staff and CCTV footage showing a tall man dressed in black knocking out a security guard in the museum.

The Brownies worked in teams to solve the clues and find the ruby.

Working with police and Manx National Heritage staff they were able to lift finger prints, analyse handwriting samples, explore secret passageways, take DNA swabs, interview suspects and examine any other evidence.

Brownies then reported their findings to the police in the incident room and, with the help of the incriminating CCTV footage, the culprit was caught and handcuffed and taken away to ‘assist with police enquiries’ at the police headquarters in Douglas.

The activity involved Brownies from across the island who enjoyed working together to solve the crime.

It was part of a joint celebration of the Brownies’ centenary as well as a commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War.

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