Former Union Mills Brownies and Rainbows are invited to celebrate the groups’ 50th and 30th birthday celebrations.

This year the girls will be celebrating the landmark anniversaries on May Day with the original leaders crowning the May Queen and Flower Princess.

Photographs of the groups which have been taken over the last 30 to 50 years will be on display.

Today’s leaders, Alison Barnes and Kirsty Cassidy, are hoping to have former Brownies and Rainbows join them on the Monday (May 6) at Union Mills Chapel from 2pm.

’The Brownie Pack was formed in 1969 with the leaders being Margaret Halliday and Margaret Dunn,’ said Alison. ’Both leaders lived in or around the village, and the pack was made up of girls aged between seven and 11 who lived locally, and was located at Union Mills Chapel.’

She said that June Gawne, Alison and Kirsty’s mother, became leader of the Brownies Pack in 1980 with her friend Jean McAvoy.

June fulfilled the role until she was 65 before becoming an assistant leader.

Kelly Graham and Rebecca Willson have now joined as assistant leaders and Anna Shimmin as a young leader. All were former Union Mills Brownies.

’Over the last 39 years this has been a thriving pack, which has embarked on projects involving the community through their annual May Day celebrations, Hunting the Wren on Boxing Day, the good turn presents to the elderly in the village at Christmas and the planting and maintaining of the Millennium Wildflower Wood at Cronk Grianagh Park,’ Alison added.

The girls also have holidays with St George’s and Trinity Brownies. The older ones go to Ardwhallan Outdoor Education Centre in West Baldwin and the younger ones at a local hall at various locations around the island.

The Rainbow Guide Unit, the first in the island, was set up in 1989 by Liz Jones, Alison and Kirsty.

Alison said: ’Rainbows had only been set up a year before, so this was a new adventure for Girlguiding in the Isle of Man. In the beginning, they shared the space with the Brownies at the chapel but as they grew they had to move, and initially went to Braddan School before relocating, to their current venue at the Memorial Hall in Union Mills.’

Kirsty and Liz continue to run this unit and have been joined by Katy Daughen and Marghaid Graham as assistant leaders, and Lucy Shimmin, DofE volunteer, who were also previous Rainbows at Union Mills.

The Rainbows join Brownies in their community events and have an annual Nativity Service at Union Mills Chapel. They both take part in district events such as sports days.