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Girls' Life Brigade Uniform

  • Place of origin:

    England (The dress only. Production place of other parts is unknown., manufactured)

  • Date:

    early 1960s (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Couling and Siddle Ltd (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    The dress and sash are made of made of natural and man made fibres, the rope and tie are synthetic, the press studs are metal.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Hilary Tasker

  • Museum number:

    B.58:1 to 12-2015

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This Girls' Brigade Uniform was worn by Hilary Tasker when she was a Staff Sergeant in the Girls' Life Brigade (GLB). Hilary joined the Junior section of the GLB in 1959 at about the age of eleven and she was initially in the 1st Cleveleys Company which was attached to the church in Cleveleys, near Blackpool, where Hilary's father was a Baptist minister. When the family moved to the Midlands, Hilary joined the Sutton Coldfield Company until about 1964/65 and as a Senior in this company she rose to become Staff Sergeant and then Sergeant Major. Military drills and huge parades were regular events for the members of the Girls' Life Brigade and as Sergeant Major during one of these parades Hilary remembers wearing a white sash on her uniform.

The Girls' Life Brigade was founded in 1902 by the National Sunday School Union as a Christian church based international movement offering a varied programme of Spiritual, Physical, Educational and Social learning. The aim of the GLB was 'To help and encourage girls to become responsible, self-reliant, useful young women' and its programme was available to four age groups: Cadets (5-8), Juniors (9-12 years), Seniors (13-14 years) and Pioneers (14 years and older.)

The many badges, sewn and pinned onto Hilary's uniform, indicate the activities and interests of the Girls' Life Brigade. The circular, elementary syllabus badges were woven blue and were worked for in the Junior groups whilst Seniors progressed to advanced badges which were woven scarlet. Hilary recalls having to move the blue, Junior badges down her left sleeve when she earned the red, Senior ones. Her badges include awards for Country Dancing, Craft, First Aid and Child Care; for her Handwork badge Hilary remembers changing a 3-pin plug and changing the washer in a tap.

The striped tie is from the senior section of the Girls' Life Brigade and the Pioneer Venture brooch on the tie indicates Hilary was still a member in 1965-66, as a teenager. Hilary would have worn the uniform with a belt made in the same fabric as the dress and a hat.

In 1964 the Girls' Life Brigade joined with the Girls' Brigade of Ireland and the Girls' Guildry of Scotland to form the modern Girls' Brigade; an international and interdenominational Christian youth organisation.

Physical description

Girls' Life Brigade uniform comprising of a dress and tie, to fit a 13 to 14 year old. The dress is dark blue with a line of thin red ribbon stitched about a centimetre in from the edges of the collars and cuffs. The proper right sleeve has four white chevrons, trimmed in red, sewn near to the cuff. The proper left sleeve has lots of badges, some sewn and some pinned on, from shoulder to cuff. A red sash hangs over the right shoulder, held in place under an epaulette band. A pale blue rope hangs over the left shoulder, looped under the arm with the end tucked into the left hand breast pocket. The rope is held in place under an epaulette band on which are two woven braids, in royal blue and light blue. On the left breast pocket there's a ribbon medal and two triangular badges. The dress has a press stud opening from the collars and an opening on the left hand side at the waist, fastened by press studs.

Place of Origin

England (The dress only. Production place of other parts is unknown., manufactured)

Date

early 1960s (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Couling and Siddle Ltd (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

The dress and sash are made of made of natural and man made fibres, the rope and tie are synthetic, the press studs are metal.

Dimensions

Length: 101 cm dress, Length: 60 cm dress sleeve, Length: 78 cm sash, Length: 32 cm rope, Length: 109 cm tie, Height: 3.7 cm pin badge on tie, Width: 1.5 cm pin badge on tie, Height: 8 cm red ribbon medal, Width: 3.5 cm red ribbon medal, Height: 2.3 cm GB badges, Width: 2.3 cm GB badges, Height: 1.7 cm Holy Bible badge, Width: 2.5 cm Holy Bible badge, Diameter: 2.5 cm Advanced proficiency badge, Diameter: 2.6 cm Child Care and Home Nursing badges, Width: 6.3 cm sash, Width: 6.7 cm tie, Circumference: 1.4 cm rope

Object history note

This Girls' Brigade Uniform was worn by Hilary Tasker when she was a Staff Sergeant in the Girls' Life Brigade (GLB). Hilary joined the Junior section of the GLB in 1959 at about the age of eleven and was initially in the 1st Cleveleys Company. This Company was attached to the church in Cleveleys, near Blackpool, where Hilary's father was a Baptist minister. When the family moved to the Midlands, Hilary joined the Sutton Coldfield Company until about 1964/65.

The Girls' Life Brigade was founded in 1902 by the National Sunday School Union and it was a Church based international movement offering a varied programme based on Spiritual, Physical, Education and Social learning. The aim of the GLB was 'To help and encourage girls to become responsible, self-reliant, useful young women' and its programme was available to four age groups: Cadets (5-8), Juniors (9-12 years), Seniors (13-14 years) and Pioneers (14 years and older.)

In 1964 the Girls' Life Brigade joined with the Girls' Brigade of Ireland and the Girls' Guildry of Scotland to form the modern Girls' Brigade, an international and interdenominational Christian youth organisation.

The many badges, sewn and pinned onto Hilary's uniform, indicate the activities and interests of the Girls' Life Brigade. The elementary syllabus badges are woven blue and were worked for in the junior groups. Seniors progressed to advanced badges which are woven scarlet. Hilary has both Junior and Senior badges sewn onto the proper left arm of her uniform and she recalls having to move the blue badges down as she earned the red ones. For the 'HANDWORK' badge Hilary changed a 3-pin plug and changed the washer in a tap.

During her time in the Sutton Coldfield Company Hilary rose to become Staff Sergeant, shown by the white and red chevrons on the proper right sleeve, and then Sergeant Major. Hilary thinks the red sash across her uniform may be related to her position as Staff Sergeant. The red ribbon medal shows Hilary's attendance for each year. The striped tie is from the senior section of the GLB and the Pioneer Venture brooch on the tie indicates Hilary was still a member in 1965-66, as a teenager. For each ten points gained whilst working for the Pioneer Venture brooch, woven braids were worn on the left epaulette. Hilary has the first braid, in saxe blue and the second braid, in royal blue on her uniform.

Hilary remembers the military drills as well as wearing a white sash when attending an enormous parade as Sergeant Major.

The uniform would have had a belt, made in the same fabric as the dress, and a hat.

Descriptive line

Girls' Life Brigade uniform comprising of dress and tie, England, early 1960s

Materials

Cotton (textile); Synthetic fibre; Nylon; Metal

Techniques

Sewing; Made

Categories

Children & Childhood; Uniform; Clothing

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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