Brigade marks its 90th birthday

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MORE than 100 past and present girls brigade members turned out in force to celebrate a youth group’s 90th birthday in style.

1st Hartlepool Girls Brigade

1st Hartlepool Girls Brigade

Members of the 1st Hartlepool Girls’ Brigade took part in a parade before enjoying a church service to mark the momentous occasion.

St Hilda’s Church, on the Headland, was packed to the rafters during the service and afterwards when the current brigade joined members from years gone by.

Ana Bates, captain of the brigade, which is based at the Borough Hall, on the Headland, described the occasion as “wonderful.”

The 63-year-old mum-of-three was delighted with the impressive turn out and enjoyed the chance to look back on past activities of the brigade.

Ana, who has been involved with the brigade since 1961, said: “It was a lovely nostalgic day, a day of remembering good times from the past but also looking forward to good times to come.”

Girls Brigade members were joined by the 1st Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade for the parade, which got underway at Morison Hall on Sunday morning.

Led by the boys’ brigade, dozens of members from both groups then made their way into Middlegate, Northgate and on to the High Street before arriving at the church.

The service was then held before people enjoyed refreshments and a chat in the church.

Ana, a retired cleaner and officer who lives on the Headland with husband, Barry, 63, a retired brewery worker who also served in the Army, added: “We had a wonderful day.

“The parade was fantastic and lots of spectators came along to see and hear us.

“The church was packed for the service which included songs, a power point display by the girls and puppets animated by the girls.

“Afterwards everyone was saying how good it was.

“I would like to thank everyone who came along and took part on the day, they helped to make it such a success.”