SLIDESHOW: 120 years of the girls’ brigade

DOZENS of youngsters from across the region came together in Hartlepool to celebrate 120 years of the girls’ brigade.

Around 80 girls proudly marched along the Headland to music and carried their standards in the parade.

Members of the 1st Hartlepool Girls' Brigade marched around the Headland (SUNDAY) ahead of a service at the Baptist Church to mark the 120th birthday of Girls' brigade International.

Members of the 1st Hartlepool Girls' Brigade marched around the Headland (SUNDAY) ahead of a service at the Baptist Church to mark the 120th birthday of Girls' brigade International.

It was made up of girls’ brigade companies from Hartlepool, Billingham and Darlington to mark the 120th anniversary of The Girls’ Brigade International.

Following the parade, which was keenly watched by onlookers, they attended a service at Headland Baptist Church.

Ana Bates, the current captain of the 1st Hartlepool Girls’ Brigade, said: “It was really good.

“It was raining but it didn’t matter. I’ve had lots of good feedback from officers of other companies who have rung me.

“It was a lovely atmosphere, we might do it annually.”

The Girls’ Brigade was created in Dublin at a time when women had little social, academic or service opportunities.

The movement has spread all over the world and works alongside churches and schools to promote its Christian ideals.

Ana, 64, of the Headland, who has who has been involved with the brigade for more than 50 years, said it is still popular with youngsters.

She added: “They still love to come, we had three new members on Monday night.

“The girls learn leadership, how to get on with each other and we do all sorts of activities.

“It gives them a good standing for when they go out to work.”

The 1st Hartlepool Girls’ Brigade, which is based at The Borough Hall, held a similar parade last year when it celebrated its 90th 
anniversary.