Village Brownies need a new Brown Owl to carry on 72-year tradition

Dejected members of the 1st Horden Brownies are looking for new leaders as the two they have now, Jennie and Dawn Coatsworth are retiring, which could force them to disband.
Dejected members of the 1st Horden Brownies are looking for new leaders as the two they have now, Jennie and Dawn Coatsworth are retiring, which could force them to disband.

A historic Brownies group is urgently appealing for a new Brown Owl to keep a tradition going in the village that’s lasted more than 70 years.

The 1st Horden Brownies has been running in the village since 1944 and is currently led by Brown Owl Dawn Coatsworth, who is assisted by her mum and former Brown Owl Jenny Coatsworth.

Tawny Owl Jennie Coatsworth, Barn Owl Dawn Coatsworth and Snowy Owl Alyson Allday with members of the 1st Horden Brownies.

Tawny Owl Jennie Coatsworth, Barn Owl Dawn Coatsworth and Snowy Owl Alyson Allday with members of the 1st Horden Brownies.

Both have led the group for years, but are both retiring, and need a replacement to keep the group alive.

Jenny, 75, said: “I joined the group when I was in my 20s. It’s nice working with children and seeing them develop.

“There has been a Brownies pack in Horden since 1944, so it would be a shame to see it close.”

Local Durham County Councillor Coun June Clark was a Horden Brownie herself and is backing the appeal for a new Brown Owl.

She said: “Jenny was my Tawny Owl when I was little and I am nearly 59 now, so this was over 50 years ago.

“We have had a Brownies group in the village for generations, so it would be a shame to see it go.”

The group runs on Monday nights from 5pm to 6.30pm at the Horden Social Welfare Centre for girls aged seven to 10.

The group has 12 Brownies and a new leader is needed as soon as possible. Any applicants must be over the age of 18.

Anyone interested in applying will be interviewed by Gina Worrall, the comissioner for the East Durham Division.

Applicants can call Jenny Coatsworth on 07887966305 or pop along to a Brownies session.