In 1970, when I was 17 and a Ranger Guide, the Girl Guide Association was celebrating its Diamond Jubilee. One part of the national celebrations was the Diamond Jubilee Celebration Spectacular at the Empire Pool Arena, Wembley: “A vivid once-in-a-lifetime display to celebrate 60 years of Guiding” staged in the presence of HRH Princess Margaret, Countess Snowdon, President of the Girl Guide Association at that time.
Having performed in Scout and Guide folk Festivals for a number of years and been a member of a large Scout and Guide choir, I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the 500 invited members from all round the country, who made up the Diamond Jubilee Theatre Workshop. We were to perform in the second half of the programme after the “Diamond Circus” which was billed as ‘A circus-eye view of the history of Guiding, including displays of skill and agility with all the traditional fun and trappings of the circus ring.’ Sounds amazing but I can’t now remember anything about that!
We all stayed in a local teacher training college and spent the first few days improvising with singing and movement to create a piece of theatre entitled “Images and Reflections”. To begin with we had to choose a random musical note to “aaah/hum” and then gradually adjust the humming until we were all singing a chord. We started very quietly with the sound gradually swelling to a crescendo. This was my first experience of making music with hundreds of other voices and it was amazing!
We even made it, albeit briefly, on to the BBC!!
Janet Lander (Unit Helper, 125th Edinburgh Guides)