Testing times for girls

Alan Cooke - HOW
Alan Cooke - HOW

ONE of those regular community policing tasks I was asked to carry out back in the 1980s was to test the Cubs and Brownies for their Crime Prevention and Community Safety Badges.

There was one thing I could never quite understand about these badges that puzzled me throughout the years I did these tests.

Having done the research prior to the first time I was asked to test the children on these subjects I discovered that the Brownies had the crime prevention badge and the boys the community safety badge.

Why didn’t they both have the same badge test subject matter? Even after writing to HQ at Baden Powell House in London I didn’t really get a satisfactory answer to something that I thought was wrong at the time.

I would arrive at the Cub or Brownie meeting place, and give out the literature and explained how the test would work the following week, so they had time to learn the elements of the badge.

The test day arrived – all nervously sitting on the floor, I was offered a chair, but no, if the young people are sitting on the floor then I will sit with them.

That way we were looking at each other and not them having to look up to me, which I always felt was wrong.

To be fair no one ever failed, if they could not answer the question I would move on to someone else.

Then I would go back to the one who could not answer and ask them another question. They always got it the second time, nerves were often the problem. It wasn’t meant to be an arduous examination, they would have enough of those in their later school life, so I got them through it.

One thing I always made a point of doing and that always having a laugh with them before I left. I am sure many younger readers will recall my visits to their packs.

The Brownies in our featured photograph will be in their early 30s now, and could well have daughters of their own who attend Brownies or the Beavers.

The photograph was taken in the summer of 1986 at Brighouse Gala, an event I am sure they will all remember.

That year of course is also remembered for a moment in football history never to be forgotten. when the gifted footballer Diego Maradona committed a moment of unforgivable madness. It was of course in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico when, he cheated, by handling the ball in the so called ‘hand of god‘ incident which cost the England football team so dearly.

Not something that would have troubled or caused concern for these girls at the Brighouse Gala, they had more important things to do.