Who are we?             3rd Farnworth St Johns Brownies
When do we meet?    Tuesdays
At what time?            7.00 - 8.30 pm
Where?                     St Johns School
Age range:                Girls aged 7 – 11 years

Brownie Leaders     Alison Mole 07919 407893

                              Jackie Powell 07762 050824

Click here to read our latest Brownie report

What Have We Been Up To?

The Brownies had a fun night, learning how to strike a match, light a tea
light and cook a pancake in a foil tray with a wooden peg as a handle,
They all had a lot of patience waiting for the batter to cook .We had a
“Here’s one I made earlier” pancake that the girls filled and enjoyed

We have been extremely busy working for our Take Action Award and the
Brownies continued to contact me all through Half-Term with evidence of
Baking, Grow your own, Collecting, Mindfulness and Painting Badges.
Logan Smith was awarded her Bronze Award at the All Age Service. Well
done, Logan.
The Brownies have independently been supporting collections of items
needed for the Ukraine Appeals, Ruby Lamb has been working her fingers
to the bone making blue and yellow bracelets which she sold and the
money was given to DEC. Poppy Lucas has raised money for Macmillan
Cancer and Bolton Hospice.
We are looking forward to making Mothers Days Presents and Cards and
to making Easter Crafts.
Susan Stevens

April 2022 Church magazine

What a busy month December was for the Brownies. It started on the 4th with our Bottle Tombola and Christmas Tree Tombola at the Church Christmas Fair and working for our Marketplace UMA. The girls enjoyed making an edible Advent Calendar and selection of Christmas Crafts.

On Saturday 11th December we all enjoyed Goldilocks and the Three Bears Pantomime performed by Stagedoor Productions at Walmsley Parish Hall, Egerton.

The following day we were performing ourselves at The All Age Service singing ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’. At this service the Brownies were presented with the Performing Badge and Charities Badge. I cannot believe what these girls have achieved since we started back at Brownies on 5th October 2021 after Covid. Well done to you all and your supportive parents.

We ended our term with our Christmas Party, playing games, dancing, eating and receiving a Christmas gift.

Looking forward to 2022 and lots of new and exciting challenges.

Susan Stevens

February 2022 Church magazine

St John’s Brownies

The Brownies have been working hard towards the Make Change Award. We saw some budding designers when the girls created Trash Fashion outfits, Model Monsters, planned new ideas for Farnworth Town Centre and Taped to Create designing their own canvas badge book bag. We are just waiting for lighter nights so we can complete this section by walking round Farnworth as environmental detectives looking for clues as to how we can make Farnworth a healthier environment. I for one can’t wait to hear the ideas the girls come up with.

We celebrated Chinese New Year, ‘Year of the Tiger’, by making lanterns, tiger masks, playing Chinese Laundry, Chop Stick Relay, Chinese Kims Game and of course trying Chinese food.

We will be celebrating World Thinking Day with other members of Farnworth Division at a County Event, visiting countries from around the world and renewing our Promise simultaneously at 2022 hrs 22.02.2022 with the rest of the Country. Three new Brownies will be making their Promise at this event.

On Shrove Tuesday we will be learning how to strike a light and cooking pancake over a tea light.

Susan Stevens

March 22 Church magazine

It was lovely to see all the Brownies so smart in their new uniforms at their first Church Parade on 14th November 2021, for Remembrance Sunday. The parents commented on how they had enjoyed the service.

Thank you to everyone who supported us in our Children in Need,”Dazzlling Divas and Dad Danceathon” and helped us to raise over £800. We had a fabulous night. It was nice to welcome Dot and Hannah Grimes (St John’s Girl Guiding Leaders) as Judges and to tell the girls about what they have to look forward to in our Guide Unit.

All the Brownies gained their Charities Badge and Children in Need/Girlguiding Badge.

We are now busy collecting bottles for the Church Christmas Fair.

The Brownies had a fun night making Armpit Fudge followed by learning new games.

Susan Stevens

January 2022 Church magazine

After half term we had a Spooktacular Night, the Brownies had decided to have a Halloween Party to celebrate making their Brownie Promise. We dressed up, ate spooky food, decorated Ghoul Biscuits, made Paper Pumpkin Lanterns and played games. At the end of the meeting the parents came to watch 10 girls making their Brownie Promise. One girl was isolating with Covid and was very upset that she would miss it, so Snowy Owl took her a pack of activities to do at home and enrolled her during the meeting on WhatsApp Video Call.

We made a Remembrance Day Poster to display in church using our fingerprints to make poppies and we attended The Remembrance Sunday Church Parade.

We have welcomed Natasha Goodwin back as a Leader in Training and have tasked her with organizing a Fundraising Night with a Strictly Theme as Girl Guiding and Children in Need are working together and also to help the girls with their Charities Badge. You will have to wait until next month to see how successful “Dazzling Divas Danceathon” was and how much money we have managed to raise.   Susan Stevens

Church Magazine December 2021

It is lovely to be back at Brownies after an 18 month break due to Covid and welcome 11 new girls and Logan.
We have spent the past two weeks getting to know each other, learning the Brownie Story and Promise and making a Promise Box.
If you wish your daughter aged 7 to 10 years to join Brownies please register her online on Girlguiding UK.

Susan Stevens

November 2021

We are busy completing Risk Assessments, making sure our DBS and First Aid Qualifications are up to date and hopefully looking forward to:-


Re-start Brownies on Tuesday evenings 7.00 - 8.00pm from 5th October.


Our numbers will be limited to 15 girls aged 7 to 10 years and priority will be given to our existing members on the register. Can't wait to see you all after so long. Hopefully our Brownies who are now too old will join Guides.

Susan, Alison, Jackie and Heather.

(Magazine October 2021)

St Johns Brownies are thriving with 22 girls on the register. The year started with the Leaders attending training days for the New Programme and Child Protection.

We invited the parents to spend an evening with us which seemed to be enjoyed by everyone.

We welcomed Paramedic Shane McKee to instruct us on CPR and Recovery Position for our Healthy Heart Badge.

On Sunday 10th March new Vestments were dedicated in church, bought by the Brownies to commemorate our 90th Birthday in June 2018.

After Easter, we started the new Brownie Programme which is based on Skills Builders and Unit Meeting Activities. There are twelve Skills Builders that we work on together as a Unit and each has six stages. We earn a badge for every stage we complete. There are also 18 Interest Badges for the girls to work for at home.

Natasha Goodwin came back to Brownies as a Young Leader. The girls enjoyed Steven Wiggans and Frankie teaching them Boxing Moves.

In December we visited Fired Paint a Pot Cafe in Bury where we painted Christmas Decorations and decorated Cup Cakes. The year ended with a visit to Beauty and the Beast on Ice at Blackpool.


Thank you to Alison Mole, Jackie Powell and Natasha Goodwin for all their hard work.

Susan, Alison, Jackie and Natasha

The Three Wise Owls

Tree Dedication at St John’s Farnworth and Kearsley Parish Church

Churchyard on Sunday 30thJune 2019

On Sunday 30thJune 2019, Rev Dr. Malcolm Wearing dedicated two Red Hawthorn trees in St John’s Farnworth and Kearsley Parish Churchyard, which had been donated by the Brownies, in memory of Norma Rushton, who was associated with the brownies and guides for over 70 years, and to celebrate the 90thAnniversary of St John’s 3rdFarnworth Brownie Pack.  The Red Hawthorns had been chosen to replace two similar trees, which had been planted to celebrate the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, which had recently died and had been felled.  Members of the congregation joined him together with Betty Higham and Winifred Ainsworth, who helped to plant the trees.

Betty Higham MBE, lifelong friend of Norma, was for many years the Guide Captain at St John's 3rdFarnworth Guide Company and former Lancashire Borders Commissioner.  In May 2013 she was awarded the MBE for services to guiding.

Winifred Ainsworth’s mother, Connie Fielding, started the 1stFarnworth Brownie Pack at Higham’s Paper Bag Works on Mather Street, Kearsley, where she worked in the 1920’s. In 1968 she planted a Cherry Blossom tree to celebrate St John’s Brownies Ruby Anniversary.

Norma Rushton’s mother was a Guide Captain at St John’s and Norma followed in her footsteps, becoming a Brownie, a Guide and then becoming a Brownie Leader at the age of 15 years – a role she continued as Brown Owl for 51 years.  Throughout that time she encouraged hundreds of brownies to work towards their guiding badges and achievements, many of whom, like our present Snowy Owl, Susan Stevens, becoming guiders themselves.

Norma grew up in Lord Street, Kearsley and attended St John’s School, where she met her lifelong best friend, Betty Higham. She joined the 3rdFarnworth Brownie Pack at St John’s Farnworth and Kearsley Parish Church in 1941.  She became a Guide, then Pack Leader, which is the link between the Brownies and the Guides and then Brown Owl.  Over the years she also held the position of District Commissioner for Lever District, which covers Farnworth and Little Lever, County Trainer training new brownie leaders and Pack Holiday Tester.  Norma received the Laurel Award (the highest award in Guiding) for her dedicated service and had the honour of attending the Queens Garden Party, with Betty at Buckingham Palace.

Norma became a Brownie Leader at the age of 15 years and by doing so secured the future of the 3rdFarnworth Brownie Pack, which was on the verge of folding.  Thanks to Norma Rushton, the pack was able to celebrate its 90thAnniversary, on the 28thJune 2018.

Dorothy McGlynn

The Brownies have continued to follow the new programme. They enjoyed trying to blow six bubbles inside a bubble with a straw.  This activity was to explore where Brownies fit into the wider guiding family. The largest bubble represented the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and the smallest bubble represented a Brownie.

The girls also enhanced their teamwork skills, working in sixes to build a tower from Spaghetti and Marshmallows. The sturdiest and most stable tower won. They discussed afterwards what improvements they could have made and enjoyed eating the Marshmallows.

On Sunday 30th June, the Brownies planted a tree in the New Church Yard to commemorate their 90th Birthday in 2018, in Memory of Norma Rushton who was Brown Owl of St Johns Brownies for 50 years.

We donated packets of biscuits and held a biscuit stall at the Church Summer Fair.

It was nice to welcome back an old Brownie, Natasha Goodwin, who is working towards her Duke of Edinburgh Award. We hope you will stay on with us and become a Leader!

Thank you to Sandra and Heather from Rainbows, for providing cover when we have been short staffed. We appreciate your help.

The term ended with a joint party with the Rainbows.

Susan Stevens (August 2019)

This month the Brownies have been busy completing their Seasons Badge, for those of you who were in church when they were presented, they made an Autumn Collage using natural materials, cooked vegetable soup and apple crumble, made a Four Seasons calendar, planted spring bulbs and painted a bird box.

We have celebrated Chinese New Year by making stained glass pigs for the Year of the Pig.

On Thinking Day we remembered Brownies and Guides around the World and made Thinking Day cards.

We have invited our parents to a meeting in March where six Brownies will be doing their Hostess Badge and we will play traditional board games.The next badge we are working towards is Healthy Heart.

The Leaders will be attending a training session in March to learn about the new Brownie programme which is due to start in September,

Susan Stevens

March 2019

St Johns Brownies

The Brownies donated toys at the December Church Parade for children who will be in the Royal Bolton Hospital at Christmas. Lydia who is the Children’s Play Coordinator of the Paediatric Wards gave her thanks to everyone and said some very moving words about Keith Entwistle, who had started the Annual Toy Service for the District Scouts and whom she had known for 10 years.

After the service Ellie, Sienna and Lacey made their Brownie Guide Promise by the Christmas Tree.

The Brownies have also been donating food weekly for the Farnworth Food Bank Reverse Advent Calendar.

The year ended with a joint Christmas Party with the Rainbows where we enjoyed pasties and pass the parcel. Eight Brownies made their Brownie Promise. We welcomed two Rainbows into Brownies and said farewell to Amelia.

Thank you to Alison and Jackie for all your support and hard work throughout the year and to Sandra for helping out when necessary.

Susan Stevens

The Brownies had a brilliant time at Fired Paint a Pot Cafe in Bury, which is run by three Brownie Leaders from Ainsworth and well worth a visit by any age group young or old alike. (They do Prosecco and Pizza nights for grown-ups where you can relax and paint a pot of your choice and Baby Sensory Groups). Details can be found on Face Book.

We are doing a Unicorn Challenge and every Brownie painted, glazed and fired their own pot Unicorn to learn a new skill. They also decorated some very colourful Rainbow Cupcakes.

To complete the sensory part of the Unicorn Challenge, the Brownies  decided to make Unicorn Glitter Jars.

We have also continued with our Seasons Badge learning about two Winter Celebrations . We made a Poppy Collage for Remembrance Day and learned about the Centenary of the end of World War 1. We also learned about Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light and made Rangoli patterns.

Susan Stevens

 September 2018

Since starting our Autumn Term the Brownies have been busy working towards the Seasons Badge. We have made Autumn Pictures from natural materials or Autumn coloured collages. We have planted daffodil bulbs that will hopefully flower in the Spring and have used seasonal vegetables and fruit to cook and eat, Vegetable Soup and Apple Crumble.

The girls are enjoying making Sequin Flower Pictures.

We are writing letters to a Canadian Brownie Pack after a Canadian Brownie visited our Unit in the Summer.

The Brownies and Leaders were very excited to receive individual replies from Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan from Kensington Palace, thanking them for the cards and good wishes they had sent for their marriage.

We are all looking forward to a trip out to “Fired Paint a Pot Cafe” in Bury a new business started by three Brownie Guiders from Ainsworth. We shall be working towards our Unicorn Challenge Badge, painting Unicorns and decorating rainbow cupcakes.

Fired Paint a Pot Cafe is suitable for any age offering Craft Activities , Baby Sensory Groups, Children’s Story Groups, and Pizza and Prosecco Nights for the grown-ups!

We shall let you know how we went on painting our pots in next month’s magazine. Alison does not like paint!

Susan Stevens

The 3rd Farnworth (St John’s) Floral Display

at the Bible Stories Flower Festival held from 5th – 7th May 2017


The Brownies sponsored and arranged a floral display depicting

‘LOAVES and FISHES or The Feeding of the 5000’

(Luke chapter 9 verses 10 -17)


The 3rd Farnworth (St John’s) Brownies Floral Display at the Flower Festival in September 2001.


The 3rd Farnworth (St John’s) Brownies sponsored and arranged a floral arrangement, depicting the hymn ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’, at the church’s Flower Festival celebrating the 175th birthday of St John’s Church.  The event was held from Friday 7thSeptember to Sunday 9th September 2001.

Our Brownies' History - Looking Back

St John’s Brownies were formed in 1928

The Brownies display at the 'Waterloo Open Weekend' at St John's Church on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October 2015.

The Brownies Display at the church's 'Heritage Open Days', celebrating the 180th Birthday of St John's Church. It was held from Saturday 9th September to Tuesday 12th September 2006.

St John’s Brownies in the 1930’s  

St John’s Brownies form ‘Guard of Honour’ for their Brownie Guider in 1934

The 3rd Farnworth St John’s Brownies and Guides formed a ‘Guard of Honour’ outside St John’s Church at the marriage of their Brownie Guider, Marion Critchley, to Albert Lever on Saturday 28th July 1934.

Photograph courtesy of Dorothy McGlynn (nee Lever)

Please click on the image to see a larger version

St John’s Brownies in the 1940’s 

St John’s (3rd Farnworth) Brownies during a visit to Kearsley Park in 1942

Norma Rushton (top left) with Barbara Jackson, Elsie Bennett and Pam Collins |

St John’s Brownies in the 1950’s 


Queen -  Kaye Davies, Cushion Bearer - Carol Dover, retinue and brownies in their soldier costumes, who sang ‘We’re the Soldiers of the Queen’ to open the crowning ceremony.

In May 1953 the first Brownie ‘May Queen’ was held in St John’s School, a tradition that was to last for 46 years.

The first May Queen was Kaye Davies and the crowning ceremony was performed, on the stage in the upstairs hall, by Mrs. Dewhurst.

The brownies in the photograph (from left of the picture) are Train Bearers Dorothy Lever, Lynda Chappell, Elizabeth Hardman and Sylvia Rushton.


St John’s (3rd Farnworth) Brownies performing the opening song ‘Ship Ahoy’ in the 1954 May Queen Concert.

(back row from left to right) Sandra Bennion, Barbara Hodgkiss and Sandra Slater.


From 'The Bolton News' - 12th March 2014

An Article about St John's Brownies in 1953

This file will open in your computer's PDF reader.


(photograph courtesy of Janet Hayes nee Worsley)

Front Row: 5th from left Joan Tattersall - Cushion Bearer, Elizabeth Hardman - Queen, Christine Worsley - Train Bearer.


(photograph courtesy of Janet Hayes nee Worsley)

From Left: 2nd left  Retiring Queen Elizabeth Hardman, Queen Elect Joan Tattersall, Cushion Bearer Hilary Chesters.


St John’s (3rd Farnworth) Brownies taking part in the ‘Whitsuntide Walk’ in 1955.

The brownies on the front left of the photograph are Dorothy Lever, Christine Worsley,

and Elizabeth Hardman.  They are following Norma Rushton (Brown Owl) and the

lady to her left (nearest to the pavement) is Marion Cragg (Pack Leader)

Photograph courtesy of Christine who now lives in South Africa


St John’s (3rd Farnworth) Brownies assembled on the Bowling Green (now the ‘new’ church yard) on Church Street, prior to the 4th May Queen Crowning Ceremony on Saturday 12th May 1956.  (from centre left to right) Queen Joan Tattersall, Cushion Bearer Hilary Chesters, Cushion Bearer Margaret Cragg and Queen Elect Dorothy Lever.


St John’s Brownies 4th  Annual May Queen Crowning Ceremony, in school, on Saturday 12th May 1956.  Centre of Stage (from left to right) Canon P.A. Wrigley, Queen Dorothy Lever, retiring Queen Joan Tattersall and Mrs Phyllis Wrigley, who performed the Crowning.


(photograph courtesy of Janet Hayes nee Worsley)


Queen - Christine Worsley, to her right Lady in Waiting - Hilary Chesters and front row far right Flower Girl - Janet Worsley.



Brownies dressed in Fancy Dress at their Christmas Party in 1965


 Front Row - Wendy Taylor (1st left) Susan Lever (5th left) Carole Horrobin (8th from the left)

St John’s (3rd Farnworth) Brownies assembled in the old vicarage garden, prior to the 15th Annual May Queen Ceremony in 1967.

Front Row: Maureen Wallwork (1st left) Anne Tattersall (6th left) Sheena Thomasson (Cushion Bearer), Glenys Lees (Queen), Angela Wheeler (front row furthest right, kneeling)


From left to right: Chris Marsh, (Ranger Leader) Susan Lever, Trudi Walton (Brownie Guider)


Back Row: Sandra Tattersall, Janice Hardman

Front Row: Susan Lever, Anne Tattersall, Sheena Thomasson, Christine Steele

Susan Stevens was presented with her 40 years Long Service Award, at the Lancashire Border Girl Guiding Annual Awards Evening, held on 16th November 2017 at Bolton Headquarters, Shepherd Cross Street, Bolton.

Susan Lever started Brownies in 1965, when she was six and a half years old (underage). That year she was invited to attend Norma Rushton’s ‘Test’ Pack Holiday, (with special dispensation being given).

She became Sixer of the Fairies Six and later the Sprites. She was the last Brownie at St John’s 3rd Farnworth Pack to become a First Class Brownie before the new programme of Journeys in 1968.

In 1970, Diamond Jubilee Year, Susan ‘flew up’ into St John's Guides and was lucky enough to go to London and meet Lady Baden Powell. In Guides, under the guidance of Captain Betty Higham, she enjoyed taking badges, working towards her Queens Guide, camping and being a Patrol Leader.

Susan was also Pack Leader at Brownies, the link between Brownies and Guides.

When she was 14 years of age, Susan became a Ranger in Farnworth Division, where she stayed until becoming Assistant Brownie Guider at All Saints 2nd Farnworth Brownie Pack in 1977.

Susan worked for Greater Manchester Fire Service for many years and was known to her colleagues as ‘Susan the Brownie’.

In 1981, following her marriage to Brian Stevens, an opportunity arose for her to move back to St John's, as Assistant Brownie Guider. She obtained her Pack Holiday Licence in 1985.

Susan remained at St John's, as Assistant Brownie Guider until her own Brown Owl, Norma Rushton, retired from active Guiding in 1998. She then became Guider in Charge.

In 2009 Susan was elected Farnworth Division Commissioner.

It was in 2015 that Susan transferred to the 16th Radcliffe Brownies at Christ Church, Ainsworth as Assistant Brownie Leader.

Westminster Abbey

A National Scout and Guide Service

Of Celebration and Thanksgiving

On Saturday 3rd November I was honoured to be invited to Westminster Abbey to celebrate my 40 years as a Brownie Guider.  I had a brilliant day. James accompanied me as my guest, thinking that it would be like when Auntie Betty got her MBE and that he would be meeting the Queen again. I told him there may be a bag check and he immediately replied, “OH NO! Do they not know what Guiders carry in their handbags? The Service will be over before we get in!

Whilst queuing outside the Abbey I heard someone say they were from Clitheroe and turned round to see Hylda from Waddow Hall who I first met on my first Pack Holiday aged 6 1/2 years old. This was Norma’s Test Pack Holiday for her Licence, back in 1966. It made my day that Hylda was there as she was part of my very first memories of being a Brownie.

It was a very moving and emotional service, especially when a 16 year Venture Scout , a with Lymphoedema, told the congregation how Scouting had changed her life and that she had been accepted by everyone as a normal person and treated the same as everyone else for the first time in her life. It brought a tear to my eye.

I reflected on everyone who has encouraged and influenced me throughout my Guiding Life, so many wonderful people some of whom, alas, are no longer with us. I hope that the many girls who have been Brownies under my care during the past 40 years still remember the life skills and values we shared together.

Susan Stevens.


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