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leslie's guiding traditions

In the early years of Guiding, there was no Brownie magazine. But from the 1920s onwards, there were special Brownie pages in the Guide magazine, just as there were Ranger pages. For some years the pages were in cut-out or pull-out form. They often featured a story, often featuring animals or fairy folk, a small cartoon strip, a handcraft, and a puzzle or poem.

It was in 1962 that Brownies first got a magazine to themselves. It was in A5 size, with a coloured cover (the colour varying each week), with black and white print inside, and it contained an editor's letter, serial and single stories, information on challenge work and on Brownies abroad, a letters page puzzles and hints. There would sometimes be a song, or games ideas, or a craft pattern, or some recipes, or a seasonal feature.

In the early 1970s the size was increased to A4 size, printed on newsprint, though it continued to have a different coloured cover each week with black and white print. This allowed for cut-out-and-keep posters or pictures, or activity instructions.  

By the late 1980s, pressure to follow the pattern of other children's comics, which were all in full colour, led The Brownie to go into full colour too. A regular cartoon strip, Super Brownie, featured on the cover, but the mix of contents remained similar to before.

But sales had never been high, and by now surveys showed that The Brownie was more often bought by Brownie Leaders, than by actual Brownies. As a result of this, and of swindling sales making it no longer economically viable, the decision was taken to close down the magazine.