leslie's guiding traditions

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When Guiding first started, it wasn't initially clear what sort of a structure would be needed.  Initially, it was possible for the headquarters office to deal directly with Guide Captains, but the scale of recruitment soon made this impossible, and it was necessary to appoint local Commissioners in each locality, and Secretaries to deal with correspondence, in a time when every item had to be either handwritten in ink or typed on a manual typewriter.  It also soon became clear that trainers would be needed to teach some o the skills, and Advisers to give guidance on specialist topics.  As a result of having all these different types of volunteer, distinguishing marks on uniforms were needed.  Initially the system used was Cords, which were worn looped over one shoulder, with a tab fastened onto the lapel by the Tenderfoot badge, hat-cords worn round the crown of the hat, and cockades worn on the side of the hat.  In some cases, special badges were also worn.  1938 POR gives the distinguishing marks as follows:

President - Purple Cockade with gold, purple and silver bars; purple, gold and silver cords; gold and silver hat cords; purple tie.

Chief Guide - Gold Cockade, gold cord round hat.

Chief Commissioner - Gold cords and cockade, gold cord round hat.

Deputy Chief Commissioner - Gold Cockade, gold and silver cords, silver cord round hat.

County President - Gold and silver sash worn over right shoulder and tied at left waist, with white enamel trefoil badge.

Division President - Silver sash worn over right shoulder and tied at left waist, , with silver trefoil badge.

District President - Saxe blue sash worn over right shoulder and tied at left waist, with silver trefoil badge.

County Commissioner - Gold and silver cords with silver cockade, silver cord round hat, navy blue tie.

Assistant County Commissioner - Silver cords and silver cockade, silver cord round hat.

Division Commissioner - Silver cords and cockade, no hat cord.  Navy blue tie.

District Commissioner - Saxe blue cockade and cords (as shown).  No cord round hat.  Saxe blue tie.

The cords are worn looped round the left shoulder, with the badge pinned onto the left lapel of the jacket with the tenderfoot badge, which for Commissioners is silver.

District Captain - Green cockade and tie.

Instructor - Badge containing letter "I" worn on left lapel of coat.

Tester - Badge containing letter "T" worn in left lapel of coat.

Captain - Navy blue cockade, and green enamelled badge brooch worn just below the knot of tie; and Tenderfoot badge on tie.

Lieutenant - Tenderfoot badge on left of hat and gilt badge brooch worn just below the knot of the tie; and Tenderfoot badge on tie.

Brown Owl - Brown Cockade, brown or gold tie (as worn by the pack), and Brown Owl's warrant badge worn just below the knot of tie; Guide or Ranger Tenderfoot badge on tie.

Tawny Owl - Hat turned up with Brownie recruit badge, brown or gold tie (as worn by the pack), and Tawny Owl's warrant badge worn just below the knot of tie; Guide or Ranger Tenderfoot badge on tie.

Pack Leader - Brown lanyard, brown or gold tie (as worn by the pack), three gold braid armlets, 1/2 inch wide and 1 inch apart, worn 3 inches above the left elbow.

Land Ranger Guider - Navy blue cockade, and red enamelled badge brooch worn just below the knot of tie; and Tenderfoot badge on tie.

Cadet Ranger Guider -  Navy blue cockade, and white enamelled badge brooch worn just below the knot of tie; and Tenderfoot badge on tie.

Sea Ranger Guider - Navy blue jersey, black tie, and blue enamelled badge brooch.  Hat with black mohair braid band (worn with white pique cap cover from May 1st to September 30th).  Knife on white lanyard attached to belt on right side.

Kindred Societies Area Director - Silver cockade with small silver tassel attached to the Commissioner badge; the badge of her own society is worn in the centre instead of the Guide trefoil.

Chief's Diploma Trainer - Red and blue cord round hat.

Red Cord Diploma - Red cord round hat.

1947 POR - 

Air Ranger Guider - Mazarine blue shirt, black tie, Hat with mohair braid band, navy blue cockade, light blue enamelled badge brooch.

The 1966-1968 Uniform changes also saw a reduction in distinguishing marks.  Cords were abolished, and Commissioner/Adivser cockades were repaced by the 'hat flash', a shaped plastic form covered in fabric of a specific colour, which was worn on the left side of the air hostess hat, with the County bdge towards the bach and the pointed end worn to the front.  Most appointment holders wore a plain navy ribbon 'tie', but some appointment holders had ties with specific coloured stripes on the tips of the tie.  Unit Leaders wore ties with coloured stripes on the tips of the tie, two stripes for a Unit Leader, and one for an Assistant Leader.  An unwarranted leader wore a folded piece of navy ribbon cut into a swallowtail - they were originally available on elastic like those for the Leaders, but later you were supplied with a piece of ribbon which you had to cut into swallowtails yourself, and then pin over the top button of your shirt using your Promise Badge.  Unit Guiders also wore felt diamonds on the left side of their hats, upon which was pinned a metal county badge.  The Unit Leader wore a smaller diamond of navy upon a larger diamond in the section colour, the Assistant Leader a plain navy felt diamond.

1969 POR gives the distinguishing marks as follows:

The President - Gold hat flash with silver butt, Gold lapel badge with blue enamel.

The Chief Guide - Gold hat flash, Gold cord.

Chairman of the Executive Committee - Silver hat flash with three red bars, 'Commonwealth Headquarters' navy blue badge with silver.

Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee - Silver hat flash with two red bars, 'Commonwealth Headquarters' navy blue badge with silver.

Members of the Executive Committee - Silver hat flash, 'Commonwealth Headquarters' navy blue badge with silver.

The Chief Commissioner - Gold hat flash with three red bars.  Gold colour lapel badge.

Deputy Chief Commissioner - Gold hat flash with two red bars.  Gold colour lapel badge.

Chief Commissioner/Deputy Chief Commissioner for a Country - Gold hat flash, gold colour lapel badge, Country badge on hat flash.

Commissioner for Branch Associations - Silver hat flash with two red bars, silver colour lapel badge with gold.

President of a Country or Branch Association - 'President' navy blue badge with gilt, country badge in place of hat flash.

Adviser to the Chief Commissioner, Chairman of a Sub-Committee of the Executive Committee - Silver hat flash with two red bars, 'Commonwealth Headquarters' badge navy blue with silver.

Assistant to the Adviser to the Chief Commissioner - Silver hat flash with one red bar, 'Commonwealth Headquarters' navy blue badge with silver.

General Secretary - Navy blue hat flash with three red bars, 'Commonwealth Headquarters' navy blue badge with silver.

National Director of an Affiliated Society - Silver hat flash with gold tip, badge of the affiliated society.

Senior Representative Travelling Abroad - Silver hat flash with one red bar.

Deputy General Secretary, Head of Department, Guider in Charge/Resident Trainer of Training Centre - nave hat flash with two red bars, 'Commonwealth Headquarters' navy blue badge with silver.

Assistant to Head of Department or Guider in Charge/Resident Trainer of Training Centre - Navy blue hat flash with one red bar, 'Commonwealth Headquarters' navy blue badge with silver.

Travelling Commissioner - Hyacinth blue hat flash with one yellow bar, 'Commonwealth Headquarters' navy blue badge with silver.

Salaried Trainer - Navy blue hat flash with one yellow bar, Trainer's lapel badge.

Trainer without a Warrant - Trainer's lapel badge, County or Country badge on hat.

County President - 'President' badge in navy blue with gilt.

County Commissioner, Assistant County Commissioner, Commissioner for a Branch Association - Silver hat flash with gold tip, Silver lapel badge with gold, Country or County badge on flash.

Members of Country's Committee, Country Advisers and Assistant Advisers - Silver hat flash, 'headquarters' and the name of the country; navy blue badge with silver, Country badge on flash.

Country Secretary - Navy blue hat flash with two red bars, 'Headquarters' and the name of the country badge in navy blue with silver, Country's badge on hat flash.

Assistant to Country's Secretary or Guider in Charge/Resident Trainer or Country's Training Centre - Navy hat flash with one red bar, country badge on hat flash.

Country's Director of an Affiliated Society - Silver hat flash with gold tip, badge of the Affiliated Society, Country badge on hat flash.

Area Director of an Affiliated Society - Silver hat flash, badge of the Affiliated Society.

Division Commissioner, Assistant Division Commissioner - Silver hat flash, silver coloured lapel badge with white, County badge on hat flash.

District Commissioner - Hyacinth blue hat flash, silver coloured lapel badge with light blue, County badge on hat flash.

County Representative, Chairman of County Sub-Committee - Navy bllue hat flash with one silver bar, County badge on hat flash.

Secretary for a Branch Association, County, Division or District; Assistant to one of these - Tawny red hat flash, 'Secretary' lapel badge in tawny red with gold, Navy crossover ribbon with one tawny red stripe, County badge on hat flash.

Ranger Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with two aquamarine stripes, navy hat felt with aquamarine edging.

Assistant Ranger Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with one aquamarine stripe, navy hat felt.

Guide Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with two Guide blue stripes, navy hat felt with Guide blue edging.

Assistant Guide Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with one Guide blue stripe, navy hat felt.

Brownie Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with two yellow stripes, navy hat felt with yellow edging.

Assistant Brownie Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with one yellow stripe, navy hat felt.

Headquarters Staff - Navy crossover ribbon with one red stripe.

Unit Guider without Warrant - navy ribbon.

Cadet Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with two white stripes, navy hat felt with white edging.

Assistant Cadet Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with one white stripe, navy hat felt.

Air Ranger Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with two pale blue stripes, navy hat felt with pale blue edging.

Assistant Air Ranger Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with one pale blue stripe, navy hat felt.

Land Ranger Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with two red stripes, navy hat felt with red edging.

Assistant Land Ranger Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with one red stripe, navy hat felt.

Commissioners and advisers (all) - Navy crossover ribbon.

(For a period, crossover ribbons with brown stripe, and brown hat felt, were used for Brownie Guiders).

From 1987:

Rainbow Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with two green stripes, navy hat felt with green edging.

Assistant Rainbow Guider - Navy crossover ribbon with one green stripe, navy hat felt.

As can be seen, the ribbons were mounted on elastic, of adjustable length, with hook and eye fastening.

New uniforms in 1990 meant that most of these distinguishing marks were abolished.  The only indicator was that Unit Leaders wore 'badge tabs' with a coloured stripe down either side, whereas all Commissioners and Advisers wore plain navy badge tabs.

The tabs were:

Commissioner/Adviser - plain navy

Unit Helper - plain yellow, later raspberry

Rainbow Guider - navy with green stripes

Brownie Guider - navy with yellow stripes

Guide Guider - navy with guide blue stripes

Ranger Guider - navy with aquamarine stripes

Young Leader Guider - navy with white stripes.

Ranger - plain aquamarine

Young Leader - Aquamarine with white stripes.

The top bar originally read 'Girl Guides' but was later changed to 'The Guide Association' when the movement changed it's name.

Originally there was a limit on how many badges could be pinned on the badge tab; this was later relaxed.

During the 2000s badge tabs went from being navy to being pale blue, and the twin stripes at the sides moved to being a single coloured stripe at the top.

The colours were:
Rainbow - pale blue stripe
Brownie - yellow stripe
Guide - mid blue stripe
Ranger - aqua stripe
Commissioner/Adviser - plain