• Mon. May 20th, 2024

Oxford Guides skip off to Royal Tournament military tattoo


Oct 9, 2022

These five Oxford girls were, in the words of their proud Guide leader, putting their best feet forward and skipping off to London.

They had been selected to take part in the Royal Tournament, the world’s largest military tattoo and pageant, held at the Earls Court exhibition centre.

They were Jane Sarson, 16, of Rawlinson Road, Frances Shore, 17, of Balfour Road, Cowley, Sharon Elgar, 15, of Osney Lane, Rachel Dean, 15, of Fern Hill Road, and Rachel Corny, 16, of Victoria Road.

Read again: Lamb & Flag finally reopens

They were among 300 Girl Guides from all over the country who had been invited to perform a medieval dance sequence at the 1979 show.

The Oxford team had been chosen to open the performance with a maypole dance.

They were pictured by Oxford Mail photographer Peter Farr dancing down the street as they prepared for their big day in the limelight.

It was believed to be the first time that Girl Guides had been invited to take part in the annual event.

The Oxford Guides had spent 10 days attending rehearsals in Oxford and London. They had also made their costumes, from kits supplied by the Guides’ headquarters.

Although the Royal Tournament ran for three weeks, many of the individual items were changed from day to day – the Guides’ medieval display was performed for just one day.

British armed forces performed at the Royal Tournament from 1880 to 1999. It was originally held at the Royal Agricultural Hall in London before moving to Earls Court.

Read again: MP backs fines for sewage spills

In later years, it also acted as a valuable fundraising event for leading forces’ charities such as the Royal British Legion.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF