It is the “Big Brownie Birthday” party and one Southampton pack has two reasons to celebrate.

The 4th Bitterne Brownie Pack is not only taking part in the national centenary of the youth movement but also marking its own 50th anniversary of the local group’s formation.

It was back in 1964 that the 4th Bitterne Brownies met for the first time and the pack has been getting together ever since for the last five decades.

Leader, “Brown Owl”, Katie Yeates has 35 Brownies in her pack and a waiting list of girls wanting to join.

“Numbers of girls interested in being Brownies has just exploded in the last few years, and it is not just here but in the country as a whole” said Katie.

“The movement does so much more these days including outings, festivals, and pack holidays.”

At the moment the Bitterne pack is preparing to take part in a special event called “Walk the County”, which is part of the 100th anniversary of the Brownies.

“Each pack has been allocated a section to walk such as Netley to Sholing, then hand over to another pack from Sholing to Bitterne Park and so on across the county,” said Katie.

“The pack has also recently spent the weekend at the Upper Hamble Country Park where the girls all dressed up and took part in a ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea-party’.”

A junior section of the Girl Guides, for girls under the age of 11, was originally formed in 1914 and called the “Rosebuds” and the movement was re-named “Brownies” the following year.