AFTER 35 years working with Girl Guides and Brownies in the Vale a leading guider has retired handing the baton over to a younger generation.
Lynette Mantle has served with clubs in the Vale and nearby Cotswolds since 1979 when she joined a troop of Brownies in Stow.
She went onto volunteer with the Stow on the Wold Guides from 1986 until 1998 and in 2000 took over the Hampton Brownies.
But after celebrating her 65 birthday Mrs Mantle has had to retire as a Girl Guide leader, although she will still remain part of the organisation, as the first aid trainer for local guiders and as an assistant Leader within the district.
"I went to my last meeting as a leader in Tuesday, April 29," said Mrs Mantle, of Grafton, near Ashton under Hill. "I was very sad to retire because I don't feel old enough to have to retire.
"Over the years I have had many highlights. The pack holidays with the Brownies and camping with the Girl Guides are definitely high points. And overall the highlight for me was a trip to Uganda in 2004.
"I had registered an interest in 1998 but was unable to go because my father became ill and I thought that's it. But low and behold I was offered the chance again.
"I made a very good friend and we took seven guides to Uganda."
And her role in the Girl Guides and Brownies has had a great influence on Mrs Mantle's life.
"I am extremely proud of my many achievements within, and outside, Girlguiding," she added. "All my work has developed from my service with Girlguiding. The first aid training I had led me to work with the ambulance service and later my work with the Royal Life Saving Society led me to become a life guard at a special school."
Her qualifications also led Mrs Mantle to teaching and physiotherapy.
But she says she couldn't have done it without her husband.
"I've had 35 years of fun and, hopefully, made a difference to many hundreds of girls and young women.
"But it wouldn't have worked without my husband who has always been right behind me."