Obituary: Pat Aslett – former Christchurch Brownie and Guide leader

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pat aslett obituary
Pat Aslett

PAT Aslett, known to hundreds of youngsters as a former Christchurch Brownie and Guide leader, as well as being a longstanding Red Cross volunteer, has died at the age of 84.

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Over the years she received many accolades for her community work including the Dorset Youth Service Award, the Mayor’s Award, the Good Citizens Award and the Good Service 40 Years Girl Guiding Award.

Pat achieved all this despite suffering from multiple sclerosis for around 44 years.
Pat also belonged to the British Red Cross as a cadet officer and was a founder member of Christchurch Life Saving Club, patrolling the Mudeford and Bournemouth beaches at weekends.

Born in Waterlooville in 1936, Pat and her family moved to Christchurch when she was around three, shortly before the arrival of her younger sister Gill.

She attended Christchurch Junior School and Twynham School before leaving at the age of 15 to work at GJ Hayter jigsaw factory in Boscombe.

She worked at Woolworths in Christchurch running the sweets and biscuits counter for 14 years where she was very popular with customers.

Pat’s next job was at Boots in Boscombe, where she trained to be a window dresser and was soon travelling to Boots branches all over Hampshire and Dorset. She remained at Boots for 26 years until 1991.

Pat’s involvement of more than 50 years with the Guiding movement started when she joined the Girl Guides at the age of 11, where she loved the camping activities and crafts.

While still a Guide, she helped with the Brownies, and then at 16 joined Christchurch Sea Rangers. She loved rowing and camping as well as helping at weekends at Capesthorne children’s convalescence home at Mudeford.

At 17 she became a Tawny Owl at St George’s Brownies in Christchurch and was horrified at having to buy herself navy, knee-length bloomers as part of her uniform. In 1963 she became the Brown Owl.

Pat was a Brownie Guider for 48 years but reluctantly retired at 65 because of Guiding regulations.

As well as becoming a Brownie leader, Pat became the Sea Rangers sub-lieutenant, later becoming the skipper, and was thrilled to attend Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace when two of her Sea Rangers received the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

Pat was a member of the Trefoil Guild from 1993 and received the Trefoil Gold Dark Horse Award and the Trefoil Gold Voyage Award.

Pat is survived by her sister Gill, and a funeral has been held. Anyone wishing to donate in her memory can give to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

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