Bridget Towle comes from a Leicestershire family. After graduating from Exeter University in Economics, Law and Politics she taught in Uganda on VSO. Returning home she joined the family knitwear and hosiery company based in Loughborough, first studying textile technology at Leicester Polytechnic, later followed by management courses. She was involved with marketing and product design for the company, becoming Joint Managing Director of Towles plc in 1980.
Having been involved with local Girlguiding for many years on ceasing employment she was elected in 1996 for a five year term as Chief Guide and chair of trustees of Girlguiding in the UK and Commonwealth. She then became a trustee of the RAF Benevolent Fund and also the College of Optometrists where she chaired the Lay Advisory Panel. In 2000 she joined the Council of the University of Leicester, becoming Treasurer in 2009 and Chair of Council from 2013-2019.
She was appointed CBE for services to Girlguiding and received honorary doctorates from Exeter and Loughborough Universities. She is a Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire and Vice President of Girlguiding UK.
* – Because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Gillian Johnston remained as president to the end of 2020. She handed over the presidency to Dr Bridget Towle at her President’s Address, which took place in January 2021. Dr Towle then remained as president until the end of the 2021 – 2022 season