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PUBLISHED: 15:05 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 07 September 2010

Charlotte Newton THE longest serving nursery school in the borough reaches a major landmark next month when staff and pupils past and present celebrate its 40th birthday. Hundreds of children have passed through the doors of Stationers Playgroup in Crouc

Charlotte Newton

THE longest serving nursery school in the borough reaches a major landmark next months when staff and pupils past and present celebrate its 40th birthday.

Hundreds of children have passed through the doors of Stationers Playgroup in Crouch End.

And parents and teachers at the pre-school, which meets at the Hornsey Vale Community Centre in Mayfield Road, are inviting former members to attend an anniversary fair.

Suzy Barber, whose three-year-old son Frank attends the play school, said: "We want the fair to be the focus of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary.

"A lot of people think of play groups as a recent concept.

"But it would be fascinating to find out about the history of the group from people who lived in Crouch End in 1969.

"It would be great to see some funky photos of mums and nursery school teachers in mini dresses from the 1960s and 1970s; and of the toys children used to play with.

Ms Barber added: "It would be really good to get children who came here, or their parents, to contact us to share their experiences. This should be a really good way of bringing the Crouch End community together."

The manager of the nursery Sue Davies, 55, was born in Hampstead. She lives in Muswell Hill with her husband and teenage son - and has run the nursery school for 11 years.

Mrs Davies arrives at 7am each morning to lay out the morning's activities, tables and chairs in the spacious hall.

She said: "We only rent the hall so we have to put everything away at the end of each session.

"We received some lottery funding in 1999 which really helped us because we could buy storage cupboards for all our equipment."

The softly spoken nursery teacher added: "Parents say the reason they like coming here is because it's relaxed, yet it still prepares their children for primary school.

"I think that's the key to our longevity.

"The main thing most parents are concerned about is ensuring their child has the social skills to cope with the next step."

Child psychologist Emma Troughton, 31, is on maternity leave after giving birth two her second child Olive, seven months ago.

Mrs Troughton, of the Harringay Ladder brings her older daughter Daisy, two, to the nursery.

She said: "This nursery was recommended to me by a friend. Daisy started just after Christmas. It's a bit of trek from our house but I like it because it's a lovely, warm, family group.

"I like the fact that the children learn to socialise without pressure. Some nurseries almost expect the children to perform, whereas here it's very relaxed and they play together."

If you were a toddler in the swinging sixties or a yummy mummy in the 70s contact suzy.barber01@googlemail.com.

The fair is in Hornsey Vale Community Centre, from 12 noon to 3pm on April 26.

Entry costs £1 for adults, for children it is free.

Entertainment will include a tombola, bouncy castle, international kitchen with food from around the world, face painting, goal shooting, biscuit decorating and a plant sale.


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