IT was party-time at the Midhurst Nursery Class when past pupils joined its 30th anniversary celebrations.
Manager of the nursery class Chris Reseigh first opened the doors at the old youth club in Lamberts Lane on May 1, 1984.
On Monday, April 28, just three days before the actual 30th birthday, children from Year 1 and the reception class at Midhurst Primary School returned to help her celebrate at a special playday.
“I started the nursery for my son Tom,” Chris told the Observer, “because the nursery I had chosen for him closed down.
“When I said to my husband that I didn’t know what to do, he replied there was only one thing to do and that was start my own!”
Chris had hoped to open her very own nursery at her home, but was refused planning permission by Chichester District Council.
“Luckily Colin Hughes came to the rescue,” said Chris, “offering us the room at the old youth club which became our home for 29 years.
“We started with just four children and four boxes of toys, but both quickly expanded until we had 40 children on the roll and cupboards full of resources.”
She said over the years many things had changed at the Midhurst Nursery Class, but the ethos had always stayed constant.
“We have always tried to provide a safe place where there is time and space for children to learn through play, with plenty of adults to support them in this.
“A place to start to make lasting friendships, to be prepared for school life, and where there are opportunities to go out to discover the world beyond the classroom.
“We also have always felt it important to recognise parents as people, and not just as someone’s mum or dad, so they too, can feel included and welcomed into the setting.”
Last summer the nursery class left the old youth club and moved with the Youth Services to the brand-new building at the other end of Lamberts Lane, ‘and we hope it will continue to thrive and serve the people of Midhurst’.
Tomorrow, Saturday, May 3, there will be an open day at the nursery to continue the 30th anniversary celebrations.
It will be open from 11am-4pm and all past pupils, parents and staff are welcome at the new home of the nursery class.