Past pupils and members of staff marked 40 years

REUNION From left, Christina Ladapo with her son Mozes Ladapo, three, who is a pupil at the centre, former employee Sue Lamport, former pupil Sylvester Walling, 15, and his mum Dawn Walling
REUNION From left, Christina Ladapo with her son Mozes Ladapo, three, who is a pupil at the centre, former employee Sue Lamport, former pupil Sylvester Walling, 15, and his mum Dawn Walling

THIS WEEK IN 1993: Nursery school for all three-year-olds

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INVITING past and present pupils to help celebrate their anniversary, a nursery had a weekend to remember.

The Willows Centre for Children, in Battenburg Avenue, North End, celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Ex-pupils and ex-members of staff were invited to the day which had a range of activities for all the family to enjoy.

More than 100 different families turned up to enjoy the sun and catch up with old friends.

Margaret Dunsford has been headteacher at the Willows Centre for Children since 2008.

She said: ‘We thought a reunion of old staff and old pupils would be a great way to celebrate our 40th birthday.

‘The pupils who were here when we first opened would be around 45 now so we thought it would be great if they could catch up and see how far we have expanded.

‘But even some of the pupils who left more recently enjoyed coming back and seeing the staff and their friends.’

On Saturday the nursery, which looks after disabled and able-bodied children, arranged face painting, races in the grounds and tours of the secret garden which is between its site and Cliffdale.

Margaret added: ‘We wanted things to keep everyone entertained.

‘So the staff and I had a brainstorm to think of a load of different things.

‘What we came up with worked quite well.

‘We has fun sports on our field and people particularly loved the secret garden, but what was definitely a highlight was the time capsule.

‘We got everyone to make letters and draw pictures and we out them in out own capsule. I thought it was very fitting.

‘Then we all joined in with some songs which bought everyone together.’

Pictures and other memories from the day are hanging up in the nursery as a montage.

Parents and children who couldn’t make it to the day have also been asked to write messages for the anniversary,

But this is just the beginning because Margaret hopes they will have similar celebrations for other big birthdays.

She said: ‘Nobody know what will happen in the future but I think the success of the celebrations has made everyone keen to do it again.

‘We all had a lovely time and it was nice to share the history of the centre with our pupils.’