My late mother, Mary Laughton 10.4.1922 - 1.9.2014 has dictated this article to me.
My best friend of over sixty four years Delph Joyce and I were reminiscing the other day about our venture we set up in the early sixties. I am 92 next week and Delph was 100 last August. The main photo was taken at Delph's 100th birthday party.
Whilst enjoying a cup of tea one morning, Delph suggested that maybe we could start up a small nursery school. Her large Victorian house was ideal as the rooms were large and a huge fenced in garden would be perfect for a play area
To our delight, the idea was approved by Herefordshire Council and a G.P and we were told to go ahead.
Our maximum number of children, including babies was nine and the nursery would be allowed to operate from 9am until noon Monday through to Friday.
Playtime in the Garden
When the children arrived, to get everyone in a happy frame of mind, we used to start the day singing a nursery rhyme that one of the children chose. This would settle the little ones who would sometimes cry when their mothers left.
We used to read stories and teach the children how to add up numbers. Lego, farm animals, dolls, several picture books and a blackboard with chalk for drawing pictures were available for the children to play with
Weather permitting, there was always time to play outdoors. The garden was equipped with a slide, a swing and a covered fish pond to keep the children amused. Babies would be outside in their prams enjoying the fresh air. Simple ball games were popular and hoopla hooping was another craze that was just starting up. The laughter was infectious and Delph and I knew we had made the right "career" choice.
At 11am, drinks and biscuits would be served and the children were allowed to talk amongst themselves for a while and again, if the weather was fine, we would take them for a walk around the streets and point out the various sights and teach them road skills.
Enjoying the sunshine with Kitty
When the mothers picked them up at midday, they would all be happy and proudly show their pictures they had drawn and Lego structures they had built
Unfortunately after eighteen months or thereabouts, we had to close the nursery as Delph, who was a JP had many council meetings to attend and I was not allowed to run the nursery on my own.
This was a very happy time in my life and I became a child minder myself for around five years or so. We are still in contact with many of the children we looked after to this day and they all have fond memories of their time spent with us.