Rising Fives pre-school celebrates 40 years

Basingstoke Gazette: Past and present staff gather to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Rising Fives pre-school Buy this photo » Past and present staff gather to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Rising Fives pre-school

A WHITCHURCH nursery with a colourful history has celebrated a milestone birthday.

Pupils past and present of the Rising Fives pre-school, in Wells Lane, came together to toast its 40 years in the town.

Cakes, a duck race and a raffle with prizes donated from local businesses were all part of the December 1 celebration.

And this week marks a new beginning for the nursery, which was rated “good” by Ofsted, with the appointment of a new manager Theresa Saunders, who started on Monday.

“It has been a great success to share our birthday with all our fantastic staff and pupils past and present,” said chairman of the trustees, Nadia Dowling. “We have exciting times ahead with a new manager starting.”

Rising Fives was founded in 1972 by mums Virginia Lee and Catherine Larcombe at a home in Newbury Road. A year later it moved to bigger premises at Whitchurch Parish Hall in London Street.

The nursery moved to its current home in the Old Canteen in 1974 in a move that needed the help of the second most senior judge in the country, Whitchurch resident Lord Denning, to help fight a lengthy legal battle to transfer ownership of the former Whitchurch C of E School building to the nursery.

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Mrs Dowling added: “The nursery has gone from strength to strength over the years. It is a real community here. We are looking forward to many more celebrations in the future.”

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