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Happy Faces playgroup celebrates 30 years
THE founder of a playgroup in Sherfield-on-Loddon was honoured at a party to celebrate the group’s 30th birthday.
Peggy Hutchins, of Bow Drive, founded the Happy Faces group in 1982 as a way for her two sons to meet other children in the village.
Thirty years on, the pre-school group is open five days a week and has 60 children on its register.
Last Sunday, scores of parents turned up to the village hall, in Reading Road, to take part in the birthday celebrations.
Attractions included a tug-of-war, a martial arts taster session, face-painting, a bouncy castle and a barbecue.
Mrs Hutchins, 67, was praised during a presentation, and as a surprise, two relatives of staff built a new playhouse for the children to use.
She told The Gazette: “It has been absolutely magical – everyone has worked so hard to make this day special. It was emotional when I first walked in because they did not let me play any part in organising it at all. When I walked through the door, I was overwhelmed.”
Among the guests was Helen Dann, who attended the playgroup as a child, and her four-year-old son Finlay, a current pupil at the group.
The 31-year-old, also, of Bow Drive, said: “It is really special. Peggy thoroughly deserves every bit of recognition that she gets for everything she has done for the group. In the year of the diamond jubilee, she’s the queen of Sherfield-on-Loddon.”