Play memories

It was interesting to read the article of the history of Halsdon Playgroup, although I was surprised to read that a burglary resulted in the playgroup closing.

I became the playgroup supervisor in 1986 when we were affiliated with the Pre Playgroups’ Association. I was lucky to have Chris King as my right-hand helper, plus various other staff/parents and helpers in my six years as supervisor.

We did have a burglary when our playgroup shed was broken into, but, luckily, with the insurance payment and the generosity of parents, had more than enough toys to compensate our loss.

I think the one episode that both myself, Chris and others remember was one morning when the water heater exploded in the kitchen, resulting in a fire.

Luckily, it was a pleasant morning so that table toys and other playgroup equipment had been set up in the garden. The children were ushered outside, while Chris ran to telephone for the fire brigade - it was before mobiles.


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The fire was quickly extinguished and there was much laughter when the fireman brought out the tank containing the stick insects.

The children enjoyed the rest of the morning, climbing onto the fire engine and trying on helmets. The punch line was, the next day, when one mother complained that we had not let her know the fire engine was visiting, as her younger child would have enjoyed seeing the engine!

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The playgroup closed when Chris and I left, as the committee was unable to find suitable staff. The afternoon toddler group continued.

Susan Mendham

(via email).

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