BLUNSDON Nursery School has celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Guests, including the Mayor of Highworth, Pam Adams, and chairman of Blunsdon Parish Council, Ian Jankinson, joined parents, children, former staff and the nursery’s founder, Angela Carwardine, at a celebration at the High Street venue.

Pauline Webster, who bought the nursery from Angela 25 years ago, said she was delighted it was still going strong.

“I am proud to say we have gone from strength to strength,” she said.

“I have a very loyal staffing team, with one member working for me for nearly 20 years.

“How things have changed over this time, but we have always managed to drive the nursery forward and get good Ofsted reports.

“Our parents have always been very supportive and I know we send our children on to their big schools with confidence.

“It was very important to me that Angela was there and I think she quite enjoyed it.

“As the founder, without her we wouldn’t have what we’ve got today.

“I sent my children there when she owned it so I knew the nursery quite well before I took it over.”

All 28 of the nursery’s children provided the morning’s entertainment, with refreshments on offer to the guests.

Pauline said: “The children did a concert for the parents and then they did their Wake and Shake. We tried to get the parents involved but I think some of them were feeling a bit shy and were too busy taking photographs.

“Some of the staff had baked cakes so we went inside and enjoyed them. It was all over at about 11am, so it was a very short, intense party.

“All the children were given a pencil case as a little present.

“It was absolutely fantastic. Everybody really enjoyed themselves and had a really positive experience. Hopefully the staff all enjoyed it as well as the visitors and the children.”

Pauline said that although it was great to be part of the nursery’s latest milestone, a lot of hard work had gone in to getting it to where it is.

She said: “It’s quite stressful really because you want to keep it up and we want to be the top. It’s been here for a very long time.

“But it’s good that this nursery, considering it’s from such a small village, is the oldest in the town.”

Angela started the nursery 50 years ago from her house before it moved to the Methodist Hall in Blunsdon.

When this became too small, she moved to the bigger premises of the Blunsdon Village Hall, where it is now based.