The banner displayed on the boundary fence outside the new ‘Pre-School’.

New premises at Lakeside, completely adapted to the needs of the Pre-School, were officially opened with an invitation sent to a number of village residents in the following terms: “St Osyth Preschool would like to invite you to celebrate the opening of their new setting on Saturday 6th October from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.”
The visit was a real eye opener showing how this former public house had been changed to a young pre-school persons facility, giving so many diverse training and teaching opportunities in a building which is now devoted full time to the young pre-schoolers, without the need as in the past, to clear all their teaching equipment away each day, so that another organisation might use the same space in the evening.
The Village playgroup was set up in 1968 by Sonia Grantham then a school teacher, with help from Ester Addison and based in the Chapel in Colchester Road, but in the 44 years since the birth of the playgroup, the name playgroup has gone and the concept has matured into today’s Pre-School facility. In the early days a playgroup was just what the name suggests, but today the Pre-School staff must be properly trained and the working establishment inspected and authorised by government Inspectors. What was once staffed largely by willing volunteers with minimum training, is today run by professional, fully trained staff able to deal with all aspects of managing the needs of pre-school children.

Extended opening hours are now possible: 8am to 6pm, 5 full days a week for 50 weeks a year!

These photographs

are Intended

to show the

variety of


possible now

with the whole

of the inside

space Set up

devoted to

specific subjects

and or tasks

The building now fenced from the road and with car parking spaces for staff and visitors

The above small pictures show equipment laid out on the floor ready for use and in sufficient quantity for there to be little squabbling about who wants what!
The six small pictures below show the decoration of the walls where in many cases the Pre-School children have a spot with a personal reference, such as a record of their birthday or their photograph or some personal work of their own thought worthy of wall space including ‘Art Work’.
It appears that all attendees work will be rewarded by its exhibition on a wall somewhere in the building
Care will need to be exercised by parents arriving with small children by car as access and egress to Mill Street, is at a busy point in the road and approached from the village by a downhill slope. In my opinion this will need some warning signage.

There are

wall displays

around all rooms.

Some show

Art work another

’My Birthday’

The Pre-school Staff photographed with St Osyth’s two District Councillors. From left to right we have Jodi Clover, Tayler Lloyd, Donna East, Claire Cowler, Councillor Michael Talbot, Karen Smith, Councillor John White, Nicky Giles, Courtney Lloyd and Luke Street.

More play and

work areas

on the floor

A second set of toilets, with wash

basins overlooked by modern art!

A group of visitors chatting about their visit and expressing their surprise at the extent of the facilities.
The idea of a quite separate area for the youngest children was applauded, something now permitted by the larger premises
A finger buffet was provided on the afternoon by the Pre-School Staff and was much appreciated.
It was noted by prospective users that the potential danger posed by the proximity of the Mill Dam Lake to the Pre-School, had been removed by the erection of a very substantial fence between the Lake and the Pre-School.

A very young child playing with her Mum looking on

A young lady solving problems comfortably sitting on the floor

Two vehicle drivers on the outside decking racing to the door

Another washroom suitably laid out for young children. On the right is a notice saying “Please encourage your child to use the hand sanitizer before they enter the room”, with a small machine such as that used in hospitals which pumps a gel into the palm of your hand. It is there for all children to use.

This threefold display item, prominently thanked all

those who volunteered services to adapt the building

This is the music table

Your photo in a star

Everywhere one turns is a new surprise. I do not know what genius laid the building out the way it now is now, but it is difficult to remember the inside when It was a public house.
Marks out of ten for the designer? I will give it eleven!
The Parish Council visited on the 18th August when work was still underway. People were painting wall, some carpentry work was underway and another person was dealing to the electrical work. There were various obstacles on the floor or leaning against a wall for us to navigate, but Karen Smith did give the Council members a general run down on where they were going and an assurance the work would be finished on time.
She turned out to be quite correct and the opening today was evidence of their commitment to providing a happy and valuable recourse for the village.

It was clear from our invited inspection, that both health and safety are paramount features of this newly adapted building, but encouraged in such a way that it will not interfere with the potential enjoyment so obviously available to future users


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