This image is the front cover of a booklet presented to my daughter, Hattie, when she left Pebble Mill Nursery to start school in September 1994. She started at the Nursery in December 1990, when she was just 18 weeks old. She is now a 20 year old student! The photo shows Hattie enjoying a Nursery outing to Cannon Hill Park. The booklet itself includes drawings by Hattie and her friends at Pebble Mill.
Pebble Mill Nursery was a great asset for staff. It began in the late 198os, when David Waine was the Head of Building, although it was the brainchild of senior personnel manager Bridget Allen. I think there were around twenty places for babies and toddlers, and it was often over subscribed, with staff having to wait for a place. The Nursery was housed in a wooden building, which had previously been a sports pavilion, round the corner from Pebble Mill, on the Bristol Road.
The Nursery was managed by Pauline, who was there for almost the entire life of the Nursery, ably supported by Sarah. The staff running the Nursery were excellent and tended to work there for several years – always a good sign. Towards the end of Pebble Mill the Nursery was moved to portacabins in the car park, as the original wooden building and tennis courts were demolished.
(Nicola Silk commented with the following additional information:
The nursery actually began life in the mid 70s… I was there! Originally set up in 1974 (in the same wooden hut), the Pebble Mill nursery was the first creche facility in the entire BBC. I was one of the first intake of 5 children and I can remember the year I spent there. Enforced afternoon naps on green camp beds with fluffy purple blankets, riding in a go-kart round the tennis courts and the time I went in without any knickers on (my mum was away filming and my dad was looking after me). These things shape a person’s life. The highlight though, and possibly the highlight of my life, was when we went over to ‘the big building’ the day the Wombles were on Pebble Mill at One. Not only did I meet my heroes but I was filmed dancing with them on the front lawn. Uncle Bulgaria was quite a mover. Despite the campaigning of the Nursery Action Group (NAG) set up by my mum, it was closed the following year. It made the local paper when it opened and somewhere there’s a cutting with photo of me posing on a slide, with 2 other kids and the wife of the Chair of the Board of Governors to mark the opening.)
My daughter Eve attended PM Nursery in 1999 at six months old until she started school. She is now 12 and still has very fond memories of the wonderful staff and the good times. A ‘real’ Santa would turn up at the Christmas parties but Eve was always too scared to speak to him and her ‘staff’ would negotiate on her behalf! I will always be grateful to Pauline and her team of lovely girls who helped make my working life so much easier by looking after Eve so well and with such love and care.