A pre-school in Fair Oak has celebrated its 60th birthday with staff, children, parents, and grandparents coming together to mark the occasion.

Rainbows pre-school was set up by Dorothy Clarke in 1964 and originally held in what is now Acorn Social Club, then called Fairfield Nursery.

Years later it would become known as Rainbows, with Lynn Hooper and Jacqui Huskins – affectionately known as ‘aunties’ to the children - buying the pre-school in 1999.

Lynn still oversees the school to this day, now from the spacious Woodland Community Centre, which includes both a large hall and outside area for children aged upwards of two years and six months to play and learn with one another.

“It’s amazing to see how the pre-school has evolved,” said Lynn, who has worked at Rainbows since 1996, and even seen her own children come through the nursery.

“It’s a fully inclusive pre-school with an amazing team of people.

“It’s very family orientated and the parents have always been fantastic – many of whom were once children here – it’s almost like a second family and we couldn’t be prouder, so it’s fantastic to see so many people here today as I think it goes to show that everyone really cares and holds the pre-school in high regard.”

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(Image: Matt Davey)

Rainbows currently looks after a total of 74 children and have never been in more demand, with a waiting list of toddlers hoping to be enrolled with the nursery in the coming months.

To celebrate the pre-school’s 60th birthday, photos of past year groups were put on display in the hall and attendees were offered a selection of food and drink – including a 60th birthday cake – with children able to play in a ball pit, ride space hoppers, and take part in outdoor activities.

Sapphire Jones’s four-year-old son Riley has been enrolled at the nursery for two years, with the mum telling the Echo: “It’s fantastic here, everyone is so well looked after and there’s so much for the children to do.

“I wouldn’t recommend anywhere else.”

As part of the nursery’s 60th birthday celebrations, a piece of artwork is set to be placed in the village to mark the occasion and recognise the nursery’s role within the community.