Party to mark end of an era for Rushden nursery

The original nursery at 284, Newton Road in 1964
The original nursery at 284, Newton Road in 1964

A family-run nursery which has looked after thousands of children is closing after more than 50 years.

Peggy Strickland established the Court Estate Pre-School at a property in Newton Road, Rushden, back in 1964 with just a handful of children.

Mrs Strickland, who is now 98

Mrs Strickland, who is now 98

Since then, its numbers have grown so it had to relocate to bigger premises and the running of it has passed down through several generations of the family.

But after more than half a century offering pre-school care to children in the area, the nursery is closing due to family circumstances.

Sophie Strickland, granddaughter of Mrs Strickland, said: “It has been run by a family member for the last 53 years - my mother Sharon with Nanny and then Annabel so a true family business and a real end of an era.

“They have had so many generations of local children attend the nursery, including a good many of my friends, a few I am still very close with and we are in our forties - she taught us well.

Outside the now current nursery from 1969

Outside the now current nursery from 1969

“Nanny truly was a pillar of the local community, everybody knows and loves her.

“She organised book clubs, Christmas fairs, flower arranging, everything back in the day, there was always something going on involving everybody.”

While it is the end of an era, the family is inviting anyone who went to the nursery to join them for a ‘goodbye and thank you’ party next week.

The party is being held from 5pm to 7pm on Friday, March 31, at the nursery, which is now based at Manor Lodge Farm in Newton Road.

A letter to Mrs Strickland from Matthew in 1967

A letter to Mrs Strickland from Matthew in 1967

Sophie’s twin sister Annabel Strickland has been running the nursery for 19 years and while she says they are devastated to be closing, they really want people to join them as they mark the occasion with Mrs Strickland, who is now 98.

Annabel said: “Mrs Strickland has looked after thousands of children in the county.”

And Sophie added: “She was a fantastic teacher to so many children in the area, it totally kept her young at heart.”

Any children and parents who have been connected with the nursery over the years are invited to join the family at next week’s event.

For more details about the party call the nursery on 01933 356291.