The building was used as a day nursery from the 1940's up until the 70's. The nursery catered for children from 6 weeks to 5 years old.
The basement housed the boiler and a kitchen. On the ground floor was childrens play rooms, childrens toilets and a staff room. On the second floor were further childrens rooms, the matrons office and messy play room and bathroom. The attic was used for storage.
The first Matron was called Mrs White and she was later replaced by Connie Orr. The nursery closed when the Jane Fry nursery was opened in 1973.
Below are memories of working in the nursery from past staff:
Theresa - Deputy Manager from 1959 to 1969
"I have great memories of my time working as Deputy Manager at the day nursery on Beach Road. I started as a student then nursery nurse and became Deputy Matron.
Work started at 7am. The building was absolutely freezing and we would have to wait for the kitchen staff to light the fires. At lunchtime we would have to carry large trays of food up and down the back stairs but it kept us fit.
In the basement was the kitchen and laundry room. On the first floor was two rooms for the children and a staff room. There were also children toilets. On the second floor was more childrens bedrooms and a messy play room. The atttic was very dark with no lights and was only used for storage. No one liked to go up into the attic.
There were many single parents who worked long hours and would give us money and ask us to go and buy their children a present on their birthday as they didn't have the opportunity to go to the shops.
Some children weren't very clean when they came to the nursery so we would always wash them and put them in clean clothing but before going home we had to put them back in their own clothes.
There was a telephone in the staff room with a handle to turn to get in touch with staff at the older children nursery at 1 Beach Road."
Clare - Nursery Warden
Claire started working at the nursery at the age of 22 and worked there for 4 years. She remembers her driving test where you began at 1 Beach Road and finished at 29 Beach Road where all her colleagues were waiting with their noses presssed firmly on the upstairs windows waiting for you to perform parralel parking (which she found off putting). When she failed the first time it was embarrassing but the second time she passed and was greeted by a cheer.
Ann - Nursery Nurse
Ann started working in the nursery at 16 years old and worked there for 10 years.
She remembers Monday morning started with cleaning childrens hair and it seemed like a never-ending job, She can remember putting childrens coats on the fireguard to warm up before they went home and one got singed but luckily their mum was fine about it.
She also remembers the time they took 25 children to Marine Park and one child called Neil fell in but was quickly rescued. Also when they used to go to the park they would take a full roast dinner out to the park on the bottom of their prams.
"It was hard work but very happy times"
Pat - Student Nursey Nurse
Pat started work at the age of 16 years old and left when she was 18 years old.
"It was very hard to get into work for 7am and start ironing the clothes in a freezing building. It was one of the happiest times in my life, always funny banter among the staff, it seemed like one big family and the children were so pleasant. I can still remember the smell of the coal fires in every room with smoke bellowing out and walking with a big pram full of small babies and older ones holding handles of the pram. Washing nappies was quite a chore, rinsing them 7 times in cold water and wringing them out, We drew big pictures for the wall to brighten them up."
Val - Senior Nursery Nurse
Val started working at the nursery in 1967 at the age of 16 and left after 5 years.
"The day started at 7am with damp dusting of all surfaces before the children arrived for breakfast. The children were placed in family group rooms depending on age from 6 weeks to 5 years. There was a large bath upstairs and we used to have a washing machine close it. The clothes were first rinsed in the cold bath water, then washed and left to dry in the large airer cupboard. We used to take the children to Marine Park in large coach built prams and students used to come back and collect the diners - sometimes hot roasts, custards and puddings and transport them back to the park.
My first day at the nursery I took some children to the nursery with my senior Pat but when we came back there was one child missing and I was sent back to get him but didn't know his name. I eventually found him.
I also used to take children out at lunchtime to see my parents. I wouldn't be allowed now. I remember the days as being very happy "
Connie Orr/ Robson/ Lewis - Matron
Connie was dedicated to her work as Matron of the nursery. She ran numerous fundraising activities including beetle drive and pie was pea suppers to raise funds to buy equipment for the nursery. She used to take here younger sisters toys in for the nursery children to play with. One night she even took a little boy home with authorisation from Social Services as his parents hadn't picked him up from nursery. She instilled a love of working with children to her sister who followed in her sisters footsteps to become a nursery worker.
Ex Nursery Staff 2017
Pictured below is the Val, Ann, Claire, Pat and Theresa meeting up in 2017 to share their memories of working in the nursery.