Pancake-flipping fun is the perfect celebration for north Norfolk nursery’s new playground
- Credit: Archant
Pancake-flipping pupils had an extra spring in their step at Ladybird Pre-school Nursery, Sheringham, today, when their annual Shrove Tuesday races doubled up as a celebration of their newly-revamped, 'extra bouncy' playground.
Cheered on by an enthusiastic audience of staff, parents and grandparents, the two, three and four-year-olds raced around a series of plastic cones carrying toy saucepans containing toddler-sized pancakes cooked up by Ladybird committee member Karen Perrem.
Nursery manager Vanessa Harris said that because the playground had become worn out and 'unforgiving', the races – which have long been a tradition at Ladybird – have had to be shelved for the past couple of years.
However, after a five-year fundraising campaign which saw staff and supporters run discos, cake sales, quiz nights and restaurant evenings, the Cromer Road group was able to go ahead with plans to refurbish the playground.
It now has a rubberised, all-weather surface, complete with road markings for youngsters to drive around on their bikes and ride-on vehicles.
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The new, springy surface also means that the group has been able to purchase play equipment up to a metre high, giving youngsters more scope for play.
'We set ourselves a target of £7,000 and it has been a long, hard challenge to raise the funds,' Mrs Harris said. 'But it is a wonderful facility for the children to have and we thought the perfect way to celebrate would be to re-introduce the pancake races.'
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Thanking Ladybird committee members, trustees and parents – including mum-of-two Charlotte Neale, who raised £1,000 for the group by running last year's London Marathon – Mrs Harris added: 'As a charity, it is always difficult for us to find funding, so we are tremendously grateful for all the hard work everyone has put in to make the playground possible.'
The races, which saw all those taking part presented with Olympic-style gold medals, followed pancake songs and a mid-morning snack of homemade pancakes with various toppings.
'It was absolutely lovely to see the smiles on everybody's faces, and we are really pleased that having the new playground has allowed us to revive a great tradition,' Mrs Harris said.