Retiring pre-school manager in Ormesby looks back at her 32-year career
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
She started as a parent-helper on a volunteer rota with lots of other mums.
Now Anne Craske can look back on a 32-year career as the manager of the busy pre-school she first attended with her own little girls.
The 65-year-old former dental nurse is stepping down from Ormesby pre-school where she has been a familiar face to generations of children.
Mrs Craske, who hails originally from Rugby, said she would miss the children and all the staff - but that the time was right.
Over the years it had grown to a roll of 90 children with breakfast, after-school, and holiday club services drawing youngsters from Acle and beyond.
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She said the school had come a long way since its 'packaway' days at the Village Centre in Station Road, expanding onto the infant school site in a mobile building.
Later, after reorganisation meant losing a year group to the junior school, it was able to move into classrooms within the main school.
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Many of the 15 staff known as 'the girls in blue' had been with her since those early days, making the break even harder, she said.
But on the plus side she was looking forward to spending more time with her husband David, picking up her knitting, and enjoying her granddaughter.
She said she had 'gone full circle' looking after the children of children, some of whom were now in high school.
And while successive governments had bought in new rules and paperwork the one thing that remained constant was the children and their love of splodgy, imaginative play.
A child-centred ethos had always meant that having fun was a priority and the best way to get the most out of youngsters, she said.
Key-workers always went with a child's interest helping them to blossom and to enjoy making discoveries for themselves.
The best part was watching them grow up, she added, delighting in seeing her young charges make their way in life.
Sports days, plays and performances were among the fun highlights in a career in which there was never a dull moment and plenty of laughs.
An open day is being staged at the pre-school on Mrs Craske's last day Wednesday July 20 for people to say a fond farewell and share their memories, 2-4.30pm.