It’s the end of an era today as Adrienna Taylor retires after 40 years at St Annes’ Summerfield Day Nursery.
After working her way up from part-time nursery worker to manager, the 61-year-old fondly known as ‘Adrie’ to the hundreds of children she has looked after, is calling it a day.
She intends to devote more time to her hobby of sewing as well as enjoying more leisure time with husband Colin, and she said: “It has been wonderful to look after so many children over the years and now I am seeing youngsters whose parents also attended the nursery.
“It’s fantastic to see a child grown to adulthood with little ones of their own.”
Adrienna was just 21 when she started part-time at the nursery and took along daughter Sarah, now 41.
“We had 30 places and six staff, but Summerfield expanded to the house next door, and now has a baby unit and accommodates more than children plus some 20 staff,” Adrienna recalls – and she has a store of funny stories about children she has looked after over the years.
“One little boy, Andrew, was four when he was the donkey in a nativity play,” she recalls.
“He wasn’t feeling very well, so we told him to sit down, and the narrator quickly built in to the story how the poor donkey was tired and had to have a rest on the way to Bethlehem.
“Then there was a time when four-year-old Joshua was the inn-keeper. Instead of telling Joseph and Mary there was no room at the inn, he invited them in for a cup of tea.
“It’s a privilege to help little ones on their way within a caring ethos and so rewarding to see them learn, develop and prepare for the next stage as they progress with confidence to primary school.
“I can’t believe it has been 40 years – right up to the end, I have enjoyed it as much as on my first day.”
Adrienna’s final day at the nursery will include an ‘open house’ session this afternoon which will allow parents and former pupils to go along and say their farewells.
Kim Morton, new manager at Summerfield, said: “Adrie has been a real star and we will all miss her.”