Marilyn Lewis is an important part of this community. She moved to Stantonbury in December 1974 where she purchased her home (then just a peg in the ground!) for £9150. The area was to be known as 'Stantonbury 4'. Marilyn worked in a bank in London at this time and so had to commute every day by train from Wolverton station.
We asked Marilyn if she has seen a lot of changes in the last 26 years..."there were no shops! you either had to shop at Wolverton or Bletchley." She then went on to say "taking the sports and social club away was a big mistake, it had a tennis court and bowling green." The club was situated at the Jacobs Close housing estate. Although Marilyn remembers Wood End first School being built she didnt't actually see much of it, because of working in London, but she does recall the excitement around at the time especially as there were lots of young families moving to the area for a 'new life'.
Marilyn started work at the council owned Stanton fields playgroup at 45 Crosslands. It then moved to an empty classroom at Wood End first School because of a flood and it was there to stay! Marilyn commented, "I was nervous at first it was like starting a new job, but the staff was very friendly and I soon felt welcome." The newly situated playgroup started with six children and now has 35 on the register with ages ranging between two and a half to four years. There are 15 children per session with a staff of 1 to every 5 children. Most of the children are from the Stantonbury estates, but not all. Activities include:- storytime, music, messy play (paints, glue, soapy sand, playdough) drawing, sand and play corners - these include a home corner where there are no traditional roles (everyone dresses up, cooks and cleans) and a shopping corner with a till, trolley and goods!
We asked Marilyn if she felt her role as a playgroup leader had changed dramatically over the years. This is what she said... "yes, before it was all learn through play and they still learn through play but there is more paper work is required now. It was hard to adapt, but I am getting there!" Marilyn went on to say..."as well as having to do; yearly, termly, weekly and daily planning, we also have to keep day care records and need parent/gaurdian permision for photographs observations etc... We also have to display 'keyworker teams', have S.E.N and goals are set by the D.E.F.E."
We asked Marilyn of any highlights of her job to share with us: she recalled her 40th birthday party when all the parents and children were there and how wanted and really cared for she felt.
Favourite times: Summer, "we have a seaside day, with ice-creams, and the Christmas party, with the appearance of Santa!"
Special children: "quite a few, the cuddly ones, but all the children are special."
Thank you Marilyn, and so are you.
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