AS Winchester pre-school children bounced merrily throughout the afternoon celebrations proud parents looked on.

Despite the intermittent rain, dozens of under-fives engorged in ice-cream, homemade cakes and a sometimes slippery bouncy castle at the 30th anniversary celebrations of their pre-school St Paul’s.

To honour the occasion, parents, staff, committee members and their children cut the specially-made cake after burgers and hot dogs had been consumed on Friday (June 27).

Vice-chair Babs Emmans said: “We have a summer fayre every year but this year it’s special because it’s our 30 year anniversary. The pre-school has been around for a while and started as a play group in someone’s house.”

“Over the years it has developed and about 30 years ago it formed into what it is essentially today so we just thought we’d have a party.”

Mrs Emmans’s two children, Callum, eight, and Zoe, four, have both been pre-schoolers at St Paul’s.

“On a personal note my son went here nearly eight-years-ago and he was just so happy,” she added. “Every single parent has said the same. It was such a lovely place to be that the day after my daughter was born I added her name to the waiting list.”

Cait Salanson, chairperson and parent, said: “St Paul’s Pre-School, which is a parent-run charity, provides a vital and nurturing learning experience for 30 children every year, with caring and inspirational teachers, at the heart of the Fulflood community. It was first set up as a play group around 35 years ago by a group of enterprising local mums, and we are all so proud of how it has grown and developed.

“This celebration will be not only for the current children, but also remembering all those over the past three decades who have made it the amazing institution that it is. It is a testament to how well the preschool is regarded that some of the children coming through in recent years are the children of those who attended around 30 years ago.”