Children’s group in Buxton ends after nearly three decades

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Meg Pritchard has dedicated her time to the children of Harpur Hill for nearly 27 years.

The 63-year-old has been running Fun Bunch in Harpur Hill since the 1980s, but has now stepped down and the Christian group has closed.

She said: “I have loved watching the children grow and I really will miss them.”

The group, which met every Monday evening, has come to end because Meg felt she was involved with other projects now and that, as most of the children were moving on to secondary school, the time was right.

The former Essex teacher moved to Harpur Hill after marrying her husband David who’s job brought them to the High Peak.

After working as a supply teacher, Meg stepped down when she became a mother.

She said: “I couldn’t be a good teacher, a good wife and a good mum - other people can juggle it, but I wanted to be at home with my children.”

She is heavily involved with Age UK and is a volunteer driver taking people to medical appointments.

The last meeting of the Fun Bunch took place earlier this month with past members joining the celebrations.

Meg said: “There was someone there who was 29 now but still remembers coming to the meetings as a youngster.”

The group went on trips to Gulliver’s Kingdom, enjoyed sleep-overs and was just a chance to get together with friends. Over the years hundreds of children have been in the Fun Bunch.

Meg said: “I’m a Christian and there were elements of reading the bible and prayers with the group.

“But there was also the running around and the laughing and playing games and watching films.

“Some of these children had very busy social lives and wouldn’t have come if they didn’t enjoy it.”

The meetings were originally held in the St John Ambulance Centre in Harpur Hill, and then moved to the Methodist Church Hall and finally Meg’s house on Trenchard Drive.

“It has been a huge part of my life for such a long time and I will miss it,” she added.

How did Fun Bunch start?

Meg started the club after a visit from a woman to the Christian Bookshop.

She said: “I wasn’t there, but was told a lady had travelled from out of town on a bus and arrived at the bookshop saying ‘Jesus was crying for the children of Buxton’.

“Now this was around the time I was already having concerns about the young people and wondering what I could do to help them.”

Meg did not know whether or not to believe the woman, but felt it was the catalyst of change she needed. She started the group after approaching the headteacher of Harpur Hill Primary School.

She said: “Things just took off really and I have never looked back. I’m so pleased that the children of the area have let me into their lives and I hope to catch up with them in the future.” She added: “Thank-you to everyone who helped make this a success, including Jackie Butterley and, of course, David.”