Hitchin's York Road Nursery School is set to mark its 80th birthday this week with a party celebrating its heritage.

The school has been at the heart of the community supporting thousands of Hitchin families since 1942.

“York Road” - as it is affectionately known by the families and children who attend - is believed to have been opened by the famous British/American comedian Bob Hope, whose grandparents lived on nearby Lancaster Road.

The initial idea to open as a day nursery was to free up mothers from their childcare duties in order to work in the local munitions factories in the area to support the war effort.

The Comet: The nursery will host a party on Friday to celebrate the milestoneThe nursery will host a party on Friday to celebrate the milestone (Image: York Road Nursery)

Headteacher Diane Frainer said: “It is an honour to lead this school. It’s hard to put into words, but there is just something truly unique and special about York Road – you just feel it the moment you walk in the door.

"York Road has an unrivalled passion to nurture children and, quite frankly, the best outdoor play space in the area!”

To help celebrate York Road's remarkable 80 years, the school will be hosting a party on Friday, July 8. Tickets are on sale from the school office.

The school is also welcoming donations, no matter how big or small, to help as squeezed budgets take their toll.