Dunster House climbing frame is still providing fun playtime in PM Cameron’s back garden

David Cameron gave a speech on childcare at Dunster House.
David Cameron gave a speech on childcare at Dunster House.
  • David Cameron visited garden building firm Dunster House in Bedford
  • He gave a speech about free childcare for working families
  • The PM purchased a climbing frame from the firm five years ago, which still stands proud in garden at No 10

A firm that supplied Prime Minister David Cameron with a climbing frame for his children five years ago welcomed the Conservative leader to their Bedford headquarters.

Bosses at Dunster House did not know until half an hour before that the man currently fighting for leadership in the election battle would be stopping by.

Dunster House MD Chris Murphy.

Dunster House MD Chris Murphy.

He was there on Wednesday morning to make an announcement about boosting free childcare places to help working parents.

The Conservatives have pledged to double the number of hours of free childcare for working families with three to four year-olds from 15 hours to 30 hours a week. The policy will also apply to less well off families with two-year-olds.

Around 117 workers from the Caxton Road firm that supplies garden buildings were there to hear Mr Cameron’s speech, along with party supporters and journalists.

Dunster House managing director Chris Murphy also gave a speech.

There was a lot of good positive stuff there for working people

Mike Hart-King, Dunster House

Speaking afterwards operations manager Mike Hart-King told the Bedford T&C: “A lot of what he was speaking about does impact on our staff.

“We wanted to be able to allow our staff to be involved. It’s not everyday that you get the opportunity to listen to these people talking.

“We have quite a few new mothers who work for us and we have a couple who are just coming back in now after maternity leave.

“I know that mums really do have to weigh up whether returning to work is a viable option for them because they have to take into consideration all the childcare costs.

David Cameron in action.

David Cameron in action.

“Sometimes businesses lose good staff.

“I think it will strike a cord with a lot of people. There was a lot of good positive stuff there for working people.

“It was a good opportunity for people to hear and understand about the options they have and about the future.”

The visit was also a chance for the family-run business to find out how the Dunster House climbing frame is faring in the garden at Number 10.

“Whenever he does interviews in the back garden it is always in the background,” said Mr Hart-King.

“It is still going strong.”

Dunster House has two factories at its Bedford base, employing around 150 people there.

Mr Hart-King said the Conservative policy of supporting hard working families is in line with the firm’s own values. 
“We want to encourage people to succeed.

“One of the biggest pleasures in Chris Murphy’s life is giving people the opportunity to work.

“For us this visit was recognition of a local business and it’s standing in the local community.”