STAFF and pupils are to bid a fond farewell to their old school building which has served generations of children since Victorian times.

Clarendon Primary School’s landmark building will close its gates for the final time next month as children, and members of staff move into their new muliti-million pound “school in the park”.

And to mark the special role the building has played in the community since it opened in 1886, a special open day is being held for former staff and pupils.

Ann McAtee said: “We are so excited to be moving into the new building, but we wanted to give ex-members of staff and former pupils to have a chance to visit it before it closes because it has a lot of memories for many people.

“It has a long history in the community and the building has a lot of character. We want former staff and pupils to visit it and see the changes that have taken place over the years.”

When the school was built, there were toilets outside and a veranda.

A spiral staircase and the hall in the roof are two of the many unique features of the beautiful school building which those who went to Clarendon Primary and taught there have loved.

But the age and the size of the building means it is no longer suitable for 21st century learning.

Mrs McAtee said: “It is a fabulous Victorian building, but it needs everything new.

“The new building is modern with the all the facilities and technology needs for the curriculum.

“The old site will be turned into a green space for the community.”

The new £6.5 million building is being developed in Heywood Park.

It was earmarked by education bosses as a priority rebuild in 2009 and plans were put forward to relocate it.

The new building will incorporate features of the 19th century building.

It will feature the original terracotta and two rolls of honour in memory of former pupils who fought in the First World War will continue take pride of place.

The rolls of honour remember those who died and those who survived, which take on further poignancy as the war’s 100th anniversary is commemorated this year.

Mrs McAtee added: “We are very keen to give pupils and staff the opportunity to visit the building.”

The special open afternoon will take place on April 2, starting at 3.30pm and going on until 6.30pm.

There will be refreshments and a chance to relive schoolday memories.

To attend ring 01204 333411 or email