EMOTIONAL teachers, pupils and members of the community have said a sad but fond farewell to a cherished primary school building.

Chorley New Road Primary School in Horwich is due to be demolished next month to make way for the new, state-of-the-art replacement, which is currently under construction on the site.

The school building has been in use for more than 120 years and has seen thousands of staff and pupils come through its doors.

And many former schoolchildren, including those in their 20s to those in their 80s, visited the school for the final time on Saturday along with parents and staff.

The Mayor of Bolton Cllr Elaine Sherrington was in attendance along with the mayor of Horwich Cllr Peter Wright.

The contingent was given a tour of the building, including the Victorian section with the high classroom ceilings and clocktower.

The Clocktower is due to be taken down and placed in the grounds of the new school as a lasting reminder of its history.

Horwich Heritage helped to organise the event and provided a display of photographs, memories and memorabilia of the school's long history.

This included the extensive collection of objects collected by Captain Greenwood, who has visited the school in its time, from his voyages around the world.

Stuart Whittle, from Horwich Heritage, said: "The headteacher Linda Burrows and her staff talked about the excitement of the challenge of a brand new school and the sadness of leaving the old one and the longest-serving teacher, Louise Pulford, reminisced about her 29 years at the school and the changes she had seen.

"Former pupils were delighted to see the return of former headteacher Peter Charnock (1990 -2005), and to joke with him about their time at school together and, in talking to the chairman of governors, Cllr Kevin McKeon, Peter was full of support for the new venture, which will write an important new chapter in the school’s illustrious history."

The old school will be demolished in August and the new one will be open in time for the autumn term in September.

The decision to build a new school was made in response to the need for extra primary school places in the area to accommodate families from the 1,700-home Rivington Chase housing development, which will be built on the site of the former Horwich Loco Works.