ONE era ended and another began for children and their parents in a seaside town yesterday as its two cherished schools closed their doors for the last time.
Tears flowed at morning assemblies in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland, as pupils and colleagues said emotional farewells to staff members who have decided the closures are the right time to call it a day and retire.
Hundreds of youngsters cleared their desks and trooped out of the classrooms for good as the bell rang for the final time at the former Moorside and Windsor First Schools, which have been fixtures in the town for more than 90 years.
Michael Muldoon, 7, and Mia Smith, 5, leave the former Moorside First School
The buildings have become redundant as part of a £48m education shake-up which has created the all-age Northumberland Church of England Academy, based in nearby Ashington.
In September, the 500 pupils from the two schools will come together under one roof at the academy’s state-of-the-art Grace Darling Campus, which has been built on the site of the former Newbiggin Middle School.
Old registers and punishment books, faded class photos and many other artefacts have been uncovered as staff prepared for the school closures in recent weeks. The two schools joined forces to stage a joint exhibition last month, showcasing their history and marking their looming closure.
Since the Church of England Academy was launched two years ago, 283-pupil Moorside First has been known as the Jackie Milburn Campus and 215-pupil Windsor First as John Dobson Campus.