TEACHERS and governers from the past and present turned out in their droves to bid a fond farewell to a Darwen school.

At the end of term, Darwen Moorland High School will close and re-open in September as Darwen Aldridge Community Academy.

Last night an event was held to celebrate the past, present and future before the school closes its doors.

Current headteacher Chris Morris, said: “The aim of the evening was to bring people together for one last time to share memories and experiences of school life.”

Colin King, who was the first headteacher of the school between 1972 and 1980 said his emotions were “very mixed” on the evening. He said: “It’s sad because they’re shutting the place down and a lot of us put so much time and work into it.

“It was very difficult to come back because my philosophy in life is to never look back, live for today and plan for the future, but it is nice to see old friends."

Marie Finney, who was deputy headteacher from 1972 until 1989, added: “You always remember the good times and there were lots of them.

“It is sad in a way but have a lot of fond memories.”

Teaching began at the current site in Holden Fold in 1965 when it was known as Knowle County Secondary Modern School, but it merged with the technical school in 1972 when comprehensive educ-ation was introduced.

Thelma Millington, who taught biology from 1972 until she retired in 1989 and still lives in Darwen, said: “We worked hard to make a really good school. It can be hard bringing two schools together to make one but we did it well.

“I still see some of the past pupils in town when I’m out shopping and I talk to them. A lot of the young men look a lot different when their out with their wives but they stop and we have a good natter about the school."

The Darwen Moorland site will be used until the new academy site in Redearth Road is completed.

Academies are independ-ent schools whose running costs are funded by the Department for Education and Skills while a sponsor – in this case businessman Rod Aldridge – provides part funding.

Mr Morris added: “It’s been an opportunity for people to share memories and renew friendships.

Darwen Moorland has been fortunate to have such good people working at the school over the years and their legacy will continue in the new academy.”

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