PAST pupils, neighbours and the local community are being given the chance to say goodbye to an old Chester school building.

As the November 11 unveiling of the new school building for Upton Heath C of E Primary School draws nearer, Upton Heath C of E is inviting people to visit the old school for the last time on Wednesday, October 23, at 4pm. The event is being organised alongside Upton Local History Group.

Upton Heath C of E Primary School was known as Upton Manor County Primary School when it opened on Upton Lane in August 1951, becoming Upton Heath C of E Primary School in September 1998.

The 1950s sections of Upton Heath C of E will be replaced by the new school building, on the current Upton Lane site. Only the newer section of Upton Heath (currently home to reception, Year 1 and Upton Village Pre School) will remain, with a link joining the two sections of the school.

Interim principal at Upton Heath Wendy O’Leary-Davies said: “There are almost 70 years’ worth of childhood memories stored up in the old school building.

"We wanted to give past pupils from the school, our neighbours and the local community a chance to revisit some of those memories.

"We will be having a board at the event for visitors to pin their old photos of the school, and we invite people to share their memories of the old school on social media using the hashtag #memoriesofUHPS.”

Attendees at the October 23 event will also have the opportunity to view important memorabilia from Upton Manor County Primary School, taken from the archives of the Upton Local History Group.

Much of the memorabilia was collected by former deputy headteacher of the school, Joyce Cook, who sadly passed away in spring 2019.

Chairman of the Upton Local History Group Phil Pearn said: “Upton Manor was a post-war building. The windows, for example, were made from aluminium left over from the war.

"Joyce Cook was instrumental in creating and preserving the wonderful collection of memorabilia from this important time in Upton’s history. Members of Upton Local History Group will be at the event, opening our archive for the public.”

Upton Heath will close on Friday, October 25, for an extended half term for pupils, opening again on November 11.

The new school building is part of the Department for Education’s Priority School Building Programme with Wates Construction as the main contractor, and has been designed to the blueprint of a modern school building.

James Oakes, facilities manager for The Samara Trust, the multi-academy trust of which Upton Heath is a founding school, said: “The extended half term has been agreed to allow time for us to transfer everything from the old school building over to the new school.

"It’s an extremely exciting time, but we’ll be sad to say goodbye to what has been our home for so many years.

"We hope that the October 23 event will be a chance for us to come together as a community and say goodbye to the old Upton Heath that’s served the Upton community for so long.”