A FAREWELL picnic marked the impending closure of a famous Sheffield school - and more than 1,000 former pupils, staff and friends came to say goodbye.
Abbeydale Grange School shuts for the last time at the end of this term after more than half-a- century of service to its local community.
Parents and supporters waged a lengthy but unsuccessful campaign to try to reverse the closure decision, arguing that Abbeydale provided a type of education unique to the city.
Most of the pupils left last summer but the Year 11s stayed on for one final year to complete their GCSE courses.
Teachers and pupils from all eras streamed through the doors for the event - from the grammar school days of the early 1960s to 12-year-olds who transferred to new schools last autumn.
Old boys and girls enjoyed picnics on the grass, an old-fashioned tuck shop and live music.
Photos of staff and students over the last 52 years were on display, with creative artwork and photography by current art, media and textiles students.
As the event drew to a close as darkness fell, Chinese paper lanterns were lit and floated into the sky.
“It was a fantastic event,” said Chris Hill, one of the organisers.
“So many people have come back – it’s exceeded all our expectations.
“We wanted to give anyone who wanted to come, the chance to see the school for the last time and celebrate its history.”
The picnic was organised by FLAGS – Forging Links with Abbeydale Grange School – which is the parents’ and supporters’ group.
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