HUNDREDS of people from across Torfaen attended an emotional final visit to two popular schools before they close for the final time next month.

Abersychan’s Victoria Village Primary School - built in 1903 - and Brynteg Nursery School - built in 1945 - have played a big role in the wider community ever since.

But last year, Torfaen council’s cabinet approved proposals to close two borough schools at the end of this academic year as part of the area’s 21st Century Schools programme.

To mark the end of an era, an exhibition and tour were arranged at both schools, giving the wider community the chance to take a look around the buildings for the final time.

Past and present pupils came together to share memories of their time at Brynteg Nursery School last week.

Head teacher Lynda Ryan said: “It’s a day celebration and a chance for people to say goodbye to this wonderful provision.

“Since 1945 this nursery has served the community of Abersychan. This is a celebration and a chance for the community to come together.

“It sad because we are saying goodbye, but we are moving forward. We are saying goodbye to the building but we are not saying goodbye to first-class education in Torfaen.”

Ms Ryan was surrounded by those who wanted to come and see the school for the last time and many laughs and smiles were shared over cups of tea and cake.

The longest serving governor, Gwyneira Clark, was also at the event and said: “I have such fond memories. They have taken children to the next level of education in a wonderfully caring way.

“We are lucky to have had such wonderful head teachers. Lynda, the staff and support staff are excellent and it will be sad when the schools closes.”

Colin Jones attended the school from 1949 to 1951 and drove from Northampton to attend the open day.

He said: “I have happy memories of Abersychan. It was a place full of happiness.

“This was the last chance to see it. I have been and seen the outside and stood at the door when it was closed, but I wanted to come back and remember.

“It brought back a lot of memories. I think it is very sad that it’s closing.”

And on Monday, Victoria Village Primary School also held an emotional tour and exhibition.

Chairwoman of governors, Rita Wilkins, has been a member of staff since 1985 and said it was a “sad” time for everyone.

“I had been a supply teacher for many years,” she said. “I retired in 2008. I then returned as a governor and later as chairwoman of governors.

“It is sad that this wonderful school is closing.

"“We have some children here whose grandparents were educated at the school. In some cases there are fourth and fifth generations of the same family who have been here."

Head teacher Joy Dando said she was pleased that the exhibition and tour were popular.

“I must praise my deputy, Anna Britten,” she said. “It was her idea to have these things.

“I am grateful for the big turn out."