IT going to be a bittersweet moment for staff, pupils, parents and friends of a special school when the 'last bell' sounds at the end of this month.

But Hamblett School in Rainford Road, St Helens, intends to go out with a bang, a special party fun day for current pupils having been arranged for Wednesday March 16. Opened 76 years ago as an open-air school, it was adapted in 1959 to cater for children with various disabilities.

But now, the historic place -known locally as Daffodil School because of its spectacular show of yellow blooms each springtime - is, along with the Hurst special school, also facing closure, to move to Lansbury Bridge's new state of the art premises, occupying the site of the recently demolished Parr High.

The farewell event starts with a morning performance by Chris Topper Puppets and, after a snack-break, party games will be staged in the school hall. A chocolate fountain and celebration cake will be main centre-points at the special buffet-style lunch and in the afternoon Rock FM will roll up with their Thunder Truck whose team have games, goody bags and prizes on the agenda.

Saints will be represented and children's entertainer Paul Reed (parent of an ex-pupil who has sadly died) will be there. Face painting and disco dancing are also scheduled. And to top off the day, each child will receive an Easter egg.