HUGE crowds gathered at St Mary Bourne Primary School to mark the official opening of its new extension.

The new building houses a classroom and library, which in turn has provided more space in the main school for staff and pupils.

Headteacher Sally Jenkins thanked everyone involved in making the extension possible - chairman of governors Dodie Marsden, former headteacher Joy Windram and county architect Tim Dyer.

The small village primary, with only 120 pupils, had to raise around £62,000 themselves with the rest of the funds provided from Hampshire County Council's SEED challenge fund.

Mrs Jenkins said: "Thank you to all of you who have donated money to help us build this beautiful extension to our school - it really was important.

"The children are benefiting already from the extra space and we will make sure every penny you have given and every brick put in will be used well.

"It's important to think about the children - that's what the school is about."

Three year six pupils gave a short account of what the new extension meant to them before an official opening by 84-year-old Betty Skinner, the oldest resident in the village who attended the school.

Four generations of the Hirst family, who have all attended the primary school, were also present at the opening. Olga Hirst, aged 83, was joined by her son Keith, aged 56, grand-daughter Samantha, aged 24 and great-grandchildren Zachary, aged nine, Gabriella, aged five and Amelia, aged four.

Olga said: "I was born here in 1919, brought up here and went to school here. My four children went to this school, as did my 15 grandchildren. It's a lovely school and we've always enjoyed it."

Afterwards, guests toured the extension and the school.