Jackie says bye bye lollipop

Published on: 02 Dec 2013

October-Hedgehogs-road-safety

A FRIENDLY face is missing for parents and children in Staple Hill following the retirement of lollipop lady Jackie Lacey.

She has hung up her stick after 27 years helping families cross Station Road to get to the Tynings School.

Mrs Lacey, now 62, took on the crossing patrol just outside her home once all of her three children, Amanda, Sarah and Peter were at school.

“I was up and down to the school all the time anyway so I thought I might as well. I was just going to do it for a short time. I didn’t expect I’d be here for so long,” she said.

Turning out in all weathers was not a problem for her – and spending time with the children twice a day made it worthwhile, she said.

“You get used to the wind and rain and the children really make your day, You might be feeling miserable but one of them will say something and it changes everything.

“This autumn was the right time for me to retire, but I am missing the children and the fresh air very much.”

Over the years, Mrs Lacey has seen hundreds of children grow up. Many of them now bring their own sons and daughters to the school.

“There is another generation now, including my granddaughter Jenny.” she said.

Head teacher Ashley Yates thanked Mrs Lacey for her years of loyal service to the school and pupils presented her with a giant zebra painting.

She will not be replaced by South Gloucestershire Council, which has carried out a traffic count that concluded there were not enough families needing the crossing patrol.

The school has requested a count on Gloucester Road, to see if the local authority would consider a lollipop man or woman there. Meanwhile, the children have had some extra road safety sessions.

Mrs Lacey, who is looking forward to having more time with her husband Peter once he retires too, was invited last month to a South Gloucestershire celebration of 60 years of the crossing service.

Officially created by the School Crossing Patrol Act in 1953, the first patrols started work across the country in 1954. Since then, thousands of individuals have been ensuring children are able to cross the road safely to and from their school.

South Gloucestershire, has 29 women and nine men covering 38 schools.

Council chairman Ian Boulton said: “School crossing patrols carry out an extremely important road safety role. The whole team vary in age and personality but they all have one aim, which is to keep the children safe on their way to and from school every day and their dedication and commitment to the job is to be commended.”

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