Britain’s longest serving lollipop lady has no plans to hang up her stick – after an incredible 50 YEARS patrolling the same stretch of road.
Ann Perry, 76, has been safely guiding children to and from Kingsbury School since 1969.
Every school day she walks a quarter-of-a-mile from home to do the morning crossing from 8.15am to 9am, and again in the afternoon from 3pm to 3.30pm.
She makes an average of 40 daily crossings of the 5m-wide road, meaning she’s covered over 1,250 miles carrying her lollipop stick back and forth over the years.
Ann started her job at the school in Warwickshire in September 1969 and has just celebrated her 50th year in the job.
She was presented with flowers by the non-selective secondary school as thanks for keeping its 900 pupils – and thousands more over the years – safe.
Ann, who has two grown up children and three grandchildren, says she has no plans to retire.
She said: “I’m very proud of my job and what I do.
“It is a good advert for the service that people can still do the job at this age.
“I’ve crossed some children, then their children and their grandchildren.
“I don’t plan to retire. I want to keep going. It’s the best job in the world.
“I’ve barely missed a day and when I have it’s been through illness and I’ve missed having the chats with the parents and the kids.
“I love just meeting people and watching the children grow up.
“They are polite and say ‘good morning’ and ‘thank you’ as they cross the road.
“The job’s the same as always but there’s more traffic now so the roads are more dangerous.
“You still hold the lollipop stick and stop the cars to let the children cross.
“I shouldn’t really give my secrets away, but it’s important to stay warm because you’re out in all weathers.
“I’ve used hand warmers and little hot water bottles in my pockets.”
Ann, who is married to retired builder Bob, 81, started the job when her two children, Elaine and Robert, started at the school.
She said: “It was handy for me because I could take the children to school and then pick them up after my shift.
“When they left the school I just carried on. I never wanted to stop and I still don’t. No day is the same and people are always so friendly.”
As well as her road patrols, Ann also runs the Kingsbury Youth Club near her home.
Paying tribute to Ann, Kingsbury School headteacher, Martin Clarke said: “As a school
it’s important our students don’t take Ann for granted.
“We wanted to take the time to pay tribute and say thank you to her for keeping all our pupils safe.”
Rosalie Taylor, School Patrol Officer Supervisor at Warwickshire County Council said: “Ann has been helping children to cross the roads safely for 50 years.
“This is an unbelievable achievement and I am sure that many adults who remember Ann and all of the children she currently helps will agree that she is a very special person with a real passion for the job she does.
“Standing in all weathers is not an easy job, but Ann has always done it with a smile on her face and a commitment to keeping young people safe on their journey to school.
“Despite her 50 years’ service, Ann has no plans to stop just yet and we couldn’t be more proud.
“Thank you Ann for everything that you do, you really are one in a million.”