Britain's longest serving lollipop lady finally hangs up her stick

Time to Stop? Britain’s longest serving lollipop lady finally hangs up her stick after more than 50 years patrolling same stretch of road

  • Ann Perry, 78, has called it quits after an incredible 52 years as lollipop lady 
  • Guided children to and from Kingsbury School, near Tamworth, in all weathers 
  • Ann started the job aged 26, when her two children started at the school  

Britain’s longest serving lollipop lady is hanging up her stick after crossing the road more than a million times during an incredible 52-year career. 

Dedicated Ann Perry, 78, has decided to call it quits after more than half a century patrolling the same stretch of road since 1969. 

Over the decades it is estimated she has clocked up more than 3,700 miles safely guiding children to and from Kingsbury School, near Tamworth, Staffordshire. 

Ann, who is married to retired builder Bob, 82, started the job aged 26 when her two children, Elaine and Robert, started at the school. 

Dedicated Ann Perry, 78, has decided to call it quits after more than half a century patrolling the same stretch of road since 1969

Since then she had seen other pupils grow up and have children of their own but she is now retiring so she can spend more time with her family. 

Grandmother-of-three Ann, of Kingsbury, Warwickshire, said: ‘My best memories of the job were watching the children grow up and have children of their own, which I had the pleasure of crossing too. 

‘I loved making them smile and remembering their names. They made me smile on a daily basis and I’ll miss that the most. 

‘I am now looking forward to spending more time with my family and husband.’ 

Every school day Ann would walk 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. 

Over the decades it is estimated she has clocked up more than 3,700 miles safely guiding children to and from Kingsbury School, near Tamworth, Staffordshire

Ann, who is married to retired builder Bob, 82, started the job aged 26 when her two children, Elaine and Robert, started at the school

She added: ‘It’s the best job in the world. I loved just meeting people and watching the children grow up. 

‘They were always polite and said ‘good morning’ and ‘thank you’ as they cross the road. 

‘The job stayed the same but there’s more traffic now so the roads are more dangerous. 

‘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’s granddaughter Morgan Perry, 24, of Baddesley Ensor, Warwickshire, said the Covid-19 pandemic had made her grandmother reassess what was important in her life.

She added: ‘It is something she’s loved doing for over 50 years but she’s had to make the heartbreaking decision to finish. 

‘I don’t believe it was directly related to Covid but it did make her realise life’s fragile and that she wants to spend more of it with her family. 

‘We as a family are very proud of her selflessness and kindness, she inspires us to be better and we are extremely grateful for her guidance and love. 

‘My nan would like to say a massive thank you to all the children and parents she has crossed and will miss them all dearly. 

Ann’s granddaughter Morgan Perry, 24, of Baddesley Ensor, Warwickshire, said the Covid-19 pandemic had made her grandmother reassess what was important in her life

Morgan added: ‘We as a family are very proud of her selflessness and kindness, she inspires us to be better and we are extremely grateful for her guidance and love’

‘She looks forward to seeing them in the village.’  

Celebrating her 50-year milestone back in 2019, headteacher of Kingsbury School 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: ‘I am sure that many adults who remember Ann and all of the children will agree that she is a very special person with a real passion for the job.

‘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.’   

 

Ann, who works outside in all weathers, says that she uses hand warmers and little hot water bottles to keep her hands warm in the colder months 

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