Shoreham schools lose long-standing lollipop lady

Maureen Barnes is retiring tomorrow after 29 years as a lollipop lady in Shoreham
Maureen Barnes is retiring tomorrow after 29 years as a lollipop lady in Shoreham

PUPILS in Shoreham say goodbye to a long-standing lollipop lady tomorrow.

Maureen Barnes, 68, will be retiring after 29 years in the role. Positioned on the corner of Park Avenue and Middle Road in Shoreham, she has served pupils from St Peter’s Catholic Primary School, St Nicolas and St Mary Primary School, and Buckingham Park Primary School.

Maureen said: “It has been pretty great. I have enjoyed it but it is time to go.

“Two or three of the mums I used to show over as children and now they are coming over with their own children.”

She lives just over the road in Adur Drive, with her husband Leslie, and took on the job when the previous lollipop lady retired, having served for 21 years.

Maureen had been a stay-at-home mum but by then, her children were at Kings Manor Community College, now Shoreham Academy.

“I often walked my dogs there and she asked me if I was interested,” explained Maureen.

Things have changed over the years Maureen has been in the job.

“I used to do talks and sing songs with nursery children years ago. I also used to dress up for Christmas and give out sweets but we can’t do that any more.”

For her silver anniversary in the job, a celebration assembly was held at St Peter’s, in Sullington Way, where the Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex presented her with a certificate signed by the chairman of West Sussex County Council.

Maureen received waves and greetings from the children and said it was caring for them that had kept her going so long.

School crossing patrols are employed by the county council and there are patrols at 125 sites in West Sussex, at the start and finish of each school day.

Louise Bishop, school crossing patrol manager, said: “Maureen has been an invaluable support to all the children and adults alike that she has helped to keep safe throughout her 29 years as a lollipop lady.

“I’m sure she has seen many changes in the environment over her years, and has probably crossed over the children’s children over the years.

“School crossing patrols are such an iconic part of the community and she will be sorely missed, but we do wish her every best for her retirement and hope she looks forward to a jolly nice lie-in.”

The site will be reassessed to see if it still meets with the criteria before a decision is made on a replacement.

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