Video: Popular Horsford lollipop lady won’t be replaced

Christine Longman is retiring after 17 years as lollipop lady at Horsford infants school, and is not

Christine Longman is retiring after 17 years as lollipop lady at Horsford infants school, and is not being replaced by Norfolk County Council. Photo: Bill Smith

A popular lollipop lady who is retiring after 17 years in the job won't be replaced.

Christine Longman, who leaves Horsford Infant School today, was honoured at a special assembly and presented with gifts including flowers and a teddy bear and cards made by the children.

She said: 'I don't want to give it up, but unfortunately circumstances have changed and I had to.'

The lollipop lady said she had seen hundreds of children grow up during the 17 years.

She added: 'Being a lollipop lady is a very important job, as you get to meet all the children, their parents, and even people in cars get to recognise you.

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'I think the children feel really safe when I'm around. When I first started this job, there was no crossing lady, and the children had to stand on the kerb and take a chance.

'When I got offered the job, I thought it would be good, but I did not know I would do it for so long.

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'It's a very addictive job. You seem to become a permanent fixture.

'I think the children like to see a friendly face and see the same person. I have seen them grow up, and some that have even got their own children now, so you see their tots as well. I would recommend the job to anyone.'

Ian Webb, Norfolk County Council's school crossing patrol manager, said she would not be replaced.

He said: 'We evaluate the crossing patrols at every Norfolk school site and found that the crossing outside Horsford Infant School no longer reached the national criteria.

'The patrol outside the school operated on a zebra crossing, and this will remain for the use of children and parents.'

The school's deputy head teacher Kirsty Ball said the children would 'really miss her', and school support manager, Helen Rainbow added: 'I think she was a little bit overwhelmed and tearful at the special assembly.'

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