Families bid farewell to Yarmouth lollipop lady

A lollipop man stopped traffic as a funeral procession – led by a funeral director carrying a lollipop – turned into a school car park.

For much-loved lollipop lady Barbara Hatt, who was married to lollipop man Clifford, loved her 23 years helping children to school and her family wanted to ensure she got a fitting send-off.

Mrs Hatt, of Beatty Close, Great Yarmouth, was 85 when she died peacefully in her sleep on March 3.

Her lollipop lady's hat sat poignantly on top of her coffin – alongside a floral wreath shaped as a lollipop – and dozens of children and their parents turned out to wave goodbye at Northgate St Andrew's First School yesterday.

Her daughter Susan Love, 60, of Milton Road, said her mother was loved by everybody.

She said of the funeral arrangements: 'I think she would be over the moon about it.'

Mrs Hatt brightened the mornings of thousands of children over the years, and parents say she will never be forgotten.

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Mother-of-three Gail Wilson, 38, held a collection for Mrs Hatt's favourite charities – Help the Aged and Norfolk and Suffolk Animal Trust – and was at the school to pay her respects.

'The children loved her, absolutely adored her,' she said. 'Every single morning they ran up to give her a cuddle and there was a queue of traffic.

'She was well loved and will be missed – she called the kids her babies.'

Her eldest daughter Sophie, nine, has now left the school but daughters Amy, six and Mia, five, are still pupils.

And she said youngsters at the school were missing Mrs Hatt.

Sue Lockhead, 30, remembers Mrs Hatt as a cheerful lady who children could not wait to see in the morning.

'She was just always smiling – hail, wind or snow,' she said. 'She made the kids happy coming to school in the morning. They used to call on her halfway up the street.

'She would stand there with the cars beeping and revving their engines but she wouldn't move until the children were across.'

Mrs Hatt was one of Britain's oldest lollipop ladies when she retired in December 2010 after fracturing her hip in a fall. She leaves her husband Clifford, 83, who was a lollipop man for 21 years at Alderman Swindell School. The couple were married for 63 years.

She also leaves three children, 10 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren.

The procession went from the school and on to Gorleston Crematorium.


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