Heather hangs up her lollipop
A SCHOOL lollipop lady is today enjoying a well-deserved rest after risking life and limb in a career spanning three decades in Ipswich.No matter the weather, grandmother Heather Hazelton helped children cross the road outside Sidegate Primary School, morning, noon and evening for the last 33 years.
A SCHOOL lollipop lady is today enjoying a well-deserved rest after risking life and limb in a career spanning three decades in Ipswich.
No matter the weather, grandmother Heather Hazelton helped children cross the road outside Sidegate Primary School, morning, noon and evening for the last 33 years.
During that time she has been insulted and almost run-down on many occasions – once even by a police car.
She has also seen her two children, Susan 43, and Mark, 40, pass through the school and two of her grandchildren have recently graduated from it.
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But the 70-year-old Ipswich resident decided it was time to hang up her uniform for the last time last Friday.
Mrs Hazelton said: "It's not a job that you do for the money, rather for the love of it. It takes a lot of commitment and involves a lot of travelling backwards and forwards throughout the day.
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"During my service I have had one or two near misses. A few years ago a policeman failed to stop when I walked out in front of him and he caught my arm with his wing mirror.
"As he was on his way to his mother's funeral and my arm was only bruised, I decided not to prosecute him and let the police take their own action."
"Most of the problems I had were due to people parking near crossings. The traffic has increased so much over the years, people don't seem to walk anywhere anymore."
"I shall miss it, but I will have a rest and enjoy doing whatever I want. I have a lot of odd jobs to do and the garden has been neglected so I will keep myself busy."
On Friday morning Mrs Hazelton was showered with gifts at a special assembly at the school in her honour.
Suffolk County Council presented her with some flowers and a long-service cheque for £150.
Pupils, parents and staff at Sidegate Primary School raised more than enough to buy her a garden seat and gave the remainder to her as a cheque.
Headteacher David Crowe said: "Mrs Hazelton has been a highly valued member of our school community during her 33 years' service and she will be sadly missed. She has helped thousands of children cross Sidegate Lane safely on their way to school and she is well liked and respected by the children.
"Mrs Hazelton was the lollipop lady to several children who are now parents of pupils currently attending the school."
Over the last three years Mrs Hazelton gave up the lunchtime shift because more children were having school dinners and she was often finding herself alone at the crossing.