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UNSTOPPABLE! lollipop lady ann, 76, celebrates 50 years of helping children across road and reveals: i don't plan to retire.

Byline: JACK EVANS

SHE is Britain's longest-serving lollipop lady after an incredible 50 YEARS patrolling the same stretch of road - but Ann Perry has no plans to 'Stop!' any time soon.

At the age of 76, she is still safely guiding children to and from Kingsbury School, just like she's been doing since 1969.

Every school day she walks 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.

She makes an average of 40 daily crossings of the busy road, meaning she's covered more than 1,250 miles carrying her lollipop stick back and forth.

Ann started her job at the school in September 1969, and was this week presented with flowers as thanks for keeping its 900 pupils - and thousands more over the years - safe.

But the mum, who has two grown-up children and three grandchildren, says she has no plans to retire.

"I'm very proud of my job and what I do," she says. "It is a good advert for the service that people can still do the job at this age.

"I've crossed some children, then their children and their grandchildren. "I don't plan to retire. I want to keep going. It's the best job in the world.

"I've barely missed a day, and when I have it's been through illness and I've missed having the chats with the parents and the kids.

"I love just meeting people and watching the children grow up. They are polite and say 'Good morning' and 'Thank you' as they cross the road."

Times have changed, however, and Ann is aware of the increased responsibility. "The job's the same as always but there's more traffic now so the roads are more dangerous," she says.

"You still hold the lollipop stick and stop the cars to let the children cross.

"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, married to retired builder Bob, 81, took on the job when her two children, Elaine and Robert, started at the school.

"It was handy for me because I could take the children to school and then pick them up after my shift," she explains.

"When they left the school I just carried on. I never wanted to stop and I still don't. No day is the same and people are always so friendly."

As well as her road patrols, Ann also runs the Kingsbury Youth Club near her home.

Kingsbury School head teacher 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."

Ann helps another family to cross safely Special 4-day Coach Tour The Train of Light A special festive trip featuring the amazing Train of Lights in Devon An annual event - the Christmas Train of Lights This truly spectacular illuminated journey starts in Paignton, where our vintage carriages await you - decorated with thousands of lights.

At Churston Station the dazzling show begins. Ride through the 450-metre technicolour Greenway tunnel that leads you onto the enchanted forest which is transformed by a multitude of lights and features displays of a nocturnal extravaganza.

Tour Details: Arrive Friday 20th December Queens Hotel Paignton for 3 nights of fine food and festive fun Trips out to Saltram House, Buckfast Abbey and the Train of Lights all included PS219pp based on 2 sharing single room supplement PS23 Departs: Friday 20th December PS219 Coach departs; Coach departs; Shirley Solihull Yardley Castle Bromwich Sutton Tamworth CALL TO BOOK OR BOOK ONLINE GB.TOURS ? 0151 652 2222 www.gbtours.com

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Ann helps another family to cross safely

Ann Perry receives flowers from pupils at Kingsbury School and head Martin Clarke
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Author:JACK EVANS
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 20, 2019
Words:660
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