TWO East Lothian lollipop ladies, who have clocked up nearly 60 years’ combined service have been honoured for their devotion.
Isobel Adams and Margaret Watt were honoured at a ceremony held by Provost Ludovic Broun-Lindsay.
For their combined 58 years’ service each was presented with a silver medal and certificate. Isobel, who mans the crossing on Musselburgh’s Ash Grove for Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School, has been a county crossing guide for 31 years; while Margaret, who works at the Dalrymple Loan crossing serving Campie, Burgh and Loretto Primary Schools, has been in her job for 27 years.
The awards event was organised as part of national celebrations for the 60th anniversary of crossing patrols being set up in the UK, as a result of the School Crossing Patrol Act 1953.
After full training on their own crossings, the ladies also take part in a rolling training programme to make sure they are aware of all the latest thinking on road safety and child protection.
Morag Philip, line manager at East Lothian Council, said: “I was delighted for them. We feel that they are so valuable to the community and that they should get recognition for the important job they do.”
Margaret, 54, who lives near Musselburgh Sports Centre, followed in the footsteps of her grandfather, who was also a crossing guide.
She said: “I like working with the kids, I always have done. I’ve seen several generations of the same family – up to four or five generations.
“I used to work in a cotton mill until I had my son. When he started school, I became a school crossing guide because it was a job that fitted in with school hours and holidays.
“I just carried on with covering my crossing because I enjoy meeting children, old and new.”
With 58 years as lollipop ladies between them, Isobel and Margaret have safely helped generations of children across the road, including their own children and grandchildren.
Isobel, 60, of Musselburgh’s Newbigging, said: “It was a complete honour to get the award.
“I do enjoy it. I like working with children. I see some of the children I’ve helped cross and they’re going on to the grammar school – and then they’re getting married and having children of their own.”
Margaret, whose son is now 33 years old, said receiving the award was a complete shock but added: ”I’ll put the certificate on the wall in my living room. I’ve got a frame for it and I’m going to pin my medal to my yellow crossing coat.”
Mr Broun-Lindsay said: “Our school patrol crossing guides provide an absolutely first-class service and I was delighted to be asked to come along to make the long-service awards and take part in the celebrations. I’d like to thank them and all our guides for their huge contribution to road safety in the county.”
Councillor Willie Innes, council leader, also presented the two ladies with flowers.