Nostalgia: Sticking at it over decades

Lollipop man Harry Simpson with children in 1969
Lollipop man Harry Simpson with children in 1969
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SURROUNDED by a sea of smiling schoolchildren, there is no questioning the popularity of this 1960s lollipop man.

Many a child will have fond memories of the role city man Harry Simpson, pictured above, played in their childhood. A friendly face as they approached the school gates every morning and a well wisher as they waved goodbye at home time, not to mention constantly guarding their safety from the many dangers on the Capital’s roads.

George Davidson dances with NASA performers from Zimbabwe in 1998.

George Davidson dances with NASA performers from Zimbabwe in 1998.

Such a bond is likely to develop at Parsons Green Primary with news that after a three-year wait, a lollipop man or woman is to finally take up residence at the Meadowfield school.

After the retirement of the previous crossing guide – who served the school for a loyal 20 years – a new patrol officer is to be welcomed by pupils.

The announcement prompted a sigh of relief from parents following concerns over why, despite repeated advertisements for the post, the vacancy had not been filled.

“This is brilliant – it will enable my eight-year-old boy to walk to school safely and on his own,” said mum Leslie Dible.

John Thomson, lollipop man at Morningside in 1960

John Thomson, lollipop man at Morningside in 1960

Concerns over road safety around the Lothians’ schools is long-standing. This picture of children crossing the busy road from Dalkeith’s Pease Flat housing scheme to their school in October 1954 was taken as part of a campaign for imposing speed restrictions on the road.

Furthermore, in March 1963, as our picture here shows, the work of lollipop man William Withnell was celebrated as he consistently safeguarded pupils’ safety at Oxgangs Primary.