Top lollipop lady to stop after 30 years

Lolipop lady Marlene Bruce, on her day of retirement.

Lolipop lady Marlene Bruce, on her day of retirement.

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A LOLLIPOP lady who helped children cross Easthouses Road for more than three decades has finally called it a day.

Marlene Bruce has stood guard outside Easthouses Miners’ Club for 31 years, helping generations of pupils at the now-closed Langlaw Primary School and nearby Lawfield Primary School to cross in safety.

The 62-year-old has braved many cold winters over the years, but she donned her high-visibility jacket and picked up her lollipop for the last time at the end of September.

Marlene said: “I have very much enjoyed it. I think I will miss it, just going out every day, the routine, and of course I’ll miss the children.

“It will be hard to start with but I’m sure I will get used to it.

“I think everybody is like that when they retire but I am looking forward to it.”

A well-known figure in the community, Marlene told how she now recognises mothers whom she helped to cross the road when they were children.

She said: “I have got mothers coming with their kids that I helped across the road as kids themselves.

“When I look back on it all I have had some good children and parents, I think I have a good spot.

“I started on October 2, 1983 and I can always remember it was a bad winter at the time, so I thought I would maybe last six weeks, but I just got on with it.

“I have made a lot of friends along the way, people are always asking how I am.

“I’m going to miss that, they are really nice people around there.”

Born and raised in Newtongrange, Marlene attended the local schools.

After meeting and marrying Bert, now 66, the couple moved to their home in Mayfield 42 years ago. The couple raised their two sons Alan, 42, and Jim, 38, in the village and in more recent years have also welcomed six grandchildren to the family.

Marlene said she hopes to spend her retirement with her family, including Bert, who retired last year from his post as a cleaners supervisor working for Lothian Buses.

The couple are looking forward to celebrating their 43rd wedding anniversary on Thursday.

On the subject of her retirement, Marlene said she and her husband were looking forward to spending more time together.

She said: “I’m hoping to get out as much as possible. I don’t want to end up like a recluse.

“I have been that used to getting up at the same time and being in a routine. I would like to get a holiday.”

Marlene added: “My husband retired a year past June so we are looking to get out and make the most of it, so I’m looking forward to it.

“He misses his work.”