SHE’S been in position on Arboretum Road for 40 years, helping school children cross the street, come hail, rain or shine.
But now, after four decades, Myra Pugh has retired from her role as the Edinburgh Academy Junior School lollipop lady – a job which was only ever meant to be temporary.
The great grandmother, who lives in Crewe Toll, started working as a lollipop lady while she took care of her children when they were young.
She was due to return to her former career as a secretary, but loved her crossing duties so much she continued, and at the age of 71, she has still been pulling on her luminous orange jacket and carrying her Stop sign every day. Yesterday, the junior school dedicated an assembly to Mrs Pugh, and sang her a farewell song before her departure.
She said she will “miss everyone” she speaks to on a daily basis.
She said: “As sad as it is, I am quite looking forward to retiring as my hip has been playing up since Easter.
“The best thing about the job was meeting and speaking to people every day, I loved it.
“I’ve seen boys grow into dad’s, and dad’s grow into granddad’s, which is quite remarkable when you see people moving through the generations. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard when the weather wasn’t the greatest, but I will really miss working with the kids.”
Mrs Pugh, who is originally from Bo’ness, has four children, ten grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
She is now looking forward to spending more time with her family, dancing and going to the bingo.
Mrs Pugh, who was named the best school crossing guide in Scotland in 2005, added: “It was so nice of the children to sing me a song again, they did the same on my 70th birthday.
“This is the end of an era for me, and I’m looking forward to spending my retirement with my family but I will go back to the school regularly to see the kids.”
Mark Enos, head of physical education and games at the Edinburgh Academy Junior School, told the News Mrs Pugh will “sadly missed” by the teachers, pupils and parents.
He said: “Mrs Pugh is one of those people you can’t tell how she’s feeling. I’m pretty sure she would have had a tear in her eye yesterday as the kids were singing to her but if she did, she didn’t show it. No matter how bad the weather was, or what was going on in the street, she always kept her cool and had a smile on her face.
“She would speak to everyone that passed and it was clear she absolutely adored the children.
“I hope she enjoys her retirement but she will be sadly missed by all.”