Special badges to celebrate 60th anniversary of lollipop ladies and men in Cornwall
LOLLIPOP ladies and lollipop men across Cornwall will mark the 60th anniversary of their role this year.
Commemorative badges will be handed out to all school crossing patrol staff in Cornwall to mark the occasion.
A total of 113 "lollipop" men and women are currently employed in Cornwall, helping children and their parents walk safely to school.
The first crossing patrols in Cornwall were introduced in 1953 in Redruth, Falmouth and Goonhavern after legislation was passed making it an offence to fail to stop for a school crossing patrol.
Cornwall's patrols were originally equipped with heavy wooden boards for signs and white canvas dustcoats for visibility and were paid 2/7d an hour, the equivalent of 13 pence an hour in today's money.
Today patrols in Cornwall are provided by CORMAC, covering 116 sites and with 12 relief patrols available to cover emergency absences.
Operating to a set of national standards and guidelines, patrols can now also legally cross adults as well as children, and are equipped with high visibility clothing and lightweight signs. The hourly pay rate has also improved, starting at £6.29.
The current longest serving patrol in Cornwall is Julie McOwen of Padstow, who has worked outside Padstow Junior and Infants School for 32 years.
Julie said: "Making sure the children are safe is why I do this job. I love it, especially seeing mums and dads I helped cross when they were little now using the crossing with their own children. It would be nice however, to see drivers slow down near schools as some still drive too fast."
Sandra Webber, CORMAC's school crossing patrol manager, added: "We'll be celebrating this anniversary by presenting special commemorative badges to our patrols at their annual refresher training day and possibly a social event for them and their families in the summer.
"I'm sure people will agree that working in all weathers and in the traffic conditions of our busy society, their work is more important than ever and they deserve recognition and admiration."
Arthur Hooper, CORMAC's managing director, said: "Lollipop men and women are a familiar and popular figure, whose work has undoubtedly contributed to the safety of child pedestrians on our roads since 1953.
"Please, when you see the warning signs and a School Crossing Patrol on duty, slow down and be ready to stop. Not only will you be playing your part in making the roads safer for children, you'll avoid being prosecuted for failing to stop for a patrol, which is a serious road traffic offence."
* DO you have any pictures or memories of lollipop men or ladies in Cornwall from the last 60 years? Contact Richard Whitehouse on 01872 247426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org