Leicestershire lollipop lady retires after 40 years at the school her family went to for generations

  • ITV News Central's Nancy Cole visited the school and spoke to Mary about what her career there means to her

A lollipop lady in her 80s is retiring after more than 40 years of service to the village school in Leicestershire she went to as child.

Not only did Mary Redburn attend Viscount Beaumont's Primary School in Coleorton, near Coalville, but so did her dad, her granddad, her three children and her grandchildren.

The 84-year-old has been working there since 1981 - and joined as a pupil in April 1945.

To mark her last day on Wednesday 6 December, the school organised a leaving day with banners and balloons around the site.

Ms Redburn was given a fitting sendoff as she prepared to conduct her final crossings. Credit: ITV News Central

Speaking to ITV News Central Ms Redburn said: "I've thoroughly enjoyed it, and I've always felt part of the team. It's an absolutely lovely place to work.

"You get to know all the new people that come to live in the village that I wouldn't meet if I wasn't doing that job.

"I love the children and the parents."

The schools has been in Ms Redburn's life for as long as she can remember, having been born just up the road.

Mary, pictured here, started school there in 1945.

One pupil said: "She always had a smile on her face and it will be really sad not to see her anymore."

Another said: "She's always been there to help me and my brother cross the road to school even when the weather's bad."

She's the face that's greeted pupils on their way to and from school for more than four decades.

On Wednesday, Mary hangs up her hi-vis jacket as she retires from the job she's loved for 41 years.

The primary school in Coleorton, which is part of the Rise Multi-Academy trust, has been an extra special place for Mary and her family for many years.

"I was born just up the road from the school, I started here in April 1945 as a pupil," she said.

"I had an older brother who was coming here, and a younger sister and brother, and they came here, and obviously my children came here, and grandchildren, and so it's gone on."

Students made decorations to celebrate Mary's career of more than 40 years. Credit: ITV News Central

The school children put on a special assembly to say thank you to someone who's been a constant throughout their school life.

Head of Schools' Hayley Ryder-Smith said: "Mary's been a really important part of our school community for more than 40 years.

"For her and her family, her father, her grandfather - they've all had connections with the school and we will really miss her."

Mary's emotional last shift saw hugs and tears from families and students alike. Credit: ITV News Central

As Mary kitted up for the final crossing, she was met with hugs and a few tears. But as the cold mornings kick in she's looking forward to staying in the warm.

"This last winter, I've thought to myself as I've been scraping the windscreen 'I could be doing a better job than this'."

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