'Dot the lollipop' - Devoted lollipop lady celebrates 50 year anniversary

Video report by Chris Conway

Devoted lollipop lady Dot Thompson, from North Shields, is celebrating her 50th anniversary in the job.

Known by locals as ‘Dot the Lollipop’, the 76-year-old rides her bike to St Joseph’s RC Primary School on Wallsend Road for her patrol duties.

Dot has helped generations of families cross the road, as well as pupils who went on to become teachers at the school.

Dot started out as a relief lollipop lady in 1970, providing cover at locations across the borough, including St Joseph’s, when colleagues were sick or on holiday. Her first pay packet was £5. 

Dot has helped generations cross the road Credit: North Tyneside Council

After a few years, the opportunity arose for a permanent position next to St Joseph’s and she has been there ever since.

Dot says the job has remained largely the same and added that she even wears the same shorts when it's hot.

In 1977 she came second in a competition, hosted by TV presenter Ed Stewart, to find the best lollipop person in the United Kingdom. And she was awarded an MBE in 2008 recognition of her road safety and charitable work.

Now, after five decades of helping to keep children safe, Dot is considering hanging up her hi-vis jacket.

Pupils at St Joseph’s RC Primary School have prepared cards for Dot while the school presented her with a special painting and a lollipop-shaped cake.