A 72-year-old woman could be South Gloucestershire's longest serving lollipop lady.
Joan Crossland began her career a 'School Crossing Officer', in 1989 when taking her children to Beacon Rise Primary School in Kingswood.
She said: “I was with my children at school one day and the current lollipop lady hadn’t turned up, so I jumped in and helped the pupils cross the road safely and loved it so much that I kept coming back.”
“I absolutely love my job and seeing the children every day. I’ve been doing it for so long that the pupils I used to help cross the road, now bring their own children to see me and I help them cross the road.”
She added: “I really enjoy it when it’s a special occasion or World Book Day and I get to see the children’s fancy dress outfits.”
When asked if the role of a lollipop lady had changed over the years, Joan said: “I found that there were a lot less road users when I first started and drivers seemed much more patient, whereas nowadays, it can be a bit more challenging to try and control the traffic.”
When asked if she had any plans to retire soon, Joan said: “Whilst i’m still fit and able, I plan to keep going for as long as I can. I find the job so rewarding and love the school and children.”
Known for their fluorescent coats, bright arm bands and infamous lollipop-shaped STOP signs, lollipop ladies have been an integral part of the community for decades as they were brought in to reduce the amount of road accidents involving children.
However, in the year 2000, it was no longer a legal requirement for school’s to have a Crossing Patrol Officer and so naturally, many disappeared.
As part of the 70th anniversary celebrations for the national School Crossing Patrol service, Joan Crossland was presented with a commemorative badge, and personally thanked by the school’s headteacher, Chris Thomas.
Chris Thomas said: “We’re really pleased that Joan is having so many years of dedication recognised.
"Generations of families have been greeted by her each morning and she’s become a real community figure known by all.”
Due to the number of lollipop people declining over recent years, the authority is appealing for people come forward and help.