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Hornchurch school says goodbye to ‘cheery’ lollipop lady as she retires after 10 years

PUBLISHED: 13:00 19 July 2017

Lollipop lady Irene Hart is retiring after 10 years serving the children from St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Hornchurch

Lollipop lady Irene Hart is retiring after 10 years serving the children from St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Hornchurch

Archant

A beloved lollipop lady who has dedicated a decade of her life to keeping children safe, was bid farewell this week as she retired.

It was the end of another term at St Mary’s Catholic School, Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch, on Wednesday but also the end of an era for 63-year-old Irene Hart, the school’s treasured lollipop lady.

“I am really going to miss all of the parents and children that I have been able to get to know over the years”, she said.

“If I ever meet other people who do my job, they say how they’ve got into arguments with the parents but I’ve never had a bad experience and talking to them made me realise how lucky I’ve actually been.”

Irene Hart, of Hill Crescent, Hornchurch, has been getting up early every day for 10 years, to make sure the pupils cross the busy road safely and has never let anyone down in fulfilling her duties.

After having worked as a cleaner for a few years at a care home on an Alzheimer’s ward, Irene knew she wanted to move on and do something a little more in her comfort zone.

She said: “I love children and being sociable so when my daughter saw the job advertised for a lollipop lady, she was like “mum, this would really suit you!” so I applied and got the job.

“After a few days of training, I got the hang of what I was doing and just went from there.”

To wish her a happy retirement, staff, parents and pupils organised a special coffee morning which was also attended by mayor of Havering, Councillor Linda Van de Hende.

Member of the St Mary’s PTA Barbara Flynn said: “We will all miss her so much.

“She does a sterling job on that crossing and she’s always so cheery and dedicated!”

But not only is Irene retiring after 10 years, she is making a fresh start with her husband by moving into a bungalow in New Market.

Irene said: “It’s been so emotional, I’ve had to hold back the tears.

“I’m really going to miss everyone.”

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