Sheffield lollipop lady shows no sign of stopping

Sheffield Longist serving lolliop person 'Jacqueline Higginbottom
Sheffield Longist serving lolliop person 'Jacqueline Higginbottom
Have your say

It’s been almost 40 years since Jacqueline Higginbottom first began walking children safely across the road.

And at the age of 69 there’s no sign of Sheffield’s longest-serving lollipop lady hanging up her hat.

As a school crossing warden the retired seamstress has watched generations of youngsters in Deepcar grow up before her eyes.

And now their own children are greeted by the same friendly face when they arrive to school each day.

The grandmother was stationed at Manchester Road when she first began the job, but these days she mans the crossing outside Royd Nursery and Infants.

She has been honoured by Sheffield Council for her 38 years of service as part of the Diamond Jubilee of the school crossing warden this June.

Jacqueline said: “I started when my daughter Nicola was 11, thinking I wouldn’t have another. Then I got pregnant with my younger daughter Sarah in 1976, but by then I didn’t want to give it up.

“I worked right up until the Friday and she was born on the Monday.”

Jacqueline, who lives near the school in Deepcar, worked as a dinner lady and volunteered at the school before she got the lollipop gig.

The joy of helping pupils as they make their way to class has kept her in the job all these years.

She said: “I absolutely love it. I love meeting all the children and chatting to them.

“You make quite a few little friends. There are some I helped across the road when they were young who still send me a Christmas card as adults.

“Grown-ups tell their children, ‘That lady used to help me cross’ and the look on their faces is always funny.

“Some adults come up to me to see if I remember them.

“I never want to give it up - I think I’ll have to have a lollipop on my tombstone!”

It’s not all fun and games though - and Jacqueline takes her role as a safety ambassador very seriously.

She said: “I go into school a lot and give talks to help teach the little ones how to cross the road.”

Shirley Adams, school crossing supervisor at Sheffield Council, said: “Jacqueline is a fantastic asset to the team.”