Popular Wigan lollipop lady says goodbye
A beloved school crossing patrol officer is hanging up her lollipop as she prepares to embark on a new adventure.
Maureen Hope has helped hundreds of children and their parents cross the road and get to school safely over the past 12 years.
She has been a friendly and welcoming face for the youngsters as they made their way to Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, on Swan Lane, in Hindley Green.
But on Friday the mother-of-two wore her waterproof jacket and carried her lollipop for the last time.
Mrs Hope, who lives in Hindley Green with husband Karl, said: “We have bought a lodge in the Lakes and are moving up there.
“I have no plans to get another job yet. I’m taking a little bit of time out and enjoying life up there until after the summer, then I might look for a little part-time job up there.”
Mrs Hope started working as a school crossing patrol officer for Wigan Council 12 years ago.
She was based at St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School, in Hindley, for the first two years and has been at Sacred Heart ever since.
She helped around 130 children to cross the road on their way to school every day, before going back to assist when they went home.
Mrs Hope, 55, said she loved her job and expected her final shift to be “the hardest day” of her life.
She said: “I know nearly all the children by name, I know their parents and grandparents. I have watched them come and start in reception and grow up through to high school. Some are leaving high school this time.
“I still cross some of those when they go to high school.
“I am very sad but it is a new adventure for me as well.
“I would never finish unless I was doing something new.”
Mrs Hope bid farewell to the children, their parents and carers on Friday.
She said an emotional goodbye as she helped them across the road for the final time.
While she admitted she would not miss standing outside in the rain or snow, she was leaving with plenty of happy memories.
“I have enjoyed it,” she said. “They are lovely parents and lovely children. I have had a lot of support from them. It’s a lovely school.”
A new school crossing patrol officer has been appointed to take over Mrs Hope’s location.