Special honour as lollipop lady says farewell

Christine Sweeney
Christine Sweeney

She has helped generation after generation of children get to school safely, but Christine Sweeney is hanging up her stick after over 30 years.

Mrs Sweeney has held many roles over her 36 year association with St Bernadette’s in Shevington, including running the Brownies and working as a dinner lady, but is most fondly known as the school’s long-serving lollipop lady.

And while she may have lost count of how many times she has crossed the road in all those years, she will certainly remember the final day she donned her neon jacket.

The 73-year-old was given a guard of honour by pupils, after a morning of celebrations and a mass, to mark her final day as a lollipop lady.

She first became involved with St Bernadette’s after moving to Shevington in 1981 when her husband John got a job in the area.

She sent her own children to the school and soon became bored during the days.

After hearing that the school was appealing for mothers to help out around the school, she jumped at the chance.

“I started out driving the boys to football, then I’d help with the craftwork and sewing,” she said. “I thought it was lovely, but I could have done with a bit of pocket money, so in 1984 I applied to do school crossing patrols.”

Christine became a friendly face for parents and children on the school run, but not everyone was happy with her new role, Christine revealed.

“My children were horrified! They said they wouldn’t even look at me in that outfit. I have had a lot of fun with it though.”

Her children may have long since grown up, but the family tradition still runs through the school, however, as Christine’s grandchildren now also attend St Bernadette’s.

“A few generations of people bring their children and even their grandchildren now!

“I will miss it, but you have to move on. I am going to enjoy my retirement.

“I am going to miss the children, but now I’m 73, I’m thinking I want to make the most of my good health while I still have it.”