Irene Reid, from Longridge in Lancashire, has been awarded an MBE for her work as a school crossing patrol officer for the past 43 years.
Mrs Reid is a familiar face outside Longridge CE Primary School and in 2003 was also named the nation’s top lollipop person.
Irene says: “I’m very honoured, obviously, excited, gob smacked. It’s been a nightmare keeping it a secret. The letter was so official, strictest confidence.”
Mrs Reid took over from the school’s previous SCP officer, 90-year-old Margaret Croasdale, more than four decades ago.
Irene added: “The uniform was appalling; it’s improved a lot I must say. But I just loved it straight away.
“Every year you get 30 new little friends with their mums and dads and grannies and grandads. I’ll carry on forever, until they wrench the lollipop from my hand.”
Ken Speak, school crossing patrol manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “I have managed the SCP service since August 1996 and during that time I know of only two occasions that she has not been on her crossing: one was in 2003 when she became National School Crossing Patrol of the Year and the other was when she attended her granddaughter’s graduation.”
For more information contact Ken Speak on 01772 646810.