The School Crossing Patrol Service for Bath & North East Somerset Council celebrated 60 years of existence this week with a reception for over 40 lollipop people with a combined 253 years of experience between them.
They also joined forces with local councillors in a call for more people to come forward to take on the role.
Councillor Caroline Roberts (Lib-Dem, Newbridge), Cabinet Member for Transport, said, “The Council’s lollipop patrol service is one of most highly valued services to the public that we provide to help children, parents, and teachers to get to school safely. To make sure that the next sixty years of service are as successful as the previous sixty, we need people to come forward and apply for the roles at the seven sites where there are vacancies.”
There was also a practical demonstration by one of the UK’s biggest suppliers of school crossing patrol equipment – Bristol Oilskins – of the clothing used by patrollers when the service was first started, and a presentation of commemorative badges and bags to thank the patrols for their contribution.
Terry Cross, School Lollipop Patrol at Newbridge Primary, said, “Although the equipment used by lollipop patrols have changed, the service we provide remains the same. Safety comes first, but being able to perform your duties with a smile on your face and in a friendly manner is also vital. It is a rewarding role that I would encourage people to apply for.
Roles are available at Bathampton Primary – Bath, Chandag Junior School – Keynsham, Combe Down Primary Bath, Midsomer Norton Primary, St Saviour’s Infant School – Bath, Whitchurch Primary School, and Widcombe Juniors, Bath.
For more information go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/jobs or call 01225 394922 for more details.
The local history of School Crossing Patrols
A predecessor of school crossing patrols was in place in Bath from 1937. Seven people were employed by the Bath City Corporation with a weekly wage equivalent to 50p today. In the days before school dinners, this meant four duties per day.
London council’s starting using ‘official’ adults to help children on their way to school at points where the traffic was at its worst. They wore white coats and peaked hats – as worn by park keepers at the time. And so the School Crossing Patrol Act passed in 1953 was born.