Much-loved Gosport school crossing patrol officer celebrates 25 years of being a lollipop lady

GENERATIONS of schoolchildren have been kept safe by a Gosport crossing patrol officer celebrating 25 years in the job.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 11:16 am

Pupils and parents of Leesland C of E Infant School have been guided across busy Whitworth Road by lollipop lady Bridget Bathe for more than two decades in wind, rain, sun or snow.

The dedicated council worker who loves her job ‘through and through’ was thanked by the school with flowers, chocolate, wine and a glittery poster to mark 25 years in her role.

Bridget, 61, changed from being a nurse to take on the job in 1995 when her children were young, because the hours were more family-friendly.

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School patrol crossing officer Bridget Bathe (61) from Gosport, celebrated her 25th anniversary in the role on Thursday, October 15. Picture: Sarah Standing (151020-7919)

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On the 25th anniversary, she said: ‘I have loved my job through and through. I have done my bit for the community which I’m very pleased and happy about.

‘I’d recommend this job to anyone. It’s not all about money, if you want to get out and meet people and have a laugh while taking your job seriously it’s a marvellous job.’

Bridget, whose grandchildren now attend Leesland school, loves meeting all the children and making them laugh.

School patrol crossing officer Bridget Bathe (61) from Gosport, celebrated her 25th anniversary in the role on Thursday, October 15. Picture: Sarah Standing (151020-5946)

She added: ‘It’s no use having a miserable lollipop lady or man. The kids make you laugh and say and do funny things.’

Over the years the traffic has got busier, and Bridget has noticed children from when she first started now have their own families which attend the school.

The Gosport resident said: ‘I get my down days and my up days like every job but you put all your problems behind you and just get on with it.

School patrol crossing officer Bridget Bathe (61) from Gosport, celebrated her 25th anniversary in the role on Thursday, October 15. Picture: Sarah Standing (151020-7876)

‘The road is getting more stressful with more traffic so you have to be more aware. You have just got to take it as it comes and make sure the children get across the road safely.’

Bridget was over the moon with the kind gifts from the school. She said: ‘I was really overwhelmed. Leesland Infants have done so much for me, I can’t thank them enough. They’re lovely people and I didn’t expect it.

‘I’m very pleased I have reached the 25 - I want to go on another 25 if I can. I just can’t see myself retiring because I love it too much.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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