'Mum-of-Stamshaw' lollipop lady gets huge cheer as she retires after 17 years of service
A LOLLIPOP lady hailed as ‘the best in the world’ has retired after 17 years of service across the north of the city – with dozens of parents and children making her feel like ‘a star’ with a big send-off.
Marilyn Hogger, 79, has served as a crossing attendant outside Stamshaw Junior School for more than seven years and before that served outside Stamshaw Infant School for almost a decade.
Now she is set to hang up her Stop sign and become ‘a lady of leisure’, after receiving a huge round of applause and almost a dozen bouquets from appreciative families gathered outside the junior school.
The great-grandmother-of-five said the part of the job she will miss the most is spending so much time with the school children.
She said: ‘Today has been wonderful – I have felt like a star. I was waiting for the red carpet.
‘I thought I would crack up.’
She added: ‘My husband is a lollipop man in Northern Parade. He’s still working and there’s no plans for him to retire.
‘He wants me to be a lady of leisure.’
Mum Tanya Stevens, whose nine-year-old son attends the school, helped set up a balloon arch around the school gates to make Marilyn’s last day extra special.
The Target Road resident said: ‘She’s just wonderful. She loves the children and they love her back.
‘She’s the best lollipop lady in the world – she’s the mum that everyone needs, she is the mum of Stamshaw.’
Portsmouth City Council is advertising for a replacement crossing attendant, according to headteacher Rob Jones.
The headteacher said: ‘We’re sad to see her go. She is the font of all knowledge about what goes on in Stamshaw.
‘She knows all the children, all the families – and even all the drivers.
‘An advert for her replacement has gone out – it’s big boots to fill.’
But Marilyn will be back – inside the school rather than standing outside it, as she will volunteer one afternoon a week to support school trips and children’s reading practice.
She added: ‘I will probably come out more educated than the children.’