Waterlooville lollipop lady makes last road crossing on way to final resting place
MOURNERS gathered to celebrate the life of a lollipop lady who dedicated more than 20 years’ service to ensuring children arrived to school safely.
Iris Miriam Peters worked as a crossing patrol officer serving Padnell Junior School in Cowplain.
During that time she helped two generations of children cross Padnell Road as she became a well known figure in the area.
Son Malcolm Peters said: ‘She was an amazing lady who got to know all the children she helped. She even used to use her wages to buy the children sweets every day.’
Daughter, Suzanne Peters, 53, added: 'If there were any children upset, she always had a pocket full of sweets and would talk to them and calm them down to make it easier to go back into school.’
Despite her advancing years, Iris was keen to support the community’s young people and played a pivotal role in setting up Cowplain Activity Centre.
Son Jim, 72, said: ‘As a founder of the centre my mother played a key role in raising funds for its construction. There was a period when young people had been banned from the centre but she spoke up for them and helped to establish activities such as the judo club to give them more structured time.’
Iris’s generous nature was not just confined to her work with children.
‘She never had bad word to say about anyone,’ said son Graham.
‘When the postman was doing his rounds she would often cook him a full English breakfast,’ he said.
Malcolm added: ‘As a child we used to get our milk delivered by horse and cart. She would always make the milkman a cup of tea and was insistent he couldn’t leave until she had given his horse Joey an apple.’
Born in Portsmouth on May 16, 1926, Iris died on April 1 aged 92. During the war she played an active role in supporting the home front. Speaking in her eulogy, the Rev Ken Jacques described how Iris spent time working in munitions factories and her significant role on Fire Watch which entailed periods of duty perched on building roofs looking to locate and smother any incendiary bomb fires.
He also spoke warmly about Iris’s ‘mischievous sense of humour’ and the fact she was ‘not afraid to call a spade a spade’.
Mr Jacques added: ‘I remember being at a tea dance with Iris and there was one particular woman who was on a strict diet. Iris kept passing biscuits and cakes to her under the table away from prying eyes.’
Keen dancer Iris departed the funeral service St Wilfrid’s Church to a moving rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone before making the familiar crossing of Padnell Road for one last time on the way to her final resting place.