'Lolly Lin': Smethwick lollipop lady retiring after 15 years

Staff and pupils at Abbey Federation School in Smethwick said a fond farewell to their school crossing lady Linda Kelly, fondly known as "Lolly Lin".

Lollipop lady Linda Kelly from Smethwick, who is retiring after 13 years
Lollipop lady Linda Kelly from Smethwick, who is retiring after 13 years

Linda has decided to put aside her lollipop crossing patrol sign and retire after 15 years in the role.

She took up her role in June 2006 and has seen former pupils leave and become parents and their children walk with her to the school gates.

Mother-of-five Linda, who celebrated her 66th birthday the day before she retired, has become a friend to parents and children alike and now hopes to find time to travel on trips abroad and in this country with her 66-year-old husband, Michael, a retired warehouseman who worked for a plumbing supply firm.

Goodwill messages, chocolates and flowers poured into the school as Linda said her farewells.

Miss

She said: "It was a hard decision to make to retire and I will really miss all the children.

"They are such a happy bunch and the decision to retire was very hard.

"Some of the children I used to see across the road now have children of their own and I have seen them as babies in prams and returning with their children.

"I love all the children and have eleven grandchildren of my own and will be looking after the two youngest while their mothers go back to work."

Linda has faced personal battles in the past having been diagnosed with breast cancer in February four years ago.

However, following chemotherapy and radiotherapy she was delighted to be given the "all-clear" in December the same year.

She now hopes to make the most of her retirement and is pleased that she will be allowed to keep her lollipop patrol crossing sign.

Linda said: "It will be a wonderful reminder of my work.

"I will miss everyone but understand that the school has now found someone to fill in for me until they find a permanent replacement."

By Sue Smith

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