Minor British Institutions: Lollipop people
Saturday 08 October 2011
What better sign of a society's priorities and care for its future than a genial official figure stopping traffic to allow children to cross the road to get to school? Well, perhaps, news that local authorities are planning cuts to our 20,000 lollipop people.
The first crossing warden was Mrs Mary Hunt, a jolly Bath school caretaker who started stopping everything, including trams, in 1937, and carried on for 25 years.
The first stop signs on a pole were black-and-white rectangles; the round sign, immediately dubbed the lollipop, was introduced in the 1960s.
The uniform is now standard, apart from the hat, which can still be, rather splendidly, a bowler. The lollipop ladies and men are dedicated, brave, and often rewarded in the New Year and Birthday honours.
I can find only one L lady who has posed topless, and no trace of one of those calendars. The derivation of lollipop is from northern dialect for a tongue, lolly, itself derived from lolling.
- 1 Cyclist in Russia narrowly misses being hit by car and lorry
- 2 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 3 What are your fingerprint words?
- 4 Gary Lineker involved in Twitter row after presenter rubbishes claims he will be warned by BBC over foul-mouthed tweets
- 5 Pink Floyd new album: Band unveil cover art for first record in 20 years
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Labour Party conference: Ed Balls to set out plan to freeze child benefit to balance books
£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...