Recruitment drive to keep city's kids safe

John Curtis, 83, a school crossing patrol man who has been a lollipop man for over 20 years. Outside

John Curtis, 83, a school crossing patrol man who has been a lollipop man for over 20 years. Outside Catton Grove Primary school. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

The search is on for a new breed of a lollipop men and women to keep school children safe - with one city veteran calling the role a "privilege".

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and Norfolk County Council are recruiting for 11 school crossing patrol workers across Norfolk, including five in Norwich.

These are outside Falcon Junior School in Falcon Road West, Avenue Junior School in Milford Road, George White Primary School in Silver Road, Lakenham Primary School and Nursery in City Road and Heartsease Primary Academy in Rider Haggard Road.

Edward Savage, the fifth and current headteacher of Falcon Junior School in Sprowston. Picture: Neil

Edward Savage, headteacher of Falcon Junior School - Credit: Archant

Edward Savage, Falcon Junior School headteacher said: "We would be delighted to get a crossing patrol. It is very busy on Falcon Road West.

"Parents are concerned by road safety and would think a school crossing patrol would be great."

John Curtis, 83, a school crossing patrol man who has been a lollipop man for over 20 years. Outside

John Curtis, 83, a school crossing patrol man who has been a lollipop man for over 20 years. Outside Catton Grove Primary school. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

John Curtis, 83, from Catton Grove Road, has been a lollipop man for 21 years in Weston Road for children and families of Catton Grove Primary School after he retired as a supervisor at the Crome Road Start-Rite factory.

"It is good for my health and wellbeing," he said. "It is privilege to do this job. Nothing beats being outside in the fresh air meeting the lovely children and parents.

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"You meet a cross section of people and get to see children grow from little tots to big children.

"My wife has been telling me to give it up for years but if I feel like I do now, I'll carry on forever.

"It is a very important job. If you teach young children road safety from a young age it carries on with them into their senior years."

John Curtis, 83, a school crossing patrol man who has been a lollipop man for over 20 years. Outside

John Curtis, 83, a school crossing patrol man who has been a lollipop man for over 20 years. Outside Catton Grove Primary school. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

He added that traffic levels had increased over the years but the majority of drivers were polite when Mr Curtis stopped them to help people walk past safely.

Abie Wilson with her daughter Ruby (five) and son Liam (seven)

Abie Wilson with her daughter Ruby (five) and son Liam (seven) - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Abie Wilson, 31, from Half Mile Road, whose five-year-old and seven-year-old daughters go to Catton Grove Primary, praised the work of Mr Curtis because it was "a nightmare crossing the road".

Anthony Barnes, whose five-year-old daughter attends Catton Grove Primary School in Norwich

Anthony Barnes, whose five-year-old daughter attends Catton Grove Primary School in Norwich - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Anthony Barnes, 44, from Mile Cross Road, described the lollipop man as someone who "brightens up everyone's day".

People have until February 20 to apply through www.norfolk.gov.uk/norfolkfireservicejobs

A day in the life of a school crossing patrol officer

Nicola Wilton, 31, who is a lollipop woman outside Bignold Primary School and Nursery in Norwich

Nicola Wilton, 31, who is a lollipop woman outside Bignold Primary School and Nursery in Norwich - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Nicola Hilton has only been doing the job for since November - but already she has fallen in love with being a lollipop lady.

The 31 year old, from Vauxhall Street in Norwich, is posted in Wessex Street outside Bignold Primary School and Nursery.

The mother-of-two was inspired to take on the job after witnessing a non-fatal accident in the area last summer.

After getting her children ready for school her morning shift takes place from 8.25am-9am and the afternoon shift happens from 2.55pm-3.30pm.

She added the busiest shift is in the morning when there are dozens of parents and children crossing the road in a busy 10-minute period just before school starts.

Mrs Hilton said people needed a positive attitude for the job which had helped her with her anxiety.