One of Middlesbrough’s longest serving crossing patrol officers is laying down her lollipop.
Elaine Dunn retires from her vital road safety role after nearly 21 years keeping countless children safe.
As a relief officer, Elaine covered all of the town’s 26 current sites, and has worked on many others over the years.
For her final week the 66-year-old was on duty at Captain Cook Primary, helping youngsters negotiate the zebra crossing on nearby Laurel Avenue.
Elaine, who also works as a lunchtime supervisor at Trinity Catholic College, said: “It’s been amazing – I’ve absolutely loved every minute of it.
“Because I’ve been a relief lollipop lady I’ve been to every school in Middlesbrough and it’s always been a pleasure.
“I’m a real people person, and there’s so much more to the job than simply helping the kids to cross the road safely.”
The mother of six, who has eight grandchildren, said she had been inspired to take up the role by another lollipop lady called Liz Cox, and had never looked back.
“It’s such an important role, and I love being out and about whatever the weather, so it just suited me down to the ground,” she said.
“To anyone thinking of doing it, I would say just go for it – you won’t regret it.”
Assistant Road Safety Officer Michelle Scallen said: “Elaine’s been an amazing and invaluable servant to the town and the Road Safety team.
“Over her long career she’s covered most of the sites in Middlesbrough, frequently turning out at very short notice to cover absences.
“She’s resilient, professional and above all a caring, friendly person who is always there to support others.
“She leaves a big gap to fill, so I’d love to hear from anyone who’d like to join the team.”
Councillor Peter Gavigan, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Environment, said: “Our lollipop ladies are one of the most familiar and reassuring sights on our roads.
“It’s all to easy to take them for granted, but they play a vital role in keeping our children safe, and Elaine is a fantastic example of tireless devotion to duty.
“We owe her a collective debt of gratitude for her service over so many years, and wish her a long and happy retirement.”