Janet celebrates a quarter of a century of safe crossing

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express. Story: Lollipop lady Janet Tate has worked at St Thomas' Junior School for 25 years. Photo date: 20/10/15 Picture Ref: AB328a1015
Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express. Story: Lollipop lady Janet Tate has worked at St Thomas' Junior School for 25 years. Photo date: 20/10/15 Picture Ref: AB328a1015

Dedicated lollipop lady Janet Tate has celebrated 25 years of keeping children at St Thomas’ Junior School in Featherstone safe.

Mrs Tate, 58, started working at the school in January 1990 after seeing the job advertised.

Now, the mum-of-two has been helping youngsters cross Wakefield Road safely for more than quarter of a century.

Mrs Tate said: “I just love seeing the children’s little faces when they see me at the side of the road.

“They all smile and say thank you to me every morning and afternoon. They’re all so polite.”

Mrs Tate, who also works as a cleaner at the George Street school, was a student there herself more than 50 years ago.

Her son Adrian, now 32, and daughter Beverley, 30, also both went to the school when it was known as George Street Juniors.

Mrs Tate said: “I have never really stopped to think about how long I’ve been doing it for - it’s just something I do.

“I love what I do though and it’s actually really important. Wakefield Road can be really busy but I can be quite mischievous when drivers don’t stop.

“It can make me quite angry because it’s all about keeping the children safe at the end of the day.”

Mrs Tate said she will continue to work as both a lollipop lady and a cleaner at the school.

Emma Wadsworth, who lives on Ackworth Road near the school, said: “Through winter and summer Janet never misses a day.

“25 years is an awful long time and I think she needs some recognition.”

Mrs Tate thanked all of the children, parents, teachers and staff at the school for their help and support during her 25 years as a lollipop lady.

She said: “I just really enjoy what I do. I love working with children.”

Debra Randall, headteacher at St Thomas’ Junior School, thanked Mrs Tate for her work over the 25-year period she has worked there.

She said: “The children absolutely love Janet and she is well-liked by the parents and children as well.

“She turns up every morning and every afternoon rain or shine and she always has a smile on her face.

“She is really well-known in the town as well as by parents because she has been doing it for so long.

“Some of the parents of our current pupils were helped across the road by Janet.

“Wakefield Road outside the school is an extremely busy road and the work Janet does is so important in keeping children at our school safe.”