School's lollipop lady to retire after almost 23 years

Beryl Currie, 81, who is retiring after 23 years as the lollipop lady for the Beccles Academy.

Beryl Currie, 81, who is retiring after 23 years as the lollipop lady for the Beccles Academy. With her is from left, Zara, eight; Poppie, eight; Chloe, seven, and Yusef, seven. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

After more than two decades keeping youngsters safe, a much-loved lollipop lady is set to hang up her stick for the final time.

Beryl Currie has manned the crossing outside Beccles Primary Academy on Ellough Road for almost 23 years, watching many pupils grow and return with children of their own.

But the 81-year-old great-grandmother, who has been involved with the school in a number of roles for around 40 years, is set to retire from her lollipop duties at the end of March.

Beryl Currie, 81, who is retiring after 23 years as the lollipop lady for the Beccles Academy.

Beryl Currie, 81, who is retiring after 23 years as the lollipop lady for the Beccles Academy. With her is from left, Poppie, eight; Zara, eight; Chloe, seven, and Yusef, seven. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

She said: "It was a big decision and I have loved doing it.

"I love the children and their parents. They're all very good and have been very nice to me through the long time I have been here.


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"I shan't forget them and I really will miss them but I can walk down that way and see them coming out and say hello."

Beryl Currie, 81, who is retiring after 23 years as the lollipop lady for the Beccles Academy.

Beryl Currie, 81, who is retiring after 23 years as the lollipop lady for the Beccles Academy. With her is from left, Poppie, eight; Zara, eight; Yusef, seven; and Chloe, seven. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

As well as her role outside the school Mrs Currie has also worked as a dinner lady and cleaner, as well as leading the school's cycling proficiency sessions.

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She said: "Back when Mr Clarke was there, he phoned me up one day to ask if I was doing anything and to see if I could help because he was short of a dinner lady.

"So I went down and I've been involved ever since for nearly 40 years."

Beryl Currie, 81, who is retiring after 23 years as the lollipop lady for the Beccles Academy.

Beryl Currie, 81, who is retiring after 23 years as the lollipop lady for the Beccles Academy. With her is from left, Zara, eight; Poppie, eight; Yusef, seven; and Chloe, seven. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Headteacher Heather Thorne paid tribute to Mrs Currie, saying: "She is known to thousands of children who attended the school over the last 23 years.

"Many are now parents who remember her from when they attended the school.

"She has been out there in all weathers, every day, keeping our children safe and she will be greatly missed by the whole school community.

Beryl Currie, 81, who is retiring after 23 years as the lollipop lady for the Beccles Academy.

Beryl Currie, 81, who is retiring after 23 years as the lollipop lady for the Beccles Academy. With her is from left, Poppie, eight, and Yusef, seven. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"We wish her a long and happy retirement." 

The mother-of-seven and grandmother-of-12 faced the axe following county council funding cuts in 2011, but fought to keep her role with parents backing.

She said: "We were going to lose the school's lollipop lady and I ended up going on TV to try and save them with the parents."

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