Bedford borough’s longest serving ‘lollipop lady’ retires after more than 40 years’ service

Joan Loft has retired after almost 43 years' service
Joan Loft has retired after almost 43 years' service

Joan Loft, Bedford borough’s longest serving school crossing patrol, has decided to hang up her ‘lollipop stick,’ after nearly 43 years’service.

Joan is retiring at the end of the term from her role at Wootton Primary School.

It is estimated Joan has seen more than 300,000 children safely across the road during that time, and she is now crossing the grandchildren of some

of the children she crossed at the start of her service.

Councillor Charles Royden, deputy mayor said: ‘Every day, through all kinds of weather, rain or shine, hot or cold, our school crossing patrols carry out their duties and dedicate

themselves to the safety of local children. Joan has been helping children get to school in Wootton since September 1974, and I would like to thank her for this

amazing contribution to the community and the school.

“I know Joan will be much missed by the children and parents of Wootton Lower.”

Chris Tavener, head teacher at Wootton Lower School,said: “Joan is a lovely lady and will be sorely missed by everyone she meets on her crossing. She greets the

children with a wonderful smile and ensures they arrive at school happy and ready to start the day. It is amazing how many people she has helped over her time here,”

If you are interested in becoming a School Crossing Patrol, contact the council via the website, email, or

give us a ring on 01234 228618.