FOR MORE than 30 years Janice Widdop has helped children in her community to cross the road on their way to school.
But the 72-year-old is saying a fond farewell to pupils, parents and staff at Appleton Academy, in Wyke, after carrying out the crossing patrol for the final time. To mark the occasion, the school asked children and teachers to provide memories about what makes her special.
Pupils created handmade cards and lollipop sticks with their thoughts on them which were presented to her along with a memories book containing messages from parents, from over the years, at the school’s Nativity performance.
She first started the job on May 13, 1983, helping children get to the former High Fernley Primary School.
Over the past 33 years she has become a familiar friendly face to generations of children in the Wyke area.
In 2012 High Fernley Primary and Wyke Manor Secondary School pupils transferred to the new Appleton Academy, a through-age school and Mrs Widdop has been helping children of all ages to cross the road since then.
She said: “I live locally so I have seen the children I first helped to cross the road growing up in the area and sometimes I will see them again as I help their children and grandchildren to cross the road. I shall miss the job but am looking forward to having a rest.”
Helen Jones, the principal at Appleton Academy said: “The academy, children, staff and parents, and those from our predecessor schools, have been well looked after by Mrs Widdop for 33 years and we are delighted to be able to recognise her achievement and the time she has dedicated to the safety of all of us.”
Sue Heaton, Bradford Council’s school crossing patrol co-ordinator, said: “She is there in all weathers and is cheerful and always happy to see new and old pupils of the school.
“We wish her all the best in her retirement.”