Lollipop lady, Coral, celebrates 40 years

For more than 40 years the longest serving lollipop lady in East Sussex, Coral Wyman, has been on duty outside the gates of a Hailsham school, ensuring pupils cross the road safely.

Now Wealden District Councillor Barry Marlowe has decided to give his entire Community Benefit Grant of £1,189 to a project which aims to celebrate her service.

The Friends of White House Academy School has set up project Lollipops to the Theatre to recognise Coral’s dedication and raise funds to cover the annual costs of her continued employment.

The celebration will begin with a presentation at White House Academy today (Friday March 27).

Mayor of Hailsham Cllr Jo Bentley and PCSO Susan Choppin will both present shields.

Additional donations will be presented by Hailsham Rotary Club and Sussex Police.

Among those attending the presentation will be MP Charles Hendry, Cllr Bentley, teachers, staff, pupils, Sussex Police, the rotary club and the Friends of White House School.

After the presentation 220 pupils and school staff along with Coral will walk through town to Hailsham Pavilion to enjoy a live pantomime performance.

The performance is a way for pupils to say ‘thank you’ to their lollipop lady.

It will also enable the pupils to expand their moral, social and cultural development skills.

Coral, from Hailsham, said: “I always say hello or good morning or good afternoon to the children and they reply the same, even children in pushchairs.

“It is such a pleasure to hear them.

“I miss them a great deal in the school holidays but I can be sure that when I come up to town I will get a greeting from a White House child.

“My children started school at the old White House. Mr Fugler was the lollipop man at the time. When he retired a sign was put on the fence outside the school for his replacement. I applied and was taken on, on February 13 1973.

“Old White House was infants only at that time and Juniors had to go up to Grovelands, my children included.

“I stayed at White House. Staff and children changed, I stayed. Watching the children grow up, coming back as parents, grandparents and maybe great-grandparents.

“I’m so lucky to have a job that gives me so much pleasure.”

In 2002 Coral met the Queen on her golden jubilee at Ardingly. She also spoke to the Duke of Edinburgh.