Fond farewell to popular Hartlepool lollipop man after almost 20 years helping youngsters stay safe
For almost 20 years Geoff Chandler has safely helped thousands of Hartlepool children on their way to and from school.
But the time has come for the popular lollipop man to hang up his fluorescent coat and stick.
During his time as a school crossing patrol officer, Geoff has guided children across the road at several schools across the town.
He has been a familiar fixture on busy Stratford Road outside St Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic Primary School every morning and afternoon for a number of those years.
The spot is also used by pupils from St Aidan’s Primary School nearby.
Children showered him with gifts and cards on his last day.
Presents included chocolates, bottles of whiskey, as well as drawings and home made cards from the children.
Geoff said he will be sad to leave, but plans to keep in touch with his young friends.
He said: “I’m a bit sad to be retiring because I will miss them.
“They are all really good kids. They don’t give me any problems or are cheeky, they are just magnificent.
“I will miss the kids crossing the road and especially the school walking bus.
“I only live around the corner so when I come for my paper on a morning I will see them.”
Staff at the school spoke fondly about Geoff and his generosity, including buying treats for pupils every Easter.
Joanne Wilson, headteacher of St Cuthbert’s, said: “He brings a smile to the faces of the children every day.
“He has loved his job and we know he will really miss the children.
“He is a very generous man. At Easter he buys all the children who cross the road an Easter egg.
“His car boot is full.
“We will really miss him, he is just a lovely guy.”
Before becoming a lollipop man, Geoff worked as a lorry driver for Cameron’s brewery in the town.
He is looking forward to taking a well earned rest as he begins retirement.