A fond swan song for our lollipop man

PUBLISHED: 11:23 12 May 2006 | UPDATED: 21:52 28 May 2010

Pupils say farewell to lollipop man Richard Belton

Pupils say farewell to lollipop man Richard Belton

LOLLIPOP man Richard Belton said an emotional farewell to pupils from two March schools on Friday when he saw them safely across the road for the final time. During the past eight years Mr Belton has become a special friend to pupils at Maple Grove Infant

LOLLIPOP man Richard Belton said an emotional farewell to pupils from two March schools on Friday when he saw them safely across the road for the final time.

During the past eight years Mr Belton has become a special friend to pupils at Maple Grove Infants and Westwood Junior Schools.

As he began his last morning shift, pupils and parents handed over dozens of birthday and thank-you cards to Mr Belton who was also celebrating his 65th birthday.

After lunch pupils, staff and representatives of Cambridgeshire County Council, gathered to pay their own tributes to Mr Belton.

Pupils sang a song written especially for the occasion and Mr Belton, accompanied by his wife Anna, was presented with a carriage clock and a 'director's' chair. Headteacher Lynda Quince said: "Mr Belton is certainly loved by all the children."

Mr Belton, of Norwood Road, became a lollipop man after opting for early retirement from the railway. He has also been involved with the PTA at Maple Grove, the safer cycling scheme and organises fund-raising bingos.

"It is going to be a big wrench leaving all the children," he said. "When I go into town I can't count the number of children and parents who call out my name and I take great pride in that."

Mr Belton hopes to continue as a cycling instructor which he began in the 1980s.

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