Lollipop lady says out-of-control horses outside Whittlesey school could have killed pupils
A LOLLIPOP lady who stopped seven horses as they galloped towards a school says that children would have been killed if the incident happened 10 minutes earlier.
Janice Woodland had just helped a young girl across the road to get to Alderman Jacobs Primary School when seven horses turned into Drybread Road shortly before 9am on Monday.
The horses stopped charging down the road when they saw Mrs Woodland and jumped into a garden opposite the Whittlesey school.
“I was standing opposite the school after helping a little girl cross when I looked up the road and thought that’s a lot of horses,” she said.
“I just stood there and held my stick out a bit and they must have startled by my jacket. It was just like one man and his dog the way they saw me and all went into the garden.
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“It was lucky that it didn’t happen 10 minutes earlier as they would have killed some children.”
Mrs Woodland, who has nearly been run over 10 times, is more used to helping cats and dogs. She added: “It’s just not something you expect to see, it’s more like something from a movie.
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“It was quite scary but the most important thing was to keep myself from panicking - I couldn’t have done it any better if I tried.”
Kelly Aliker-Bates was driving past the school when she saw the horses coming at her.
She said: “I moved my car over to block off the road but they went past. I then turned my car around and when the horses were in the garden I pulled in front.
“I was worried about my car but it was more about stopping the horses jumping over the wall and into the playground where all the kids were.”
Tanya Crew, 13, was standing in the playground when she saw the horses jump into the garden. She said: “We just had to keep them all calm. They had come from the back of the Wash and they were really sweaty because they had run so far. I named one if them Chocolate Brownie”
Her foster mum, Helen Stimpson, added: “If it had happened around five minutes earlier it would have been disastrous.
“Lucky quite a few people from round here ride horses so they got harnesses out of their cars to put on the horses. It was a co-ordinated effort to sort it all out.”
Margaret Sargent, headteacher at the school, said: “The horses were galloping down the street and they saw her and just stopped and veered into a garden opposite the school.
“Nobody was hurt because of her actions and the actions of parents who closed the school gates to stop them coming into the playground.
“It’s her job to do it and she faces cars that don’t stop so horses didn’t faze her.”
Police were called to the scene after residents reported that a number of horses were heading from Eastrea.
A spokesman said: “We had reports of six horses and a pony who were loose on the roads. Members of the public trapped the horses in a garden on Drybread Road.
“The owner has gone down and a second owner is on their way. We monitored the situation and helped the RSPCA.”