02:34PM, Thursday 17 August 2017
A lollipop man who had a smile and a high five for parents and children alike has received a letter of commendation from the Queen.
Ken Bowsher took up his position outside Furze Platt Infant School, in Oaken Grove, 21 years ago after taking early retirement from the Gas Board, where he had worked for 30 years.
The 73-year-old said: “I didn’t expect to be there 20 years but everyone made me feel so welcome over the years.
“I enjoyed every minute.
“It’s good to look back and think that you crossed all those kids without an accident.”
Ken said he had two grandchildren at the school, Lillia and Ethan, who had told him he couldn’t leave before they had left the junior school at the same site.
The youngest Lillia, 12, left last year.
“I’ve been quite lucky that its been more or less the same people every morning so you can build up a relationship,” said Ken.
“If you can keep a smile and some perspective, that’s the most important thing.”
On his last day, at the end of term in July, Ken received a scrapbook full of well wishes and images drawn by the pupils and staff to remember his time there.
Later, he also received a letter from the Queen which thanked him for his long years of dedicated service and wished him a long and happy retirement.
On his letter, Ken said: “I didn’t know what to say but the grandkids were well impressed.”
Melina Balfe, chairman of the Furze Platt PTA, said: “I’ve known him for as long as my three kids have been going to the school which is five years now.
“He always greeted parents and children with a smile.
“He knew people by their name and he would always high five the kids, and the parents sometimes.
“Two ladies organised the letter from the Queen which obviously shows how much he meant. He was so well regarded not only at the school but the community as well.”
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