SHE has helped hundreds of children get to school safely for well over a decade but now Margaret Higgins is hanging up her lollipop stick for good.

The 52-year-old has been a familiar face outside the Lochend Campus of Dunbar Primary School for almost six years.

Before that, she was a school crossing guide on Dunbar’s Edinburgh Road, Countess Crescent and beside the town’s library.

Last Friday she handed back her lollipop stick and high-visibility jacket and hat and retired from her role after 16 years of service.

She said: “I never thought how long I would do this for.

“You don’t put a tag on it but after I started doing it for a few years I could never see myself doing anything else.

“You see the kids today and they are the ones that make it.”

Parents and carers, along with staff and pupils from the primary school, gathered on Kellie Road to give their thanks for her years of service.

Child after child – as well as more than a few parents – stopped on their way home after the school bell rang to say thank you and present her with a number of cards and bouquets of flowers.

Margaret, of the town’s Pine Street, told the Courier: “It has been a very emotional day. I have had a fair few cards, flowers and homemade cards from the children.

“It is a really nice touch. They have been wonderful – they are great kids and great parents.”

The mum-of-two started the job when her daughter Nicola, who turned 28 recently, was in P7.

Now she will stick to her ‘other’ job in the bistro at Dunbar Grammar School – where she will still see more than a few of the children she has helped cross the road in recent years.

Among the parents handing over gifts and thanking Margaret for her efforts was mum-of-five Claire Moffat.

She said they had taken a collection from the parents of children in various classes to buy various presents including gift vouchers and a card.

She added: “Margaret has just been a credit to the children.

“She is so good with them and I cannot see anybody being able to replace her.”

Helen Gillanders, headteacher at Dunbar Primary School, was among those paying tribute.

She said: “Margaret is very popular with pupils and parents alike and has helped many young people cross the road safely over the years.

“I know she will be missed and wish her well for the future.”