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Pupils bid a fond farewell to much-loved Dundee lollipop man

Charlie Delaney, lollipop man at Forthill Primary School, is retiring.
Charlie Delaney, lollipop man at Forthill Primary School, is retiring.

A much-loved Dundee lollipop man who has lit up the faces of hundreds of children with his sparkly Christmas outfit has retired.

Charlie Delaney, 77, was wished a fond farewell from pupils and parents alike after his final shift on Wednesday.

He has been a lollipop man in Broughty Ferry for the past five years, most recently at Forthill Primary School.

Prior to that, Charlie saw children safely across the road at Eastern Primary School.

Christmas lights

Every Christmas he has delighted everyone with his brightly decorated uniform and crossing pole, festooned with festive fairy lights.

As he carried out his last duties handing out sweets and getting pupils safely across the road, Charlie said there was little doubt he was going to miss everyone.

Charlie Delaney in his sparkly Christmas jacket

He said: “I am really going to miss the children but the time has come to give up.

“I’ve had some lovely times with them all over the years and it’s been a pleasure to help them cross the road.”

However, Charlie did admit there had also been some tricky moments.

‘I always stayed cheery’

The former British Rail and Scotrail worker said: “The most difficult situations have undoubtedly been with parents and parking issues — that’s caused the biggest headaches over the years.”

Charlie, who worked in the ticket office for the railways, said: “However, I have always tried to remain bright and cheery no matter what.

“Dressing up in the lights at Christmas has always brought a smile to everyone’s faces.

“I’m definitely going to miss this aspect of it.”

Pupils admit they will miss Charlie

The Whyte family have three children at the school and they all said they are definitely going to miss Charlie.

Mum Sarah said: “Charlie is brilliant with the kids and they all think he’s great.”

Her children, Cayden, 10, Lennon 9 and Alexa 6, along with older brother Ashton, 12, who now attends Grove Academy, said he a really popular lollipop man.

Cayden said: “We will definitely miss Charlie helping to get us safely to school every day.

Charlie Delaney with the Whyte family, l to r, Cayden, 10, Ashton, 12, Lennon, 9 and Alexa, 6, outside Forthill Primary School

“All the kids love him.”

The Philp family were in total agreement.

Dad Ewan said: “Charlie has been great. He always has a smile and everyone will definitely miss him.”

Twins Rachel and Douglas, six, and brother Rory, nine, said that Charlie was going to be missed getting everyone across the road.

Charlie Delaney sees the Philp family, Rachel, six, Rory, nine, dad Ewan and Douglas six, across the road safely outside Forthill Primary School.

Rory said: “He gets us safely across the road to school every day. We will all be sorry to see him go and we will miss his sparkly lights at Christmas.”

Retirement

Meantime Charlie said he wasn’t sure what his plans were for retirement yet.

He said: “Being a lollipop man made me get out of bed every morning and go and do something I enjoyed.

“I’m sure I’m going to keep busy — just not sure doing what yet.”

Last year Charlie took part in Channel 4’s Countdown programme, describing it as a “great experience”.

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