Fond farewell to Flackwell Heath’s lollipop legend

Gilly pictured with Headteacher Mrs Anna Majcher, Cllr Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport, and six children from Carrington School.

Smiles and tears were the order of the day at Carrington Infant and Junior Schools in Flackwell Heath as they bid farewell to a beloved friend.

School crossing patroller Gilbert Fryer – or Gilly as he’s fondly known – is retiring aged 92, having seen young pupils safely into school for nearly twenty years.

Gilly – a former worker in the High Wycombe furniture factories – started as a school crossing patroller at the Carrington schools in 2004 when his own grandchildren were there, and he’s stayed ever since.

Born in High Wycombe in 1928, Gilly is a life-long Wycombe Wanderers fan who did national service with the RAF.

The schools held a special assembly in his honour and presented Gilly with a lollipop cake and a cash collection. Gilly very kindly donated the cash back to the schools and asked that the money be used to purchase two rainbow-coloured ‘Gilly benches’.

Speaking outside the school gates, Gilly said: “Over the years, I’ve had a fantastic time as a school crossing patroller, and I’ve loved setting the children up for their day with a smile. I’ve also been fortunate that the job gave me the opportunity to meet the Queen and Prince Charles. For anyone considering taking this role, I recommend they snap it up!”

Cllr. Steven Broadbent is Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport. He said, “We can’t thank Gilly enough for his fantastic service to the parents, carers and children of Flackwell Heath over the years. He’s such a wonderful character and I know his departure will have a big impact on their daily routines.

“I’d like to pay tribute to him for his dedication in what’s a really valuable community role and I have loved hearing all the stories about him today – it’s clear he always brightened everyone’s day. I hope he enjoys his retirement.”