SHE’S helped hundreds of children and their parents cross the road safely for the past decade and a half - but one lollipop lady in Carlisle has hung up her coat for the final time.

Janice Swinglehurst has been a constant in the lives of youngsters at Upperby Primary School for many years.

Come rain or shine - sweltering summers or snow to make you shiver - Janice has turned up for work every morning and every afternoon with her bright jacket, beaming smile and iconic lollipop.

To mark her dedication to keeping the children safe, staff members from the school arranged for a group of pupils to surprise Janice ahead of her retirement, with a gift of flowers along with a giant card full of colourful drawings and heartfelt messages to wish her well.

The gifts, which were presented on Friday afternoon, were watched on by parents and fellow pupils.

As she completed her last-ever stint on the eve of a busy weekend rush-hour, groups of children emerged from the school gates, flanked by their mums and dads, and wished her a fond farewell.

While the 59-year-old, who lives in Upperby, will have a well-earned from the rest for half term, she will returning to the school in a week’s time to continue her other part-time job as a cleaner.

Janice is mum to former Carlisle United player Steven Swinglehurst, 26, who now plays just over the border as a centre back for Annan Athletic.

She told the News & Star: “I’m going to look after my grandchildren, and put my feet up, and just enjoy retirement.

“I’ll still be at the school each evening for my other role as a cleaner, which I enjoy.”

While she’s swapping outside for inside, Janice also shared what she’ll miss about being a lollipop lady for 17 years.

“The most I’ll miss about the job is the children, because they are so lovely.

“Its been a great job, and it’s just sad to say goodbye.

“In terms of my most memorable days, they have to be when it’s fancy dress, when the kids come along all dressed up in their amazing outfits for things such as world book day.”

Before taking to the roadside, Janice used to work at the Bishop Harvey Goodwin School, on Harold Street in Currock, as a dinner lady.

Headteacher of Upperby Primary School, Josie Hodgkins, added: “Mrs Swinglehurst has been the most amazing crossing patrol for the school for many years.

“She’s loved by all the children, and ensures they been safe every day.

“She will be such a miss for everyone in school, and we wish her all the best in her retirement.”